Where do children make most mistakes in Their 11 Plus Maths Exams?

Because parents (and indeed schools) don’t spend sufficient time on the times tables and on the basic calculation operations (addition, subtraction, division, multiplication) we find mistakes are most common in these areas.

In the times table it is the middle zone of calculations involving 6,7and 8 which cause most difficulty (e.g. 7×6).

In calculations often children will fail to carry figures correctly.

Parents are always keen for their children to move on but often do so too quickly in a race to cover new topics or reach the testing phase. There really is no rush and children do not have to go beyond the syllabus so there are no prizes for finishing early.

Having seen children complete literally thousands of 11 Plus Maths exam papers over the years we can confidently say that mistakes occur in the simplest of areas:

–  Mistakes where times tables has a role in mental calculations e.g. 4200 ÷ 60.

–  Mistakes carrying figures in four operations questions.

–  Not reading the question.

–  Graphs – horizontal and vertical axis confusion.

–  Decimal place confusion.

Remember that where there are more complicated Maths questions (e.g. division of fractions) there are only ever very few of these. Where children make little mistakes or mistakes in the core of the KS2 syllabus then its much better to correct these and stay with them rather than moving on. Remember that most mistakes are made in the simplest of areas.