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Preparing for the 11+ GL Exam

What is the GL Exam?

The GL 11+ exam is similar to the CEM exam, with the biggest difference being that they are run by different exam boards. They both test Maths and Literacy skills, but the GL exam splits these skills into English, Maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness. The format of the GL exam usually fits into Standard (spaces are left next to the question to give a written answer) and Multiple Choice.

How Can My Child Prepare for It?

Unlike the CEM exam where questions are less predictable, questions on the GL exam will not stray too far from those of past papers. In this case, it will be of great benefit to your child to go over practice questions and sit a couple of mock exams prior to the day. Booking a couple of mock exams with us at ELC will be most beneficial as it will not only familiarise your child with the sort of questions they can expect, but it will help them become more comfortable with the 'exam conditions' environment. Results from these papers will give you an idea of where your child might be struggling so that can become a focal point of revision, whether that be with a specific area of the paper, time management or struggling to cope with an exam environment.

Revision Techniques

1. Focus on high marking questions - even after working on their time management skills, your child might not get around to answering all the questions, so spend extra time revising questions with higher marks. These questions often appear further into the paper, so if your child is struggling to answer lower-scoring questions at the beginning of the paper, encourage them to skip to the higher marking questions where the most time should be spent, and then go back to these smaller questions when they have finished. This will ensure that your child gets a better score as these bigger questions are where a lot of the marks go.

2. Practice exam conditions at home - a lot of children will be nervous about the 11+ exam as it will be their first exam they have ever taken, and will likely find the environment unnerving. To help your child become more comfortable with exam conditions, practice with them by setting up an exam-style environment when tackling an exam question (start off with a question that they usually do well at).

Set them at the table with a question, a glass of water or bottle of water with the label peeled off, a pencil, pen, rubber, sharpener and ruler. If your child has their own stationery encourage them to bring their own as it may help them feel more comfortable and confident. Then time the process with reminders of how much time they have left every ten or fifteen minutes, and make sure they are aware that they must remain silent with their eyes focused on their paper.

If they are having a difficult time understanding a question they will be allowed to raise their hand and have someone read the question out to them, so read out a question for them if they ask, but use a soft voice (which will encourage them to talk at an appropriate level). Get them prepared for exam day by encouraging them to go to the toilet before their exam, having a drink of water and a healthy snack, and going over some revision cards a couple of hours before.

3. Mix in some fun - whilst revising exam questions is important, too much of it can lead to stress and the idea that learning is always serious and difficult. Mix in some more lighthearted revision sessions that involve flash cards, quizzes, puzzles and kinesthetic learning that utilises movement and physical, visual aids. Teach your child about symmetry by using mirrors and folding cut-out shapes, or teach them about sharing by using objects like apples and oranges. Encourage them to read books they like to expand their vocabulary and give them rewards after completing exam questions like their favourite dinner, a walk in the park or watching their favourite movie with the family.

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