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How to improve your 11+ exam vocabuary

The 11+ exam is a crucial milestone for students seeking admission to selective schools. Alongside other subjects, a strong vocabulary is essential for success in the exam. Developing an extensive word bank not only enhances a student's performance in verbal reasoning but also boosts overall comprehension skills. In this article, we will explore effective strategies to help students learn new vocabulary and excel in the 11+ exam.

  1. Word Lists and Flashcards: Start by creating personalized word lists based on commonly tested vocabulary in the 11+ exam. Organize the lists by themes or word types (such as synonyms, antonyms, homophones) for better retention. Use flashcards to make the learning process interactive and engaging. Write the word on one side and its definition on the other. Regularly review and quiz yourself to reinforce your memory.

  2. Contextual Reading: Reading extensively is an excellent way to encounter new words in different contexts. Choose age-appropriate books, newspapers, and magazines to expand your vocabulary. Highlight unfamiliar words and make a note of their meanings. Try to understand how the words are used in sentences, as this will enhance your comprehension skills and aid in word retention.

  3. Word Games and Puzzles: Make learning vocabulary enjoyable by incorporating word games and puzzles into your study routine. Crossword puzzles, word searches, anagrams, and word jumbles not only make learning fun but also reinforce word recognition and spelling. Online platforms and mobile apps provide a wide range of interactive vocabulary games tailored specifically for the 11+ exam.

  4. Contextual Clues and Synonyms: When encountering unfamiliar words, learn to decipher their meanings using contextual clues. Pay attention to the surrounding words, phrases, or sentences that provide hints about the word's definition. Additionally, develop a strong understanding of synonyms (words with similar meanings) as they often appear in the 11+ exam. Expand your synonym bank to grasp shades of meaning and improve your ability to choose the correct word.

  5. Vocabulary Building Exercises: Dedicate time to regular vocabulary building exercises. These exercises can include completing sentences with appropriate words, creating your own sentences using new vocabulary, or even writing short stories incorporating the words you've learned. Practicing actively with the words helps solidify their meanings and usage in your mind.

  6. Vocabulary Apps and Online Resources: Leverage technology to enhance your vocabulary learning. There are several apps and online resources available that offer word-building exercises, quizzes, and interactive activities. These resources often provide progress tracking, enabling you to identify areas for improvement and tailor your study accordingly. We offer our own game at and a great way for your child to boost their 11+ vocabulary in a fun a nd positive way.

Conclusion: Preparing for the 11+ exam requires a systematic and focused approach to vocabulary acquisition. By utilizing word lists, flashcards, contextual reading, word games, and online resources, students can effectively expand their vocabulary and boost their performance in the exam. Remember to practice regularly, stay motivated, and embrace the joy of discovering new words. With determination and consistent effort, success in the 11+ exam is within reach.

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