Deciding whether to make your child take the 11+ exam is one of the most important choices you’ll face in their school life. The end of primary school tests are not compulsory, and you shouldn’t force a kid who is dead against taking them into sitting them. In most cases, though, they are highly beneficial.
Here are 10 key reasons why you should consider encouraging your child to take the exams.
#1. A chance to get into a better school
First and foremost, the 11+ is an opportunity for your child to gain admission into a better school. Good students can thrive in any environment while it should also be noted that their education is about more than academic learning. Still, a grammar school education is shown to statistically deliver better results. You cannot afford to ignore this fact.
As a parent, you want the best for your child. The 11+ could be the ticket to a better future for them. Besides, they don’t have to join a grammar school even if they pass.
#2. Or gain the right placement
If you think your child won’t pass, you may be tempted to shield them from the perceived failure. However, thousands of boys and girls surprise their families and teachers each year. Even if your son or daughter fails the exam, the result gained can be very beneficial. After all, it will show their secondary school what level they are currently performing at.
In turn, your child will be placed in the appropriate classes. This prevents them from being held back by easy work or becoming overwhelmed by tasks that are too challenging.
#3. It prepares them for future exams
The 11+ exam is the first major test that your child will take, but it won’t be the last. They will face several important tests throughout the next 5-10 years depending on whether they go to college and uni. Taking 11+ mock exams followed by the actual 11+ helps them become familiar with the processes and routines. This can aid their future exam performances.
After all, familiarity will remove the feelings of anxiety and stress. This will subsequently allow your son or daughter to focus solely on their studies. It is the least they deserve.
#4. You can use it to promote a balanced life
Achieving a sense of balance in life is important at all ages. So, it makes sense to drill this into your child during their youth. Studying for the 11+ means can encourage them to adopt a healthier approach to screen time. Moreover, it will make recreational activities feel even better. Even for a child, the rewards gained from this approach to life are telling.
Once again, it helps them transition into the lifestyle they will face in secondary school. After all, homework will become a daily occurrence.
#5. It makes year six more relevant
It would be wildly inaccurate to state that primary school is focused solely on preparing for the 11+. Primary schools aim to help children develop the skills and characteristics needed to thrive in later life. Still, institutions will benefit from high pass marks. So, there will be a focus on the 11+. When your child is set to take the exams, all work becomes more relevant.
Moreover, it gives them the sense of inclusion that can actively encourage them to work harder. Without having something to work for, they could lose interest.
#6. Your child can develop a love of learning
Children will have to study for at least another five years after they finish primary school. So, it will be highly advantageous if they can discover a passion for learning. With interactive 11+ learning tools, this is far more likely to happen. Better still, the subjects will play a fundamental role in their future learning. So, this newfound passion should stay.
Once your son or daughter actively enjoys learning, they will be better equipped to discover the subjects they love. Whether it’s geography, art, or science doesn’t matter.
#7. It can be used to encourage rewards
Education is its own reward. And many parents will prefer to avoid incentivising their children with financial rewards. Nonetheless, the extra source of motivation can enable your child to stay more focused. In turn, it may be the catalyst to help them unlock their full potential during this pivotal year of their education. And it should build a solid platform for the future.
If nothing else, it underlines the concept that hard work is repaid with positive outcomes. That’s something every parent will naturally want to encourage.
#8. Your child can get used to their new school
Whether taking mock exams or the real thing, it’s likely that your child will sit the tests at their future school. So, it is an opportunity to view the school away from open day settings. So, in addition to becoming familiar with exams, they can start to picture themselves at big school. This can reduce any anxiety felt over the summer between primary and secondary school.
In truth, it is probably the biggest transition that they have encountered. Supporting them through the situation is only a minor benefit of taking the 11+. Still, it’s worth consideration.
#9. It’s a good way to track progress
Whether your child passes or fails the exam, taking it allows you to see how far they’ve come. If they progressed well from the start of the year to the time they took the exam, that’s a great sign. If they didn’t, you can work to identify the reason for the stagnation. More importantly, you can work on finding a solution so that it doesn’t continue.
The 11+ gives a foundation to build upon, but the next steps are the most important. A responsive approach should put your son or daughter on the path to greatness.
#10. They only get one chance
The 11+ only happens once in a child’s life. If they don’t take the opportunity while it is there, they may later regret it. Sadly, they won’t be able to do anything about it. The last thing you want is to be left with a child that dwells on the past and wonders if they would’ve passed. After all, this would prevent them from moving on and unlocking their potential elsewhere.
Once again, there is no need to force your child. Still, you should make them aware that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It could influence their decision.