Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning are often amongst the hardest papers to prepare for when tackling the 11 plus exams. Below are some brief tips that will help your child deal with what may be unfamiliar and challenging questions, based on advice from Keystone’s experienced tutors. There are a number of core areas assessed in Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning, which it’s important your child prepares for effectively:
Core Topics in 11+ Verbal Reasoning
- Constructing words
- Understanding word meaning
- Working with numbers and algebra
- Applying algebra skills
- Developing logic skills
In addition, it’s very helpful to have a strong vocabulary when preparing for Verbal Reasoning assessments, and to develop a student’s understanding of language in general. This can be done by encouraging children to read more widely (see Keystone’s reading recommendations for more ideas on how to do this), as well as through regular exposure to word lists (for example, see our article on the UKiset Vocabularly list).
Core Topics in 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning
- Picture changes
- Picture moves
Non-Verbal Reasoning skills are much harder to acquire than simple literacy and numeracy skills. However, practice and familiarisation can help children to improve their confidence and ability in tackling this abstract area of reasoning – so remember to start your practice early and help your child develop familiarity with these new skills at their own pace.
Keystone Tutor Alex gives his top tips for preparing for the 11+
- "Start early, but start light, with broad-strokes revision of curricula, followed by more focused work on exam technique and, finally, an intense period of mock assessment and feedback sessions
- Make sure future school expectations are line with student’s own ambitions and ability levels
- Work in waves: periods of high-intensity work, followed by periods of lower-intensity work, peaking in the final run-in to examinations”
Where to find 11+ reasoning practice papers
There are a great variety of resources and materials available online for Pre-Test and 11 plus assessment. The most reliable are from Galore Park, although some schools do offer sample papers or links to the types of assessment they use (e.g. Latymer Upper, CLSG, King’s Wimbledon).
We hope this guide will be of use in your child’s preparation for the 11+ verbal and non-verbal reasoning exam!
Each year Keystone supports many students preparing for the 11+. The tutors we represent are experienced in the intricacies of the 11+ exams and how they differ between schools' assessments. We would normally recommend that preparation begins around 12 – 18 months before the exams.
For more details on how Keystone can help with 11+ preparation, please call the office for a chat with one of our client managers, or contact us via our request a tutor form.