You are here: Home / Blog / 11+

Study Tips for 11+

June 7, 2024


The 11+ exam is a crucial step for students aiming to gain entry into grammar schools or selective schools in the UK. Excelling in this exam requires effective preparation and a solid understanding of the test's structure and content.

This article provides valuable tips and strategies to help students master the 11+ exam, including effective study techniques, common pitfalls, and how to avoid them.

Understand the Exam Format

Familiarising yourself with the exam format is essential for effective preparation. The 11+ exam typically includes sections on English, maths, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning.

  • Components of the 11+ Exam: The exam is divided into four main sections: English, maths, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. Each section assesses different skills and knowledge areas.
  • Types of Questions: Practice different types of questions, such as multiple-choice, short-answer, and problem-solving questions. Understanding the variety of question types helps you become more comfortable with the exam format.
  • Marking Scheme: Be aware of how the exam is marked. Some sections may have negative marking for incorrect answers, so it's important to answer carefully.
Study Tips 11 Plus

Create a Study Schedule

A well-structured study schedule helps manage your time effectively and ensures consistent progress.

  • Daily Study Routine: Establish a consistent daily study routine. Allocate specific times each day for studying, and stick to this schedule to build a habit.
  • Balanced Study Plan: Ensure you balance your study time across all subjects. Avoid focusing too much on one area at the expense of others.
  • Breaks and Downtime: Incorporate regular breaks and downtime into your study schedule. Short breaks between study sessions help maintain focus and prevent burnout.

Use Practice Papers

Practising with past papers and sample questions is one of the most effective ways to prepare for the 11+ exam.

  • Past Papers: Use past exam papers to familiarise yourself with the types of questions you will encounter. Practising past papers helps you understand the exam's structure and timing.
  • Timed Practice: Take practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the actual exam experience. This helps improve your time management skills and reduces exam anxiety.
  • Reviewing Answers: Carefully review your answers after completing practice papers. Identify any mistakes and learn from them to avoid repeating them in the actual exam.

Improve Vocabulary

A strong vocabulary enhances reading comprehension and writing skills.

  • Reading Widely: Read a variety of books, articles, and other texts. Exposure to different genres and writing styles helps expand your vocabulary.
  • Vocabulary Lists: Create and use vocabulary lists. Write down new words you encounter, along with their definitions, and practice using them in sentences.
  • Word Games and Puzzles: Use word games and puzzles to make vocabulary-building fun. Activities such as crosswords, word searches, and Scrabble can help reinforce new vocabulary.

Focus on Weak Areas

Identifying and focusing on weak areas is essential for balanced preparation.

  • Self-Assessment: Regularly assess your performance in different sections of the exam. Identify areas where you struggle and need more practice.
  • Targeted Practice: Use additional resources and exercises to improve your weak areas. Seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary.
  • Seeking Help: Do not hesitate to ask for help when needed. Teachers, tutors, and peers can provide valuable assistance and support.
Study Tips 11 Plus

Practice Writing Skills

Good writing skills are crucial for the 11+ exam, especially in constructing well-structured responses.

  • Essay Writing: Practice writing essays on various topics. Focus on clear structure, coherent arguments, and proper grammar. Plan your essays before you start writing to ensure a logical flow of ideas.
  • Creative Writing: Engage in creative writing exercises. This helps improve your ability to express ideas clearly and creatively.
  • Editing and Proofreading: After writing, review and edit your work. Look for grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and areas for improvement. Editing and proofreading help refine your writing and enhance its clarity.

Use Online Resources and Tools

Leverage online resources and tools to enhance your preparation.

  • Educational Websites: Use reputable educational websites for additional practice and resources. Websites like BBC Bitesize offer comprehensive materials for 11+ preparation.
  • Interactive Exercises: Take advantage of interactive exercises and quizzes available online. These tools provide immediate feedback and help reinforce learning.
  • Online Tutors: Consider online tutoring for personalised guidance and support. Online tutors can provide tailored lessons and help address specific weaknesses.
Study Tips 11 Plus

Avoid Common Pitfalls

Understanding common pitfalls can help you avoid them and perform better in the exam.

  • Overloading: Avoid studying for too long without breaks. Overloading can lead to fatigue and reduced concentration.
  • Rushing Through Questions: Take your time to read and understand each question properly. Avoid rushing, which can lead to careless mistakes.
  • Ignoring Instructions: Pay close attention to the instructions for each section. Misunderstanding the instructions can result in incorrect answers.

Stay Motivated

Maintaining motivation is key to effective preparation.

  • Setting Goals: Set short-term and long-term study goals. Achieving these goals provides a sense of accomplishment and keeps you motivated.
  • Reward Systems: Use rewards to stay motivated and positive. Treat yourself to something enjoyable after completing a study session or reaching a milestone.
  • Study Groups: Consider studying with peers or joining a study group. Collaborative learning can be motivating and provide additional support.


Excelling in the 11+ exam requires a combination of understanding the exam format, consistent practice, and effective study strategies.

By following these tips and avoiding common pitfalls, you can enhance your preparation and boost your confidence. Remember, consistent effort and a positive mindset are key to achieving success in your 11+ exam.

For more tips and resources to help you prepare for the 11+, visit our website and explore our comprehensive study guides and practice materials. Sign up for our free newsletter to receive regular updates and study tips directly to your inbox.

Font Awesome Icons Share on Share on
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram