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More than a mock 11+ exam

Throughout April to September we run a series of mock exams for the 11+, Upton Hall and St. Anselm's exams. We write these ourselves and base the structure and content on 20 years of successful tutoring and supporting students in preparation for these exams.

As a basic, all of the students receive a copy of the test paper, their answers and a comparison with the correct answers. All entrants also receive information regarding the cohort averages in each test which enables a clearer picture to be formed of the liklihood of success in the actual exam.

Sitting the mock exam is a great way to help settle nerves, practice time management and identify areas for review and development. However, it is the follow up to the mock exam that can be as equally important as taking the paper itself.

Often, focus will be placed solely on the score itself. However, at ELC we encourage all participants to use the paper as a revision tool in the days following the results being published. But what would be the most effetive way of doing this?

For maths, the paper will have a mutlitude of skills that can be practiced. We would suggest picking a couple at a time of the ones that caused a problem, review why these were incorrect and then try to write out a couple of similar examples. Leave these for a few days and then return to them to see if the knowledge and understanding has developed.

For the verbal reasoning sections of the paper, vocabulary is key. However, the term needle in a haystack is probably appropriate. There isn't a set word list for the 11+ but work can be done on extending confidence with the range of vocabulary a students has. We will be posting more about this in the coming days but one thing we can say for certain is that writing out lists and lists on unconnected words will be of little help in terms of boosting retention of these.

Another part to the GL verbal reasoning can be code breaking/sequencing etc. For much of this, practice makes perfect. We would suggest looking at sections and identifying whether it is a lack of understanding or just carelessness. Look for working out that should be evident. Students who try to do everything in their minds will make daft errors and drop marks needlessly. At ELC we offer a free verbal reasoning booster every Sunday morning at 9am which helps students build their confidence, understanding and speed. Little and often in terms of practice will also help boost the verbal reasoning sections.

Non-verbal reasoning is always problematic as each question can vary significantly. Using the ELC strategy of CLOSERR many students find that they improve significantly. As with verbal reasoning, regular practice will help but also the understanding that sometimes it may not be possible to identify the pattern. In these instances, students need to have the confidence to move past the question and not let their time drain away. As with verbal reasoning, we will be posting more about non-verbal shortly.

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