Exam and Preparation Tips for the 11-Plus
September 16, 2021
Parent and toddler having a discussion about dinner

Across the UK, parents try to secure a place at the best schools, and the best universities for their children. There has been an increase in parents opting to send their children to grammar and independent schools, in order to increase the chance of their children to achieve the best GCSE and A level results possible, to enter the top universities. However, to enter a grammar or some independent secondary schools, 11 Plus exams must be sat by the child which contains various types of content not taught in the primary school curriculum.



When preparing for the English exam, comprehension is key. Students will be tested on their literacy so during their preparation reading and writing will be fundamental to their success. Students must start to build their vocabulary and push themselves in their reading from as early as year 3.

As well as reading in school, students should be encouraged to read at home whenever possible and should be consuming a wide variety of literature. This could include children’s books, non-fiction books, newspapers, and magazines. In doing so your child will not only expand their knowledge of the world around them but also build their vocabulary and literacy skills.

Getting your child to read is only half of the battle, however as it is also important to test if they have understood what they have read. Once your child has finished reading, ask questions to really see if they understand and more important are able to clearly relay information back to you.

Here are some examples of some great comprehension questions that will work with any text:

  1. What was the title and the author of the text you read?
  2. What happened in the text?
  3. What was your favourite part and why?
  4. What would you change in the text?
  5. Can you explain the meaning of … (Please choose a difficult word in the text your child has read to test their vocabulary)?
  6. What do you think happened after?


When revising for the Maths exam it is important to ensure that your child has a good understanding of the fundamentals. This could be as simple as knowing all your times tables or memorising the conversions between fractions decimals and percentage. Once a strong foundation has been achieved, it is important to expand your child’s knowledge beyond what is required by the national curriculum for their age group, as the 11+ exam will require students to cover topics and answer questions that may not have been covered in schools.


Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal exam is quite similar in subject matter to English, as students will be looking at the relationships between words and letters in this topic. To succeed in verbal reasoning, students will need to have a strong vocabulary, and there are many ways to achieve this. At inTuition Clubs we always recommend that child keep a vocabulary book with them, and when they approach a word that seems unfamiliar to them, they are able to make a note of it, find the definition and memorise it. Another method we recommend would be using prepared 11+ Vocabulary lists a list that we recommend to all students can be found here: https://www.11plusguide.com/11-plus-subjects/11-plus-vocabulary-list/

Or, a fantastic book which provides a wide range of activities to build 11+ Vocabulary can be found here.


Non Verbal Reasoning

For the Non-Verbal Exam, practice will make all the difference. Students will need to practice as many exam papers and question books as possible in order to adequately prepare for their test. To ensure that their revision is successful, students should also be completing question in timed conditions, so they can have an accurate feel of what it will be like when they must have to sit the exam in September or October. Practising a wide variety of papers will allow students to encounter a wide variety of questions at varying difficulties as students will often the concept of a nonverbal question but when they have applied their reasoning at increased level of difficulty, students tend to stumble.



  • Create a Study Plan – We’ve includes a free template of the inTuition 11+ study plan below!
  • Have a Realistic Workload – The worst thing you can do is be overly ambitious with your work schedule, as you can easily overwhelm your child and overexert them which result in very little being learnt.
  • Practice Practice Practice! – Getting your child to practice and study can be difficult but there are ways to make revision fun. This can be done by changing studying locations, revising with other students and always ensure to reward them for a job well done!
  • Allocate Time to Weaker Areas – if there are areas that your child struggles with more than others make sure a little bit of extra time is spent revising that topic to ensure that no gaps are left in your child’s knowledge.

At inTuition Clubs we give our students their very own study planner! You can download a copy here:

(Include link to study planner – doc in email)

You and your child can use this planner to organise their 11+ revision, whether it is practicing past papers or just spending 10 minutes a day memorising the vocabulary. The key to using this timetable is ‘little but often’ just spending 10 minutes on either English, Maths, verbal or Non-verbal can make a difference in your child’s learning. For each day fill in the columns with 10- 15 minutes of revision for your child and after a week you will already begin to see the difference in your child’s knowledge.


Exam Tips

Exams can be quite intimidating and therefore it is of upmost importance that your child is prepared in advance feeling calm and relaxed, not cramming any last minute revisions shortly before the exam.

During the exam, most children benefit from looking through the test paper before starting it as this gives them a sense of understanding of what is expected from them and this tends to relive any nerves that they may have.

In case your child is stuck or nervous during or before the exam, It is incredibly important to advise your child to take deep breaths for a few seconds.

Keeping an eye on the time is fundamental, as it is important that your child spends the recommend time on each section to ensure they complete the test on time.

Double checking answers and reading through the test paper at the end of the exam is essential to pick up any mistakes made by the nerves!

One of the best ways to ensure that your child is adequately prepared for the 11+ exam is through tuition and inTuition Clubs tutors are always happy and ready to help your child! The 11-Plus Tuition course is a learning programme designed to help year 3, 4, and 5 children be ’11-Plus Ready’. We foster a positive and encouraging online learning environment, balancing digital learning tools and small group tuition.

Whether your child is joining in year 3, 4 or 5, our tutors help children develop skills for life, practice exam techniques, stay motivated and give parents regular insights and updates on their readiness and suitability for the 11+ examination. Intuition tutors are dedicated to helping students pass their exams with a pass rate of 89%, practicing for the 11+ plus has never been a more enjoyable experience.

Book your free academic evaluation with inTuition Clubs below and receive comprehensive feedback on your child’s level and their aptitude for the 11+ exam.

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