Our very own resident expert, Sophia, explains what pupils can expect on the day of the 11+ exam. She sat her 11+ exam 18 months ago and has just completed a very happy year in her new school.
The 11+ is the first really important exam for most school kids as it decides your next school, which will influence the next seven years of academic life.
The first part is choosing which schools to apply for. Teachers can suggest which school a student will settle best in, parents might nag about how far away the school is and newspapers will throw their academic results at you; however, visiting the school is vital and gives an idea about the atmosphere. This is usually the main factor for deciding.
When I did the 11+, everyone’s main worry was how to prepare.
Despite teachers equipping us with an army of revision papers, many parents were still not satisfied and promptly proceeded to raid bookstores for Bond papers and scour the Internet for the previous year’s 11+. One solution that many turned to was tutoring for the 11+ exam. Tutors are brilliant, one-to-one teachers who usually specialise in exams; they know where to get 11+ exam papers, how to revise properly and what schools look for in the exams. I had a tutor for three lessons in which we simply recapped key points and practised papers; almost immediately I felt one step ahead of the exam.
For exam day, we received a bucketload of advice: go to bed early, eat healthy food and prepare everything the night before (water bottle, pencil case, etc). But the most important one: just relax. Adrenaline isn’t needed in an exam; the 11+ won’t trip you up with quantum physics or jump off the table and eat you, so don’t panic. When you’re actually in the exam room, it feels just like a normal exam that your school teachers throw at you.
During the interview just relax, don’t fidget or talk too fast, and be honest.
When the magic day of acceptance letter comes, it is easy to get excited or overconfident. It is important to wait for the other results and think carefully before choosing. Don’t get upset if the results aren’t what you hoped for either. It could be for the best - maybe that school just wasn’t right for you. Everyone I know has got into a school and is really happy there and now that the 11+ is over, it seems really small.
If you are looking for a tutor to support your child through the 11+ visit the Tutorfair website and find fantastic 11 plus tutors.