• Learning Together

Why 11plus scores drop in the summer.


Chalk board image for 11plus exam
Are 11plus scores dropping ?

My child’s 11 plus exam practice scores dropped when we practice over the summer holidays?


Why has this happened? Here we explain why this might have happened.



Parents want their child to succeed in the 11 plus exam and often parents ask “Why have the practice test scores dropped when we practice during the long summer vacation?” Parents become very worried that this may signpost a very real problem as they approach the new school term in September and their child returns to school


As a classroom teacher I prepared many children for their 11 plus exam and I often found that children, even those very bright children, often showed a dip in their marks over the summer break and at the start of the new school term.


Almost all children see the summer as a time to reduce the stress of school and enjoy the break - well away from schoolwork and most don’t want to be doing extra prep work during July and August. As 10- and 11-year olds they don’t see or understand the potential importance of this extra 11plus practice.


Children recognise that they will be doing a lot more 11plus preparation when they return to school in September and motivating them to practice during July/August can be hard work for any parent. Parents can become irritated that their child does not “buy into” this additional practice and often your child will pick up on this concern there by adding to the problem.


Solid revision done over the summer months will make a difference to their 11plus


marks when they return to school even though at the start of term, they may appear to be getting worse.


Come September schools, that prepare pupils for the 11plus exam, will continue revision of Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and maths or the subjects directly related to the 11plus in your area. They then often move on to practice material that reflects the actual 11plus exam. Marks may slip as children are presented with professionally printed and compiled practice papers, that resemble the actual tests. They may not have seen such tests before. This plus the quantity of preparation in school can be quite unnerving for some children and scores may slip.