# Blog

## Exam technique – How do I make the most of my time in the test?

Even if you are the most able pupil you will not complete all the 11+ test questions within the time limit, but the better you are prepared will help you to use the time most efficiently. This will result in you attempting more questions and a higher score being achieved. This blog explores different ways in which you can do this and get the best possible results. Below are seven simple strategies to maximise time in the 11+ tests. 1. Scan the question paper. At the start of the test just spend a few moments looking at all the pages. Why?...

read more## Range? Median? Mode? What does that Mean?

The different types of average is one aspect of the mathematics component of Secondary School Entrance Examinations (11+) and Common Entrance Examinations that many children find a stumbling block. The main issue that confronts pupils is remembering which form of average is which when faced with the mathematical meaning of the terms ‘range’, ‘mode’, ‘median’ and ‘mean’. Many children know how to calculate each form, but have trouble recalling the differences between the terms. Before I explore the different types of average, let’s have a...

read more## Essential revision topics for the 11+ test

One of the four components of the Secondary School Entrance Examinations (11+) is mathematics – the others being English, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. The mathematics questions within the test cover many aspects of the subject and the purpose of this blog post is simply to highlight the range of concepts that a child might encounter. Within each area the need to have solid number skills is essential, as is the ability to use comprehension skills to interpret many questions. It is vital that children know number facts, such as...

read more## Apostrophes – What am I doing here’?

Hello! My name is April Apostrophe and I’m here to tell you all about me. Look! I’ve appeared two times already – do you know why? I’ll tell you – WOW! – here I am again. So far, in this very exciting blog post all about me, I am being helpful by showing you that something is missing from the words I’m, I’ve and I’ll. What’s missing (oh, there I am again)? I will tell you. It is part of the words, am, have and will. I’m is another way of writing I am, I’ve is another way of writing I have, and I’ll is another way of writing I will. Usually...

read more## Reading comprehension – Now, what was that all about?

You can help your child to develop skills in reading comprehension. These skills will enable them to reflect on the text they have read and extend their understanding beyond literal interpretation to making inferences and deductions – ‘reading between the lines’. This blog post answers three questions: What is reading comprehension? Why is reading comprehension an important skill? How can I develop my child’s reading comprehension skills? 1. What is reading comprehension? Reading comprehension is an ability to read text and, more importantly,...

read more## Mathematical word-problems: where do I start?

Many children find mathematical word-problems challenging, even those who are competent mathematicians. The main difficulty is how to approach the problem; this involves deciding which mathematical operation to use and where to start the problem-solving process. In this blog post I will explore these aspects of mathematical word-problems and look at ways to help children develop their word-problem solving skills, which will help give them more confidence to use their existing mathematical abilities. Deciding which mathematical operation to...

read more## Verbal Reasoning – Now Let Me Think

In this blog post I will explore verbal reasoning, which is one of the four components of the Secondary School Entrance Exams in Gloucestershire; the other elements being numeracy, literacy and non-verbal reasoning. Verbal reasoning (VR) forms part of other assessment too, such as Common Entrance exams and Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs). This blog looks at verbal reasoning from three aspects: What is verbal reasoning?; What questions can my child expect to see?; How can my child develop skills in verbal reasoning? What is verbal reasoning?...

read more## Non-Verbal Reasoning – Shaping up to pattern problems

In this blog post I will look at Non-Verbal Reasoning in more detail. This is one of the components of many Secondary School Entrance Exams and other tests a child might come across during their school life. One such assessment is Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs), the results of which give an indication of a child’s intelligence and help a school to stream pupils for certain subjects. What is Non-Verbal Reasoning? NVR looks at how a child understands similarities and differences in patterns and designs involving shape and space. NVR does not...

read more## How can I help my child with reading?

In this blog post I explore three important aspects of children’s reading: how to support early readers; how to be a better reader; how to get children interested in reading. How to support early readers – as a guide, if a child needs help with more than one in ten of the words in a book then the text is too challenging: to persist with a book that a child is struggling to read might result in demotivation, loss of interest in reading and poor self-esteem. Clearly, if a child is to progress to trickier texts there needs to be an element of...

read more## What is a number?

In my previous blog post I explored some of the reasons why you might consider having a tutor for your child. One reason was to develop a child’s skills and confidence in maths: this can be achieved by giving them a better understanding of mathematical concepts, numbers and problem-solving. In this blog post I will look at ways of building on a child’s numeracy skills, which will equip them with strategies to handle the number problems which are found in all areas of mathematics, from addition and subtraction to data handling and measurement....

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