The core subjects for success in the 11+ are English and Maths. A wide vocabulary and accurate spelling are essential for Verbal Reasoning papers, and most papers also have mathematical questions on them which require a child to be secure in the basic operations of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Non-Verbal Reasoning papers require the child to have an awareness of shapes and to use logical deduction to follow a sequence. Although the relationship with everyday maths may seem tenuous, there are several mathematical skills that are applied in NVR, such as symmetry and a knowledge of 3-D shapes.
Years 3 and 4
This is the ideal time to make sure that your child has secure foundations in both subject areas. To increase your child’s vocabulary encourage them to read. It is important that not only do they read independently but they also read to an adult. Reading to an adult will mean that when your child comes across a new word it can be discussed and understood. This is also a time to develop comprehension skills as this is a key component of the 11+.
Good spelling is important for Verbal Reasoning. There are many resources on the internet but it is essential that only UK based websites are used for spelling practice.
Number bonds and times tables need to be strong by the end of year 4 and the best way to do these is through practice. This is a good time to start developing the skill of solving one step word problems so your child can start to recognise what operation is required from the problem.
Year 5 is an important year in the preparation for the 11+. Where the tests consist of more papers â€“ especially an English essay â€“ it is necessary to start tuition at the beginning of Year 5 because of the sheer volume of material and practice that is needed to cover the ground. During this time your child will get used to Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning questions as well as working through Maths topics which are new and unfamiliar to your child. They will also be getting used to doing questions in a set time.
The Summer Break
The 11+ tests in the majority of areas take place in the early autumn and a six week break is likely to leave your childâ€™s head â€œnice and emptyâ€ (as Professor Dumbledore put it to the pupils of Hogwarts). Although it seems heartless, continuing to do some work on 11+ practice during the holidays is essential when the test is looming.
Let The Learning Academy take the worry out of 11+ preparation.
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