The best 11+ exam techniques for success

I wanted to share some of the most helpful exam techniques to set your child up for success.

The 11+ exam isn’t easy. So, heading into it with a clear and solid strategy will help children feel as confident as possible.

Before we get into them, it should go without saying… 


The best way to build good exam techniques is through practice.


Taking mock exams under the same conditions as the real thing will be the most helpful thing above all else. That way, your child will know what to expect and can practice/learn these techniques.

Let’s get into it…


1. Time management

There are 50 minutes and 50 questions in the GL exam, around 1 mark a minute!

I’ve seen children get distracted by a difficult question and they end up spending far too much time on it. So, it’s really important they have a strong grasp on how long they should be spending on each section of the exam.

If they do get stuck, they should know it’s okay to move on. They can always return to it later.


2. Start with what you know

It hasn’t always been the case that children could return to sections in the 11+ exam. But fortunately, now, it is. So, they should advantage of it!

By answering what they know first, it guarantees they won’t miss out on any “easy” marks. 


3. Don’t leave any multiple-choice questions blank

It’s always better to take a guess at a question you don’t know rather than leave it unanswered. Make sure this is drilled in!


4. Eliminate the wrong answers

In those cases where your child isn’t sure what the answer is – particularly in multiple-choice questions – they should start by eliminating the options they definitely know are NOT correct.

By a process of elimination, they could find they’re left with only one option, which may well be the correct one.


5. Practice active reading

By highlighting or underlining the key parts of a question, it’ll really help to understand what it’s asking (this is exactly how I break a question down while teaching).

If your child can do this for themselves in the exam, it can make what might look like a difficult question much more manageable.

Getting as much time practising these techniques under real exam conditions will make the world of difference.


If you’d like to book into one of our mock exams, click here.


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