It’s a question a lot of parents are asking, and that’s totally understandable. Revision and solid preparation for the 11+ exams in September are essential if your child wants to do well. But how much preparation do they need to do over the summer holidays, and what are your available options?  

Initially, you need to have a conversation with your child, as this will give you a good starting point. By ascertaining how confident they are, you’ll know a little more about how they’re feeling about the 11+ exam. However, if you want to give them the best chance of success, you will need to help them plan out their exam preparation during the summer and provide them with the support they need.

Your available options are really two-fold: you can offer to support and help them yourself or you can hire a tutor. Both options will help. However, your decision has to primarily be based on the needs of your child, your levels of competence and your available finances.

Preparation for the 11+ exam – hiring a tutor

If you go down the tutor route, your child’s preparation for the 11+ exam will be guided by the tutor. A good tutor will give your child practice to complete over the summer and will organise revision sessions closer to the exams. They’ll also tailor the revision sessions to suit your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

But also bear in mind, children do need to decompress from the pressures of exam preparation – as they are only 10! So let them climb trees, play and enjoy some of their summer holidays. Here at Coriden English Tuition, I advise children to have a break from practice papers for July but to keep reading and learning new vocabulary. From mid-August, we then run intensive revision sessions for children taking 11+ exams in September.

Hiring a tutor is a great option for those children who aren’t naturally self-motivated. It’s also especially suited for children who lack confidence in themselves and need the additional accountability and support.

Regular communication between tutor and parents is vital. The tutor will need to know if your child is feeling anxious or upset over certain elements of the curriculum. Meanwhile, parents need to have regular updates on their child’s progress, strengths and weaknesses.

Preparation for the 11+ exam – going down the DIY route

It’s tough, preparing your own child for the 11+ exam and it’s not something you want to start if you don’t think you have the skills, patience or time to see it through.

As with the tutoring option above, remember to let them enjoy their summer break. Look to either ease down or take a break from exam practice, in July. 

Sit and create a timetable together for revision sessions. Check-in every Monday to ensure you both know what’s on the timetable for the week ahead and reward their progress, as praise will motivate them to carry on. It's important to maintain a healthy balance between study and fun too, so aim to schedule in some revision-free days at least once a week. You could plan a a special trip or just let your child have some down time.

Also, remember to encourage them to read regularly. Vocabulary is a big part of the 11+ exam and reading will help them expand on their skills. Take a look at my blog for suggested books to read for the 11+, and aim for them to select and read at least three to four of them over the summer. 

Revision and solid preparation for the 11+ exams in September are essential if your child wants to do well. With both tutoring and DIY routes available to you, both options will help, but your decision has to be based on the needs of your child, your levels of competence and available finances.

If you’d like to explore how an 11+ tutor can help with your child’s preparation for the 11+ exam, you can find more information on both my bespoke and small group tutoring, here. And if you’re ready to talk about your child’s requirements, head on over to my calendar, book in a 15-minute consultation and let’s talk!

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