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How to manage your time during the 11plus exam.


Girl preparing for 11plus exam

Many children have problems with managing their time during the 11plus exam. This can be an issue that causes parents and children to become anxious that they will not be able to complete the exam in time.


There are some solutions to timing issues and one of the first is to help children pace themselves effectively throughout the complete exam. There are many reasons that can contribute to timing issues and these can include fear of getting a question wrong or reading too slowly. A lack of practice under exam conditions that causes stress and tension – both of which further compound the timing issue.


It can be very useful to practice under conditions that are as close as possible to the actual exam. So it is essential that you, as the parent, know the exact format of the 11plus exam that you child will sit.

Is it multiple-choice? Is it standard format? Is it split into different sections that are time-bound? How many questions are there?


Knowing these details will make the process easier so that parent and child can work through the exam paper at the right pace. Many children go into the test without appreciating that it will be a test of their determination to some degree so it’s a good idea to get them used to exam conditions beforehand.


Practice done under exam conditions will help the child get most benefit as this should give the child a gauge of the speed they need to be working at. Some children can become fixated with questions that they feel they may have answered wrongly. It is important to move on to the next question and forget about the question they have just completed. If they are still considering the previous question then they are effectively wasting time on both questions.


Having completed a practice under exam conditions and marked the test you may have noticed gaps in your child’s knowledge. Focusing on these gaps and improving their knowledge will help reduce worry and help with time management. Spend lots of time going over slip-ups and revising areas that your child finds difficult.


Encourage your child to try to work quickly but not so quickly that they make silly errors. Keep reassuring your child so that their confidence increases. Confidence will be an important factor in the 11plus exam, if they are self-assured they will do better. Children who are worried or nervous will under-perform so it is important to have a happy, confident child taking the 11plus exam as this will help performance.


Always be aware that 11plus exam boards can modify their question types without warning so it’s a good idea to practice a variety of question types.

Learning Together 11-plus Publishers Ltd.

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