9 Tips to Achieve 11 Plus Success

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for many would be an understatement. Lockdown, furlough, hand washing, and social distancing has become part of everyday life. It has been an unprecedented time for us, and for many children it must seem as if the world has turned upside down. School life changed; holidays cancelled and visits to grandparents restricted.

At Hopelands Preparatory School, due to our small class sizes, we were able to open our doors to ALL pupils from early June. With the Covid-19 measures in place the children quickly adapted. Their resilience and perseverance shone through and deserves praise and recognition. It was a joy to see their happiness and enthusiasm at being back with their peers and teaching staff.

Last year we celebrated an 88% pass rate to Gloucestershire Grammar Schools. A fantastic achievement which we are very proud of, especially as we are a non-selective school. This is achieved through the individual attention and ongoing encouragement by our specialist teaching staff to all the pupils. Key to Hopelands is to instil a nurturing and personal environment which allows children to feel safe, grow and succeed.

This year the Grammar School Test is taking place on the 17th October 2020. Although this can be an anxious time for both children and their families, it is also a time of great excitement. Here are top tips from our teaching staff who have had the privilege to watch many pupils go through this experience and achieve success:

  1. Ensure a good routine the week before, plenty of sleep for your child with healthy meals.
  2. Confidence is key, instil in your child the confidence that they can do this. They have spent many months learning, reading, preparing and boy, are they ready!
  3. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. A banana or healthy snack on the way is a good way to keep their blood sugar levels up, which aids concentration.
  4. Arrive in good time, have two adults in the car if possible. Traffic can be busy on the day and parking can be tricky. Having the option of an adult taking the child to the exam whilst the other parks the car can reduce stress levels.
  5. Check your child has everything they need for the test, i.e. a magic pencil and a rubber. A break time snack, bottle of water and a couple of tissues are also good.
  6. If they have a digital watch, turn any alarms off. Emphasise the need for your child to calculate their timings during the test. Listen to the instructor in the room!
  7. Start every question afresh, if you struggle on one, move on and do not dwell on it. Every question is a new opportunity. Never give up!
  8. Track answers, double check that they are in the correct spaces. The answer sheets can be tricky to fill in.
  9. Prepare your child to cope with any distractions within the exam room. They must stay focussed and keep their concentration.

Afterwards……. celebrate!

Whether your child feels they have done well in the test or had a complete disaster, their commitment, time and determination deserve huge recognition. At Hopelands Preparatory School our knowledgeable and experienced teaching staff ensure that the pupils are ready for this test.

Year 6 Pupils leave Hopelands as resilient, focussed, and excited learners. Sitting the 11+ is just one part of this process, in the words of Malcolm X “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

To find out more about how Hopelands can support your child’s educational journey, please contact Mrs Sam Compton on 01453 822164 or




Related Posts