comprehension tips

11 Plus Comprehension Tips

11+ Comprehension Exercises

Comprehension exercises for the 11+ English exams vary considerably both in terms of difficulty as well as content. In addition to this your child may have little to no experience of facing such questions within a strict time limit. This all means that comprehension exercises can sometimes be far more challenging than they at first appear to be.


The text: What to expect?

The text that is used within comprehension exercises may be either fact based or fiction, as well this difference some regions may use classic texts, such as Dickens, Orwell or Hardy (this is most certainly the case within Essex). In this instance it is essential that your child experience as many period texts as possible; a great place to start in this instance would be with ‘A Christmas Carol’ as the majority of children are well accustomed to the general storyline and it also serves as a relatively short text.

As an alternative however, and in other regions, text may not be the work of a published author; it may instead be a simple story or an informational piece that has been written specifically for the 11+ exam.


Top tips for effective 11+ Comprehension Exercises

1) Comprehension exercises may feature sub headings within the text. These should serve as pointers in answering the question. Your child should think of these as signposts and as a tool to speed up exam completion.


2) Your child should find a balance between reading at a good pace, and reading steadily enough to absorb the meaning behind the text.


3) You may want to encourage your child to write words within the margins of the exam paper to denote the key points of each paragraph. Bear in mind however that this should serve as a simple aid that speeds your child in referencing back to points within the text, as such it shouldn’t swallow up too much of their time.


4) Ensure that your child is reading through the text only once before starting on the questions; reading through twice or more generally won’t aid in retention and will most likely only slow your child down and eat into their writing time.


5) Throughout the answering of questions your child should always check back to the text rather than answering based on memory alone. This is particularly important given that comprehension exercises frequently feature numerous similar phrases and words.

6)Ensure that your child fully understands the meaning of terms such as ‘metaphor’ and ‘simile’ and is able to differentiate between them.


7) Remind your child of the one golden rule behind the 11+ Comprehension Exercises and that is to always remember that the answer lies in the text.


Eleven Plus Tutors Essex are proud to lead the way in innovative and fully bespoke tutoring lessons. Our small team of fully qualified and highly experienced teachers specialise in helping students who are more able in excelling and ensure that each and every pupil achieves the results that they deserve within the 11+ exams.

11 Plus Comprehension Tips
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