How can I use the summer to prepare for the Pre-test and 11+? 

7th July, 2022

If your child is preparing for the Pre-test or 11+ exam in Year 6, you may be wondering how much preparation your child should be doing over the summer.

At Enjoy Education, we have found that the best strategy is a careful balance of specific academic preparation, interview preparation, and fun! We want to make sure all our students stay on top of their academics, closing any learning gaps and feeling confident ahead of year 6, whilst also ensuring that they have had a proper well-deserved break ahead of the new school year.

Take a look at our top tips for using this summer wisely:

1. Assess where your child is at

If you’re feeling at all uncertain how your child is faring, we are here to help! The summer between Years 5 and 6 is a perfect time to undertake an academic assessment to help you understand your child’s areas of strength and areas for improvement over the summer.

On Wed 30th August and Wed 25th October we are also hosting practice exam and group interview days, which your child can use as an opportunity to assess how they might perform in the real thing, and ensure that they are familiar with exam and interview conditions.

2. Familiarise yourself with key dates

Planning is key! There is a huge variety in schools’ application processes. Use the summer to make sure you’re familiar with the assessment dates for Pre-test and 11+ exams, interviews and assessment days at the schools you’ve applied for, so you can prepare in advance. Many schools close their applications in the early summer months, so do check these deadlines as a priority if you haven’t yet applied to all the schools you’re considering. Get in touch for our monthly Planning diary so you can map out all the dates.

3. Stay on top of preparation

We know how hard students have worked throughout year 5 to prepare for the Pre-test and 11+ next year; help them stay on top of their progress with light preparation this summer. Some students, for example, may benefit from some subject-specific tuition to boost their scores in certain areas, such as non-verbal reasoning or English comprehension, while others might find weekly practice papers most useful to stay familiar with the paper format and track their progress.

Remember that some 11+ assessments begin as early as September of Year 6, so we want your child to feel confident before term starts so they can hit the ground running.

4. Interview skills: build on interests and knowledge

The summer is an important opportunity for children to build on their interests, try new things and keep learning ahead of interviews. School interviewers love to hear from passionate young people about their hobbies, favourite books and interesting summer projects. If your child would like to try a new passion project this summer – from building a robot to learning a new language or designing a fashion line – please get in touch with our team, and we’d be delighted to help them build on their interests with great summer projects.

If you’re not sure where to start with age-appropriate reading materials, please get in touch for our fiction and non-fiction reading lists. If your child prefers learning by listening, we would also be happy to share our recommended podcasts for children. We can also share our interview booklet for top tips and frequently asked interview questions.

5. Build a sustainable plan

It’s important to find the right balance between preparation and relaxation over the summer. We’d recommend using a motivational countdown chart to help your child visualise how long they’ve got to go before their exams! You may find it helpful to give them treats to work towards as they tick off the weeks or hit key attainment goals in their practice papers. Get in touch to receive our motivation and planning charts – they’ve proved really popular with our students!

We know that the Pre-test and 11+ can be a daunting process without the right strategy, and we are here to help you navigate and plan every step of the way. If you have any queries about how to use this summer to its full potential, please do get in touch with our specialist Primary team here.