The week before the test

11+ exam looming? Here are some tips to help make the final week as stress-free as possible, and help your child go into the exam room confident and ready to do their very best.

      • Do a final mock test - at the start of the week, take a final mock test in the subjects your child will be tested on in the actual test, replicating as much as possible the real exam experience. Let your child be responsible for their exam routine (gathering together a sharp pencil and eraser, making sure they have their glasses/inhaler, etc., having a drink of water and popping to the toilet), and make sure they complete the test in timed exam conditions – whatever do or don’t come up, one thing your child can control in the test is how they use their time. (To find out more, read our Developing 11+ exam skills blog.)
      • Targeted practice - based on their mock test results, you should be able to see any remaining weaker areas. Your final revision sessions should focus on these, but don’t overdo it! You don’t want your child to tire themselves out with too many revision sessions, or to lose confidence in their abilities. Consider using Bond 10 Minute Tests to help keep revision focused and manageable.
      • Acknowledge progress - in this final week, it’s really important that your child feels confident about what they’re doing. Look at past results to show your child the progress they’ve made and praise them for their commitment and all that they’ve learned.
      • Keep to a routine - avoid making the 11+ feel like too big a deal by keeping to your child’s normal routine during the week of the test, whether that’s after-school clubs or visiting family and friends.
      • Something to aim for - if you can, organise a small treat for your child to look forward to after the exam, e.g. a trip to the cinema or a day out with friends.
      • The evening before - try and get your child to do something physically active the night before to help diffuse any nerves and make sure they’re ready for a good night’s sleep.
      • Support for you - often, there are some pretty serious decisions to be made on the outcome of the 11+ exam, and the week before the 11+ exam is often when stress levels reach their peak. Help both yourself and your child by finding someone you can chat to about how you’re feeling. This will help you deal with any nerves or concerns, and reduce the chances of your child picking up on them. For advice following the test, see the Bond Essential Guide to the 11+ Exam for more support.

Good luck!

The Bond Team