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  • 8 Reasons to use online preparation for the 11 plus exam.

Preparation for the 11 plus exam can be difficult and time consuming for both the parent and the child. Parents frequently look for new and different means to interest their child and online practice provides one such method. Stephen McConkey, retired headteacher and author of the Learning Together range of 11 plus books gives us his thoughts on why online tuition may work for you and your child.

1. Short, sharp, pressure free practice.

Online platforms can be used in a wide variety of ways and at a time of day that reduces pressure on both the child and parent. They can be used anywhere and at anytime – even on holiday. A computer is very patience even when the child is making the same error again and again!

2. Generic practice suitable for most 11 plus exams

Many of these sites, especially the good ones, will provide practice that can be implemented across a range of 11 plus exams – including state, private or independent schools.

3. Take a 50 or 100 question timed test?

Following revision of question types the site should offer a timed test reflecting the actual 11 plus exam that your child will sit. Taking such a test in the security of the child’s own home will help to reduce exam day anxiety.

4. Many senior schools require an online "Pre-test"

With demand for places so great in the top senior schools many of these schools are setting a Pre-test to sort candidates before the actual pencil and paper test. An online 11 plus site gives meaningful practice and preparation for just such tests.

5. Child friendly support and feedback

After your child completes a practice session a quality online 11 plus site will provide an explanation of correct and in correct answers in a way that not only the parent but also your child understands.

6. Method sheets and glossaries provided free

Working at the computer is fine but your child will need something tangible to take away from the process. The best sites should offer downloadable method sheets or glossaries for your child to read, learn and practice with.

7. No tedious marking for parents

As a retired headteacher I know only too well that parents are not keen to mark 11plus papers especially when they may not be totally confident about how the answer is arrived at. Online sites remove this difficult task by having software that instantly mark revision or practice tests.

8. An almost endless variety of practice tests

With good software and a large bank of questions these online sites should be able to serve up the questions in a continuously random manner making the preparation equally interesting and challenging for your child.

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