With this years’ 11+ exams having passed and with students receiving their results, it’s never too early for you to start thinking about next year.

By starting early you can give your child a huge advantage in the exams themselves, and boost their chances if they are going to apply for grammar and independent schools.

It might seem that the big day is still a long way off, but there really is no time like the present to start preparing, and here’s why…

What are the key things you need to know about the 11+?

Although 11+ exams can vary depending on where in the country your child is attending school, they will focus on several key components (or all of them).

Alongside English and Maths – both core subjects in the regular curriculum – they also look to test verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

Verbal reasoning will focus on your child’s ability to think, reason and solve written problems in numerous different ways, while non-verbal reasoning will present problems as a series of images.

Why is preparation needed?

Your child should learn the key maths and English skills as part of their school teaching, but some youngsters can struggle to understand the concepts.

When it comes to the 11+, a sound knowledge of the two subjects will provide a solid basis, although there is always scope to enhance your child’s grasps of the key theory and ideas.

Tutors can provide guidance and support in these areas, helping to build your child’s confidence from an early stage so that they enter the exam room next year feeling ready for what they will face.

Why tutors recommend starting now

Starting preparation for the 11+ from the beginning of Year 5 ensures your child has enough understanding of the basics from previous years, while still having time to tackle any areas that they are unsure on.

In addition, tutors can work through past papers to show your child what to expect, and can focus on specific areas of analytical and creative thinking.

Many of the questions in verbal and non-verbal reasoning exams will follow a similar formula, so a knowledge of what is to come should ensure your child is not fazed by what is being asked.

This can go a long way towards helping your child to build confidence in their own ability, which should ultimately enhance their chances when they sit the 11+ in September.