A lot of parents have adopted the practice of giving their children lots and lots of 11+ plus past papers near the time up the exam to get them through the 11+ plus grammar entrance examination, does this method really work?

By - The Tuition Arena

January 2021

11 plus examination

In the pursuit of making sure their children attain the pass mark for the 11 plus examination, many patents have adopted the practice of giving them lots and lots of 11 plus past papers to them for practice. They even continue this up to the time of examination!

But does it really work? Does making your child practise lots and lots of past papers alone can do the job?

It is true that practising past papers gives a lot of experience, teaches them proper time management and upon all gives an idea as to how the paper could come.

However, there are slight disadvantages and problems that your child could face when this practice is exceeded. In this article, let us understand what could go wrong and then discuss what to do:

Shortcomings of excessive practise of past test papers:

Change of patterns:

Based on the school you are aiming for, the paper pattern for it and the syllabus would be determined by either themselves or some external institution. In any case, however, both the patterns and syllabus are not guaranteed to be constant. They could be changed owing to a lot of factors.

When your child excessively practises past test papers before a long time the 11 plus examination and the pattern or syllabus changes, all the effort would be wasted. Sure, your child would learn a lot, but as your main goal was clearing the 11 plus examination, they would now need to study additionally.

Induces a lot of stress:

Making your children spend hours and hours of practising past papers obviously keeps them under a lot of stress. This stress would have a range of effects on mental and physical health.

Possibility of not learning the core concept:

If your child is not able to solve a particular problem, what would you do? Just explain to him/her the way to solve that particular problem, or would you explore the general concept in-depth and make sure that they understand the concept and all its related elements?.

If you do the latter then it’s great, but many people might tend to stick to giving solutions to the problem at hand and ignore the underlying concept. In that case, your child would not understand the core concept and when a question is asked based on that, your child would not be able to answer.

Now that you know some shortcomings of only practising past papers, let us now see what you need to do in addition to the test paper practise:

Understanding the Core subject:

Always, your child should start with understanding the core subject and after having a good understanding of it, then practice papers should only be used as a complementary to test the application of the knowledge.

Learning Vocabulary and English through different channels:

Practicing papers isn't the only way to acquire language and vocabulary skills. Let them acquire these skills from other channels including newspapers and also TV!

Minimizing stress:

Children cannot work under stress and they must also feel that passing is the only allowable result. Sure, failure is not desirable, but you must not convey it in such a way that passing is the only choice. Give them moral strength and assurance that this is not the end of the world and you would accept any result.

Enrol them in Tuition:

If you do not have the time or might not be able to provide them with good subject knowledge, enrolling them in tuitions is a good idea. There are a lot of good established private tuitions that you can consider to join your child.

There are numerous benefits for joining your child into tuition. Some of the prominent ones are:

Taken care by Experienced and helpful faculty:

Generally, established tuitions would contain faculty that are experienced in the subject matter they teach and are with a helpful attitude towards students. With your children taken care of by such experienced and helpful faculty, they would understand their needs and create a working plan for achieving what they need.

Small teacher to student ratio enables better communication:

As tuitions would not be like a normal class where there would be one teacher for a large number of students, it would be easy for tuition teachers to teach and review each student even on a one-one basis.

A lot of time could be allotted for clarifying your children’s doubts than in their schools.

11 plus papers

Comprehensive teaching:

As teachers would have accurate knowledge of the subject and also changing patterns, they would be able to comprehensively teach the required things that would help them to reach their goal. In your case, it would be passing the 11 plus examination!

Final Words:

With the goal of getting their children to clear the 11 plus examinations, many parents are wrongly making them practise lots and lots of 11 plus past papers. It is not entirely wrong though, the practice of 11 plus papers has its upsides. But serious consideration of downsides is important. Changing paper patterns, high stress are two of the most prominent downsides of relentless practising past papers.

Instead of subjecting only through practise papers, children first need to be taught thoroughly all the basic concepts they need. Along with teaching language formally, let them gain the language skills they need through other channels. Finally, motivate them enough and give support that you would accept even though they might fail.

Enrolling them into tuitions is also a good choice. A great benefit with tuitions is that there would be fewer students and more teachers so that teaching the student personally and reviewing their progress would be a lot easier and the teachers would direct all their efforts in making sure that your child certainly passes the 11 plus examinations!

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