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Top 10 Preparation Tips for 11+ English Exam from Past Toppers

11 Plus English Past Papers with Detailed Answers

The 11+ English Exam

The eleven plus is an English language exam taken in the UK to determine a child's eligibility for secondary education. It is divided into two stages. The first stage is a written exam, which is divided into three sections: reading, writing, and speaking. The second stage is a practical exam which involves the candidate's performance of tasks in the three skills areas. In this article, we'll go over our top-recommended 11+ English tips that could very well help your youngster ace the exam.

The English exam for 11+ is one of the most difficult exams your child can face in the UK. However, if you follow the 11+ English tips that these past toppers have, you should be able to prepare your child well to face the English exam. One of the biggest 11+ English tips is to start early. Your child has to start studying before they are even able to take the English exam. You should also make sure they read a variety of stories. They should read stories that are in the appropriate age group.

Reading a variety of stories will help your child practice vocabulary as well. It is important for the child to practice grammar because grammar is also tested organically, meaning that all answers are evaluated for grammar. Finally, you should make sure that your child studies a variety of different topics.

The 11+ English exam is a key stage in the education of your child. The exam is graded by the teacher on a pass/fail basis and provides feedback on your child's ability. To prepare for this exam, you need to understand what the teacher is looking for and what the examiners' expectations are.

11+ English Syllabus

The 11+ English syllabus has the following sections:

  • Comprehension: The student has to be able to gather information from a given piece of text. The student must also display an understanding of literary techniques and character, and must be able to summarise sections of the given 11+ English comprehension passage.
  • Vocabulary: The student must show an understanding of synonyms and antonyms. They must be able to identify the root of words and whether they come from a Latin or Greek root. 
  • Grammar: The following will be tested:
    • Verbs
    • Nouns
    • Adjectives
    • Plurals
    • Prefixes and suffixes
    • Compound words
    • Active and passive voice
  • Punctuation: Parentheses, commas, full stops, semicolons, and hyphens
  • Creative Writings: Various styles of creative writing questions could be asked in the Independent schools’ 11+ exams such as:
    • Descriptive Writing
      • Describing a Person, Place, and an Object
      • Describing a Picture
    • Persuasive Writing
      • Balanced Argument
      • Speech Writing
      • Letter of Complaint
    • Narrative Writing
      • Starting the Story on a Given Line
      • Describing a Memory 
      • Science Fiction Stories
      • Diary Entry

How to prepare for 11+ English Exam Easily Using 11+ English Tips

The 11+ English papers are designed to measure the English skills of students who are in the 11th grade. It is mainly designed for students who are in the UK, but it is also available to students from other countries. The exam is split into two sections: the first is a vocabulary test and the second is an essay.

The vocabulary test consists of multiple-choice questions, as well as fill-in-the-blank questions. The essay is a bit more complicated because it requires students to write an essay in a certain style. The exam is graded on a scale of 0-100, with the average score being around 45. The higher the score, the better the student. Parents should get resources like 11 plus English papers pdf with answers and 11 plus English worksheets in the fray in order to provide the maximum edge to their child in terms of 11+ English exam preparation.

Top 10 11+ English Tips from Toppers to Prepare for Exam

So, your child has to take the 11 Plus English exam? You and your child are in for a lot of hard work.  Here are the top ten 11+ English tips from toppers to help you prepare your child for the 11+ English Exam:

Tip #10. Start early!

You must start preparing your child a couple of years before he or she is to face the exam. The 11+ exam is designed to test the child’s expertise with the language and that can only come through years of actually practising the language. Remember, your child will be benchmarked against native speakers of English, so it is vital that the child is able to speak English colloquially.

Tip #9. Get a good night's sleep!

This simply means that you should not over-tax your child. Let the child get plenty of rest – at night, of course, but also at various times in the day. Remember that children need a lot of downtime, so schedule breaks and nap time within the 11+ exam preparation timetable.

Your child will also be tackling a lot of other work, including school homework and preparation for other subjects in the 11+ exam, so make sure you allocate equal preparation time for all subjects.

Tip #8. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly!

Provide your child with healthy meals. The occasional sweet treat is fine as a reward for work done well but do ensure that the child is generally eating wholesome and healthy food. Without proper nutrition, the brain can’t do its work!

Exercise is also important. At this stage in your child’s life, exercise comes mainly from play, so do ensure that you incorporate play time into the 11+ timetable for your child. This playtime must give scope for lots of running around to give your child the exercise it needs.

Tip #7. Don't cram!

Toppers agree that cramming is self-defeating. Trying to absorb a lot of information within a short time will always result in less-than-ideal learning. Instead, let the child go through several different sessions in which aspects of the syllabus are repeated at random. Studies have shown that this helps the child retain information far more effectively.

A leisurely pace of study will also get the child to seek more information on their own. Children are naturally curious and a prompt is generally enough to get them to explore topics in greater detail. With proper safeguards, the internet is a great resource to help your child pick up information on its own. Remember, the more your child reads, the wider its knowledge base and the better its ability to express itself in writing.

Tip #6. Use Past Papers and Sample Papers

11+ English Past papers, sample papers and solved papers are a great way to help your child prepare for the actual exam.

Be careful not to use solved papers as study material though. Instead, have your child face a mock test and then compare its answers with the solved paper. That way, the child learns exactly where it went wrong. You will find that your child automatically picks up the correct answers this way.

Tip #5. Practise grammar.

Grammar is not only tested by itself in the 11+ English exam, it is evaluated in all answers and in general, including the essay question and interview.

Therefore, it is vital that your child gets a grasp of grammar in theory and in practice. Thus, your child needs to be able to answer questions that are specific to grammar, as well as use grammar correctly in the main.

For this, reading and conversation are absolutely essential. Make sure your child has plenty of good reading material, as well as the opportunity to speak correctly in various situations. Make sure your child answers questions in complete sentences and correct those sentences if necessary.

Tip #4. Use Mock Tests

11+ Mock tests are a great way to prepare your child to tackle the exam. Have your child approach the mock tests as if they are the real exams: 

  • Give your child a day to prepare for the mock test. 
  • Set aside a time for the mock test and let your child know the start and end times for the test.
  • Ensure that your child will not be disturbed by family and/or friends during the mock test. Let everyone concerned know that your child is NOT to be disturbed between the start and end times of the test!

Tip #3. Make a study plan/timetable

A plan is essential for any activity. Draw up a study plan well in advance and make sure you – and your child – stick to it. Your study plan should assign proper time for various parts of the syllabus, as well as incorporate appropriate breaks and mock tests.

At the same time, the study plan should not be rigid. If an unforeseen event should occur, be flexible enough to change the study plan. For example, if your child is invited to a friend’s birthday party and the time of the party clashes with a study plan session, be prepared to re-schedule the session. This is where time set aside for breaks/recreation/playtime can be adjusted against study time. Simply switch the study time with break time and your child will be able to enjoy with their friends without having to miss study time.

Tip #2. Make sure you understand the content.

Go through the 11+ English syllabus. Make sure you know all the topics. If there are any topics you need to brush up on, use online resources to do so. Remember that your child depends on you to guide it for the exam.

Yes, this means extra work but your child requires it! If necessary, engage a tutor – online or offline – to prepare your child on topics that you cannot handle or if you do not have sufficient time to prepare your child yourself.

Tip #1. Make the right school choice.

If you are sending your child to a school that is no good for them, it will harm them more than help them. It is also important to go to a school that is ready for your child to start the year. The school you select should have the resources that your child needs. It is also important to do some research into the school you want to attend. This could include reading through the school’s website and reading some reviews from people who have already been there.

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What Parents Are Saying?
  • Using PiAcademy for 8 months, Simply Amazing website. I have a lot of experience with other 11 + resources and found it hard to find any more difficult Math papers appropriate for the more independent academic schools. These exam papers are amazing, and very easy to follow with the thorough solutions. highly recommended for every parent.
    Sharon King , 11+ Parent
    Great, My daughter is taking her 11+ next month so we are using these papers to revise over the summer holidays. These topicwise questions are well set out and is a great practice for my daughter. These papers are a perfect way to help your kid to be as prepared as they possibly can for the 11+ exam.
    Amber , 11+ Parent
  • Excellent, This website is perfect, initially i wasted three months just thinking whether to subscribe or not, After subscribing i found out that it was worth it. I recommended to almost all my friends and their kids are also busy now in practicing for 11+
    El Loro , 11+ Parent
    Practice makes perfect!, PiAcademy have come out with a super range of new 11+ practice papers, designed to stretch, challenge and test your child for forthcoming entry examinations. The topicwise questions include numbers problems, algebra, geometry, probability, permutation and combinations, measurement...etc
    lana green , 11+ Parent
  • Great exam papers. These test papers are amazing, they are a lot more up-to date than some of the 11+ stuff I have bought earlier for my daughter.
    gerry , 11+ Parent
    Using PiAcademy for 8 months, Simply Amazing website. I have a lot of experience with other 11 + resources and found it hard to find any more difficult Math papers appropriate for the more independent academic schools. These exam papers are amazing, and very easy to follow with the thorough solutions. highly recommended for every parent.
    Sharon King , 11+ Parent
  • Using PiAcademy for 8 months, Simply Amazing website. I have a lot of experience with other 11 + resources and found it hard to find any more difficult Math papers appropriate for the more independent academic schools. These exam papers are amazing, and very easy to follow with the thorough solutions. highly recommended for every parent.
    Sharon King , 11+ Parent
  • Great, My daughter is taking her 11+ next month so we are using these papers to revise over the summer holidays. These topicwise questions are well set out and is a great practice for my daughter. These papers are a perfect way to help your kid to be as prepared as they possibly can for the 11+ exam.
    Amber , 11+ Parent
  • Excellent, This website is perfect, initially i wasted three months just thinking whether to subscribe or not, After subscribing i found out that it was worth it. I recommended to almost all my friends and their kids are also busy now in practicing for 11+
    El Loro , 11+ Parent
  • Practice makes perfect!, PiAcademy have come out with a super range of new 11+ practice papers, designed to stretch, challenge and test your child for forthcoming entry examinations. The topicwise questions include numbers problems, algebra, geometry, probability, permutation and combinations, measurement...etc
    lana green , 11+ Parent
  • Great exam papers. These test papers are amazing, they are a lot more up-to date than some of the 11+ stuff I have bought earlier for my daughter.
    gerry , 11+ Parent

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