5 ways to master the 11+ test

Miss Garnett - Learning Platform

Miss Garnett is the founder of Maple Online and principal tutor. In her spare time, she loves baking, drawing and thinking of new, exciting lesson themes for her students.


Is it too late?

Every year, many parents ask me the million-pound question…

Is it too late to start 11+ preparation?

My mantra: It’s never too late to gain more knowledge and confidence. 

So if you’re thinking if only you could motivate your beloved sprog, there may be a chance they could get into the desired Grammar or private school, it is possible – even with a couple of months left. Have a look at my top tips!

1. Get them on side!

You will make so much more progress if your child is pumped up and motivated for the challenge.

If you start the conversation in a positive way, your child is most likely going to react positively. Collaborate with your child and try and get them to feel that they are part of the decision-making process. 

2. Free Assessment

Completing a timed exercise will be good to gauge strengths, weaknesses, and exam skills. We have a free online 11+ assessment that has given parents a realistic idea of the challenging questions and gives your child more exposure.

Reassure your child that these are not easy questions – especially under time constraints and full marks are not expected. 

3. Read, Read & Read

Reading is the key to strong comprehension, better vocabulary, and higher attainment in maths problems. 

30 minutes a day minimum would make a drastic improvement on your child’s grade. Try a mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts.

4. Vary the tasks

The eleven plus contains verbal, non-verbal, English and maths topics. I always say making sure you cover these 4 topics once a week is a great structure. Each topic accounts for 25% of the STSS marks. 

A mixture of online tasks (try our free trial), spelling, and exam-styled questions works best. Sometimes even reading a great book together one evening can be extremely valuable.
GL Assessment also has free 11+ papers to help familiarise students.

5. Targets & rewards

Teach your child that a positive attitude and hard work pay off in the short and long term.

My dad was a headteacher and created a fantastic ‘point system’ for my sister and me. If we worked very hard on homework, completed a household task, or learned 15 new words, we’d get a point that we could mark on the fridge.

I’ll never forget the day when I reached 40 points and got my ears pierced…


Finally, remember that it’s not over until the fat (11+) lady sings. Keep encouraging your child right until the end and I’m sure they’ll be fantastic!

About Maple

Maple is all about a wider, thematic approach to learning for Year 3, Year 4, & Year 5. We supplement and enhance knowledge gained at school with educational videos, interactive exercises, and downloadable homework.