Stress-free 11 Plus preparation for Parents
Make 11 Plus Exam preparation fulfilling and stress-free for the whole family in 3 easy steps.
Preparing for the 11 Plus Exam can sometimes feel like an uphill battle that’s stressful for everyone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to online learning platforms like this one, preparing for the 11 Plus Exam has never been more affordable, convenient, effective and fun. Here’s how to build your child’s confidence and minimise family stress in 3 easy steps.
Step #1: Preparation is everything
Your child needs to prepare for four major sections in the 11 Plus Exam: Maths, English, Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning. Whether your child is an academic wizard or needs some extra attention, 11 Plus Exam success comes as much from being familiar and confident with the format of the test as with the content being tested. A convenient and effective way to prepare for both the content and format of the exam, and to minimise stress and build confidence, is online.
Whether you’re using a tutor or doing the DIY approach, ensure that you start preparing your child early and in small doses. Next, consider what works for your child. Do they enjoy playing games? Do they work well on their own or in groups? Do they need incentives? What is their concentration span? Do they struggle with certain question formats? Consider these when working on the four exam areas.
Your child may have a good grasp of the content, but an unfamiliar exam format can be a source of stress and not performing on the day. Build your child’s confidence and familiarity by having them practice different kinds of questions expected in each section. Then, introduce mock exams from different schools and regions. This will help them feel prepared for different exam formats, build their mental stamina and time management skills.
You’ve heard of the saying, “The more you practice, the luckier you get.” Help your child perfect question format and time management.
Step #2: Learning good study habits
As your child progresses through primary, secondary and tertiary education, it’s important they learn good study habits that will serve them well in the future and encourage life-long learning. Familiarise your child with the following good habits:
- Ensure the study space is calm and quiet.
- Does your child have a desk and chair for study time? It’s important they don’t develop a habit of working in bed, as their bed must be associated with a place of rest, not exam pressure and mental stimulation.
- Using a calendar, help them to set study milestones, goals and rewards so they feel empowered and in control of their study activity.
- Develop the habit of taking short breaks between periods of study. Remember, short is the key – 10 to 15 minutes.
- The best way to learn is to teach. Have your child explain concepts to you to gauge their understanding and progress.
- Teach your child about good nutrition and hydration while studying. Junk food and sugary drinks (including energy drinks and caffeine) cause energy slumps and brain fog, two enemies of successful studying.
- Establish study boundaries. It’s important to have down time on weekends, not to study close to bed time, and not to cram the night before a test. Agree on when your child is expected to study, and when it’s cut off time. It will make for a much happier home life.
- For more ideas on how your child can get the most out of their study time, consider online learning.
Step #3: Creating routine
In many stages of child development, routine is important in developing good behaviours. In small children, for example, the habit of tidying up is formed by singing songs and putting toys away at a certain time. Sleep routines are formed with tea time, bath, story time and bed. In the same way with older children, getting in to the habit of knowing 4pm to 5pm is study time followed by a break and tea at 6:30pm will make studying something they know needs to happen without it being a daily battle.
While many of these tips focus on your child, the benefits can be felt by the whole family by preventing stress from affecting relationships and family dynamics during exam preparation. Beyond the 11 Plus, your child will be armed with study positive habits that will help them succeed academically and achieve their goals.