Education is one of the most important aspects of your child’s intellectual and social development. The schools we go to and the things we learn shape our futures, minds and set the standard for achievement and hard work.
Choosing a secondary school for your child can be difficult. You need to find the right fit to ensure a bright future for your child, while still ensuring they enjoy their school years. With January fast approaching, the entrance exams are at the forefront of the minds of many parents. So, how do you prepare your child to sit and pass the 11 plus entrance exams?
At Accelerate Learning, we’ve mastered the art of 11-plus preparation and are here to explain exactly how to effectively prepare your children for their exams.
The difficulty of an exam depends on the knowledge base of the person taking it. That’s to say, it’s only hard if you don’t know the answer. Ensuring that your child gets the revision and 11 plus tuition he or she needs to pass their entrance exam is crucial. Revision solidifies knowledge in our memories and allows us to recall it properly at a later date, thus, it is an imperative part of exam success.
Independent revision allows children to take control of their own future and proves that you believe they can handle the responsibility, but many children will need a helping hand. Try to discover which of the seven main methods of learning your child responds to best and create an inclusive revision experience based on them. Helping them to study, as well as having other family members and friends help as well, could help your child to absorb the material better while strengthening their bond with you.
Private lessons and general 11 plus tuition can help your child to thrive. Professional, effective tuition improves the knowledge base, gives valuable one-on-one time to address any questions and can focus on key areas that they might be struggling with. Professional tutors know how to help children so they absorb, understand and retain the material – leading to an increased chance of passing the entrance exams.
We always advise parents to start exam preparation at least 12 months beforehand. This gives you plenty of time to identify subjects that your child might be struggling with and address the problem.
It can take months to see real, measurable progress across the four components of the 11 plus exam so the earlier you get started, the more progress is possible. Most importantly, be patient. Don’t expect your child to show marked improvements after only a few weeks. It’s perfectly normal for it to take longer than this and it doesn’t mean your child isn’t working hard or trying their best.
Ensuring that the weeks leading up to the exam aren’t filled with anxiety, stress and obsession is an important part of the process. Children need to take breaks from studying during sessions and between them. Full and complete rest can help to rejuvenate the brain and allows time for information to sink in.
Working your child all day, every day whenever they’re not at school can be extremely counter-productive. There’s only so much information the brain can handle at one time and just like us, children need to take a break.
Breaks within study sessions should include:
– A 5-10 minute break for each hour of study, which is especially important if a computer device is being used
– Relaxation periods between study sessions
– Periods of fun and play between sessions
– Reasonable session start and end times to ensure a full and complete night’s rest – every night
– Ad hoc 5-minute breaks if they start to feel overwhelmed
Exercise and Activities
Any sports or extra-curricular activities that your child does should be maintained. You need to ensure they get the mental and physical exercise they need to be able to recover and replenish between study sessions. Starting the tuition and studying earlier can help with this. As you can have fewer hours of study over a longer period of time, there’s still plenty of time for the activities that they love.
Lay off the Pressure
Micromanagement, reminders of how important the test is and strict rules about studying can feel like a good thing, until your child becomes so stressed and filled with anxiety they are unable to study effectively.
The best approach to take is one that applies a study schedule that includes you, independent study and incorporates breaks. It’s okay to let them know that it is important, but constantly applying pressure because you’re panicking about their future will cause them to also become anxious.
Try to relax and give your child all the tools they need to succeed, including plenty of maths skills tests, English tuition, practice tests and a tailored study plan designed specifically for their learning style.
No matter what level your child is at or which school you’ve chosen for them, make sure that you encourage your child to do well by being positive. Positivity is infectious, and believing in the abilities of your children can help them to do better than they would without it.
Praise them when they do well, even if it’s a small improvement or breakthrough. Give rewards and treats in the form of things they love and let them know that you are thinking. With the right amount of preparation and tuition, build their confidence and let them know they can do well in their exams and get the placement they want.
Accelerate Learning provides expert tuition and is a great 11 plus tuition centre to help your child reach their goals.