8 Top Tips to Improve Your 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning


August 06, 2014

For parents and tutors who never did the 11 plus non-verbal reasoning, supporting a child can be a daunting task. Questions designed for an eleven year old can make a forty-five year olds' brain spin! Luckily, our resident 11+ expert Madeleine has written eight handy tips to help you unlock any child's non-verbal reasoning potential. 

1. 11 plus non-verbal reasoning expertLook for the MOST obvious qualities of the shapes/pattern. These will be the things that you notice immediately when you look at the picture (color, shape, patterns).

2. Find a rule about these obvious qualities and say it out loud; like, "They all have four sides". Do this for questions about groups (what does/doesn't go), sequences (what's the next shape), and analogies.

3. Try out your rule on all of the shapes (not answers)...is it true 100% of the time? If so, you've done it! You've found the pattern.

4. Try out your rule against all of the answer choices. Find one that doesn't fit? That's the right answers!

5. If you're given a really complicated shape, compare one small part of it (like a corner, or a stripe) to the answer choices, rather than trying to deal with the whole thing at once.

6. Analogies and series questions look big and scary, but they're not! They just use more than one rule. So go back to step 2: find a rule and say it out loud. Then repeat. (There are usually just 2 rules, sometimes 3).

7. Code questions are also just rules! The rule is: 1 obvious (tip 1) feature, like color, matches either the first or second letter. SO: black dots mean the first letter is 'X' or white dots mean the first letter is 'Y'.

8.Cube nets: Sides separated by 1 square can’t touch. Look to eliminate answers where they do touch.

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Hopefully this advice will leave you better equipped to help your child do well in the 11+.  However if you feel like your child would benefit with some extra help why not take a look at our 11 plus tutors and search for private tutors' in your area.