Six to seven year olds expand their vocabulary at a rapid rate, learning 5-10 words a day. While these are mostly learnt indirectly through everyday experiences, such as through discussion and reading, direct teaching can consolidate and improve a child’s vocabulary knowledge in readiness for the 7+ exam.
The reading part of the exam may contain difficult words that are not part of a child’s everyday experiences. Teaching of tricky words can lead to a better understanding of a given text. The exam will likely include direct questions about word meanings and questions about word meanings in a given context, so providing children with multiple opportunities to encounter words repeatedly and in different contexts will lay a good foundation for the reading aspect of the 7+ exam.
Good vocabulary is also indispensible for the writing element. Some children may be tempted to write vague language, such as ‘things’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’. These words don’t give the assessor a good sense of their meaning, and it doesn’t provide a clear reflection of the child’s ability to express their ideas. Exposure to a wide range of vocabulary will encourage your child to recall and include interesting vocabulary.
Schools may also want to assess a child’s reasoning. Familiarisation with vocabulary at this level will help your child identify spelling and word meaning patterns.
A guide to using our word list:
- Identify and practice the meaning and spelling of unknown words.
- Choose 7 words to learn each week, with a focus on one particular word each day.
- Learn the spelling. Various spelling strategies include:
- Look, cover and write the word.
- Orally spell the word.
- Spell the word as many times as possible within 30 seconds.
- Understand the meaning of the word. This can be done by:
- Asking your child what a particular word means on a consistent basis.
- Asking your child whether they can think of any synonyms for a particular word.
- Asking your child to say a specific word in a sentence (this will demonstrate whether they can apply their knowledge of the word meaning in practice).
Further ways to develop your child’s vocabulary for the 7+ exam:
- Identify and practice the meanings and spellings of all words on the word list.
- Read every day. Children at this age should be reading for about 15 minutes each day.
- Play games where children encounter vocabulary. Give your child some letters and challenge them to make words from those letters. Another game you could play is where you create categories, such as ‘animals’. Your child has to think of a word for each letter of the alphabet in each category, such as ‘boar’.
- Create stories with an emphasis on using particular words. Select a word from the word list and orally tell a story from it.
- Make time each week for shared reading (where parents and children read a book together). Ask questions about the text to your child and include questions on word meanings.
7 Plus Vocab list
7 Plus Tuition
Keystone Tutors have a number of highly experienced 7 Plus tutors who can help with exam and interview preparation, wherever you are in the world.
For more details on how Keystone can help prepare your child for the 7 Plus, please call the office for a chat with one of our client managers, or contact us via our request a tutor form.
Further reading on 7 plus exam
- 7 Plus Exam Guide
- Keystone Webinar: The 7 Plus and 8 Plus
- 7 Plus Past Papers
- Should my child take the 7 Plus or 8 Plus?