11 Plus: How to build a successful study routine

The 11+ exam isn’t until September.

While that might seem like it’s in the distant future, now is the time to prepare.

As I’m sure you know, the exam won’t be easy, and it’s not something your child can just walk into. 

So, I’d recommend easing them into a study routine now so they will feel as confident as they possibly can upon facing the exam.

You might have already started doing this. Or you might have one planned. But either way, I’ve mapped out a few things every successful study routine should try to include…


Keep it consistent

Successful routines need structure. So, do the same “thing” at the same time/day each week. That might be Maths on a Tuesday afternoon and English on a Thursday afternoon.

Once you’ve got that structure, sticking to it consistently is what makes it a routine.


What gets rewarded gets repeated

If your child struggles to get into the studying groove at home, setting small and easy-to-achieve goals can be a good way to encourage them. 

You could focus on answering just one question, and then reward your child with a break. Or 15 minutes of studying, followed by a break. What gets rewarded gets repeated. 

Remember to praise for hard work and perseverance (not just results!).


Plan for failure

Failure is not a bad thing. So, schedule a “hard” session from time to time where failure is to be expected. We learn the best from our mistakes! And it’s better to make them now than in the actual exam.

That’s the very reason I try to include at least one unexpected question in all our mock exams


Mix up the methods

While you should stick to a study schedule, the studying methods don’t have to be so robust. Try and mix it up where you can…

Gamify topics, switch between online learning, worksheets, mock exams, etc. Even mixing up where your child studies can help; if the weather permits, take them for a study session outdoors!


Choose the right materials

Make sure you’re studying the right materials. In Torbay, your child will only be tested on English and Maths, so those should be the focus of your study routine.

This year’s (2023) 11+ exam publisher in Torbay is GL Assessment. You can download their free exam materials here. 




Find out more about our 11+ group and 1:1 lessons here. They start every September and run through to the exam the following year. We also run Mock Exams and Bootcamps.

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