How to Prepare for The 11+ Exam

Last Updated: 03 Jul 23
Several 10 year old children reading books and preparing for the 11+ exam

How to prepare for the 11+ Exam?

Welcome to Teachers To Your Home, your trusted source for high-quality home and online tuition across the UK. If you're a parent or guardian with a child preparing for the 11+ exam, you've come to the right place. The 11+ exam is a crucial milestone for students aiming to gain entry into prestigious grammar schools. In this article, we'll explore effective strategies and resources to help your child succeed in this important examination.

Understanding the 11+ Exam

Before diving into preparation tips, it's essential to have a solid understanding of the 11+ exam. Our 11+ Exam for Grammar School Entry blog post provides a comprehensive overview of the exam structure, content, and expectations. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the key details to better support your child throughout their preparation.

The Importance of Preparation

Proper preparation is crucial for success in the 11+ exam. While some children may have a natural aptitude for the topics covered, it's important to remember that thorough preparation significantly enhances their chances of achieving a high score. Regardless of whether your child is naturally gifted or requires additional support, tailored preparation can make a significant difference.

Start Early and Set Goals

It's advisable to start the preparation process early to allow ample time for your child to develop the necessary skills and knowledge. Many parents wonder, "At what age can you start tutoring?" The answer varies, but generally, starting around the age of 8 to 9 gives children a solid foundation for the 11+ exam.

Setting specific goals is essential for effective preparation. Determine the grammar schools you wish to target and understand their specific entry requirements. This information will guide your child's study plan and ensure they focus on the relevant topics.

Subjects Covered in the 11+ Exam

The 11+ exam typically includes subjects such as English, Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning, and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Each subject requires a unique set of skills and preparation methods.

Preparing for the 11+ Exam: Tips and Strategies

Here are some valuable tips and strategies to help your child succeed:

1. Start Early

It's never too early to start preparing for the 11+ exam. Many parents begin the preparation process as early as Year 3 or Year 4, especially if they aim for highly competitive grammar schools. Starting early allows your child to develop a solid foundation in key subjects, build essential skills, and gain confidence over time.

Related article: At What Age Can You Start Tutoring?

2. Understand the Exam Format

Make sure you thoroughly understand the format of the 11+ exam for the specific grammar schools your child is targeting. Familiarize yourself with the types of questions, time limits, and scoring criteria. This knowledge will help you tailor your child's preparation accordingly and focus on the areas that require more attention.

Related article: Understanding Your Child's Curriculum

3. Create a Study Plan

Develop a structured study plan that covers all the relevant subjects and topics. Divide the study sessions into manageable chunks and allocate specific time slots for each subject. This approach ensures that your child covers all the necessary material without feeling overwhelmed.

Related article: How Often Should My Child Be Tutored?

4. Practice Past Papers

One of the most effective ways to prepare for the 11+ exam is by practicing past papers. These papers give your child a sense of the exam's style, improve time management skills, and help identify areas that require additional work. Encourage your child to attempt a variety of past papers to enhance their confidence and familiarity with different question formats.

Related article: How Do I Prepare for the 11+ Exam?

5. Seek Professional Guidance

Consider enlisting the help of a qualified tutor or tuition agency, like Teachers To Your Home, to provide additional support and guidance. A skilled tutor can assess your child's strengths and weaknesses, tailor the learning experience to their needs, and offer personalized strategies to excel in the exam.

6. Focus on Time Management

Time management is crucial during the 11+ exam. Encourage your child to practice answering questions within the allocated time limits. Teach them strategies for managing their time effectively, such as skimming through longer passages, identifying keywords, and prioritizing questions based on difficulty.

Related article: How Long Should a Tutoring Session Last?

7. Develop Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Skills

Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning are essential components of the 11+ exam. Help your child develop these skills by providing practice materials and exercises that focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. Practice regularly to improve their speed and accuracy in these areas.

Related article: How to Improve Reasoning Skills?

8. Maintain a Balanced Approach

While preparing for the 11+ exam is important, it's equally crucial to maintain a balanced approach. Ensure your child has enough time for relaxation, hobbies, and physical activities. A well-rested and happy child performs better academically, so encourage breaks and create a supportive environment.

Related article: Importance of a Balanced Lifestyle for Students


Preparing for the 11+ exam requires dedication, structured planning, and consistent effort. By starting early, understanding the exam format, creating a study plan, practising past papers, seeking professional guidance, focusing on time management, developing reasoning skills, and maintaining a balanced approach, your child will be well-prepared to tackle the challenges of the exam.

Remember, the 11+ exam is just one aspect of your child's educational journey. Regardless of the outcome, provide them with continuous support, encouragement, and opportunities to grow. Good luck!

Related article: Supporting Your Child's Educational Journey

Example Site - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Found this useful? Send it to someone else!
We only offer qualified teachers
blog swoosh
for home or online tuition

We're better than tutors. We're teachers available and ready to work for you.

Thank you for downloading a blog from