Vocabulary plays a crucial part in all aspects of communication; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Children taking the 8 Plus exam will need to have a good range of vocabulary to call on in interviews, and when completing the reading, writing and reasoning aspects of the entrance exams.
This age group will be developing their use of logic and understanding of cause and effect. Comprehension questions at this level can include direct questions about word meanings and locating the meaning of a word in a given context. Schools will also want to assess a child’s ability to make inferences; where one has to use clues in the text to give an answer that has not been directly listed in the text. Sound vocabulary knowledge can help with answering these kinds of questions.
Good vocabulary usage in the writing part of the 8+ exam will help can help set a child apart from other candidates. Using interesting and exciting language is clear to see and will have an instant impact in a written piece. Familiarisation with vocabulary at this level will also help your child identify spelling and word meaning patterns that may come up in a reasoning assessment.
A guide to using our 8 Plus word list:
- Identify and practice the meaning and spelling of unknown words.
- Choose 10 words to learn each week, with a focus on one or two words 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, too. This can be done by:
- Ask your child what a particular word means on a consistent basis.
- Ask your child whether they can think of any synonyms for a particular word.
- Ask 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 8 Plus 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 at least 20 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). As well as asking questions on word meanings, you could introduce open-ended questions, such as, ‘why do you think this happened?’
8 Plus Vocabulary List
8 Plus Tuition
Keystone Tutors have a number of highly experienced 8 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 8 Plus, please call the office for a chat with one of our client managers, or contact us via our request a tutor form.