Helping your child revise for the 11+ Science Common Entrance exam
By Leah White
28 Jul
It’s never too early to start thinking about the 11+ Common Entrance exams, or the best ways for your child to revise to secure one of the coveted spots at a top school. Whilst parents are often told that children shouldn’t have to study for the 11+, there’s no harm in getting your child familiar with the style of exam they will face and revising the content that they have already learnt in class.

When looking at the 11+ Science Common Entrance exam, we can break the exam into three different areas that will be tested:

1.    A minimum of 30% of the marks will be testing how well children remember and understand the facts they have learned in their lessons.

2.    Also, a minimum of 30% of the marks will test how well they can apply their factual knowledge and analyse factual information.

3.    Finally, a minimum of 5% of the marks will test how well children can evaluate factual information, and may also ask for their own ideas based upon the facts they have learned.

These are just minimum percentages, so the actual papers will contain more marks in some, or all, of the categories described above.

You may have noticed that the words ‘fact’ and ‘factual’ have been mentioned a lot in the description of the 11+ paper above! Papers that are set by the schools (rather than by ISEB) are also likely to have a similar mix of questions.

Pupils will have to make sure they can:
  • produce graphs to represent data, both bar and line graphs
  • complete simple calculations to analyse data
  • test a prediction fairly
  • be safe when doing experiments.

Many of the skills listed above will have been acquired during science lessons, and can be quite difficult to revise! However, there is plenty of opportunity to test the skills in Galore Park’s brand-new practice paper book and by using real past exam papers.

However, what you can revise is facts!

When children have spent some time revising part of the syllabus (i.e. biology), you can use quick fire questions to make sure they have really remembered the facts. You can then use the same questions again in a week or two to make sure that you can still remember the same facts!

If children can answer all of the questions correctly after a month without any more revision, the facts will now be in their long-term memory, and they’ll probably not have to do any more revision for that exam. Then you can move on to revising the other parts of the syllabus (i.e. chemistry and physics).

However, it’s worth noting that quick fire questions do not test every fact you need to know. Children may find it helpful to work with friends and write questions for each other based on the notes or revision material they have been using. This should help children remember the facts, but also make them think about the types of questions that could be asked in the exam. They should then have a great bank of questions between them to use for revision!

The following revision resources have been specifically designed to help children prepare for all major pre-tests and 11+ independent school exams:

Tags: 11+, Pre-Test, Science, Science Exam

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