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.
These issues, plus others added together can result in a passing drop in 11plus practice scores.
This is a very common concern for many parents.
So how can we improve the practice situation during the summer holidays??
No-one knows your child better than you so pick and choose from these suggestions. Pick what suits you and your child the best.
1) Arrange to practice at the same time each day. Experience suggests that early in the morning can be best and so the work is done before other daily activities take over.
2) Do not let your child see the extra work as punishment so sit with your c
hild as they work on that extra test.
3) Your child already knows how siblings/friends/relatives performed in the 11plus and don’t need reminded! So, don’t make comparisons.
4) If you ask your child to practice “real tests” ensure that they resemble the actual exam as closely as possible.
5) Try not to become too anxious yourself. Your child will almost certainly pick up on your worries and this only grows the pressure on your child.
As a teacher I prepared many children for the 11plus exam and I have used this experience to write and compile material which, I feel, closely represent the question types found in many 11plus exam papers.
We do hope that this information is of some use and best wishes to you and your child for success in The 11plus Exam.