The summer holidays are over. For students in the last year of primary school, this means the 11+ exams are just around the corner.
The 11+ exams involve tests on literacy, verbal and non-verbal reasoning and Maths. Here are a few tips to help prepare mentally for the September 2019 exams.
Ironing out Expectations
It is important the parents play an integral role to help prepare their child for the 11+ exams. Parents should know what their child is realistically capable of. Encourage your child to express their concerns with you and share your concerns with them, keeping your channel of communication open. Explain why this exam is important and what is expected of them to achieve a place in the preferred grammar school. However, avoid stressing them out by piling great expectations on them to achieve more than they are capable of.
Another big no-no is to compare your child to their siblings or friends who have good academic results and nagging them about how you hope they will get the same or better results.
This will only discourage your child and mire them in self-doubt and low self-esteem.
Creating an Atmosphere
Take care to always create a positive atmosphere in your home. Let your child know that you admire them for their hard work and the 11+ exams are not the be-all and end-all of their life. However, that doesn’t mean you should cut them too much slack when it comes to the preparation.
Ensure that your child takes the 11+ seriously by giving them frequent mock tests and marking their work. If you feel they have some concerns about the subject matter or the 11+ exams in general, hear them out and offer them constructive advice and encouragement.
Don’t talk about the upcoming exams when your child is taking some well-deserved time off studying, as that will only increase their stress level.
Limit Screen Use
Make sure your child is as far away from distraction as possible; this means not keeping your mobile phone in the room where your child is studying. Allow them to exercise their brains by giving them short ten-minute breaks. Additionally, you should make an effort to stop them from using screens before bed as that can lead to insomnia, and a lack of restful sleep can result in concentration problems.
Revising for 11+ can be nerve-wracking for you and your child. However, you should not project your nervousness and stress onto your child. Instead, encourage them with gentle words and praise and let them know that the exams are not everything. Doing so can alleviate your child’s worries, instil confidence in them, and help them perform better.
Regardless of whether your child passes or fails the exam, praise them for all their hard work. There are many more schools that will offer a good fit for your child, and with help and encouragement, your child will be on the road to academic success.