If your child is facing the Eleven Plus exam in Buckinghamshire and you’re thinking of going DIY instead of having your child tutored, Sian Goodspeed, Founder of Flying Start Tuition, shares her tips for preparing your child at home.

ID-10062150Focus on the weak spots

The Buckinghamshire 11+ exam covers a lot of areas and you may be wondering where to start. Focus on your child’s areas of weakness – find out what these are by giving them some 11+ practice papers to try out at home. For information on what to cover and how to support your child at home, come along to one of Flying Start’s free 11+ information sessions for parents, taking place throughout the year. Check out the events page of for details.

Little and often

A sure recipe for tantrums (both you and your child) is to try and do too much in one go. Doing ten minutes’ vocabulary practice four times a week will be more effective than trying to force-feed your child hundreds of words in one longer sitting. The same goes for mental maths practice such as times tables and division facts.

Each of the two Bucks 11+ test papers are made up of several timed sections so to build up your child’s stamina to cope with full exam practice papers, start out by doing short timed exercises, adding on more until they are able to complete four to five exercises totaling about 50 minutes.

11+ Apps

To add variety and interest , try switching to online tactics every now and then. Screen time always seems to perk them up. Try apps, such as the 11+ App series which includes maths, English, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning questions as well as answers and explanations.
Starting price: £2.99

Read, read, read…

Vocabulary is still your child’s number one weapon for passing the 11+ exam and reading is the most effective way to boost vocabulary. Encourage your child to read a range of genres and authors, both independently and with you. Try to help you find age appropriate book suggestions, and reviews.

ID-10048889FREE resources

There are plenty of free 11+ resources online, from games to practice papers. One of my favourite websites for building vocabulary is Free Rice which donates ten grains of rice to feed hungry people through the World Food Programme for every correct answer given. A great way to teach about helping others too!
Check out the Flying Start Tuition resources page for lots more free resources, including fun online maths games to help your child prepare for the exam.

Mocks in a Box

For realistic mock test practice in the home, Flying Start Tuition’s Mocks in a Box contains everything you need in one handy box! Each box includes a full set of ten mock test papers, a handy timer, pencils, a pen, stickers, a reward chart, a mini mascot and a guide full of useful tips for exam success.
Doing mock tests will help your child to:
• Improve his or her timing
• Develop exam techniques
• Identify weaker areas
• Grow in confidence
Practice doesn’t always make perfect but our Mocks in a Box will certainly give your child a better chance of success!

For the real mock test experience, Flying Start are running full mock tests at three Buckinghamshire venues during the summer holidays – contact us for details of these and our summer revision courses.

To find out more about our Mocks in a Box or other resources to help your child prepare for the exam, contact us today:
01494 772 898


Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and Care Bloomfield at