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Piles of Books

Make the most of a bad thing

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has impacted every single one of us, in some cases tragically. We will pull through this and normal family life as well as normal education will return. Until then, exam preparation is just one of the many areas of our lives that has been impacted. It's frustrating, but it can be managed.

11 Plus exam dates have been delayed with almost no exception. We are starting to see clarity around when the tests will take place and it's up to you whether you see the good or the bad in the situation.

Who moved the summit?

It can be a struggle keeping a child at the peak of their effort and learning for 4 - 8 weeks longer than you had expected. For many children, preparing for the 11 Plus is akin to preparing for a marathon, if you peak too early in your training then you may find it difficult to keep yourself at race-day fitness until the actual event. This is precisely why your mock and tutoring plan has been so important, but recent events have all but thrown it out of the window.

Try to remember, everyone is in the same boat. It might be tempting to see only the frustration in the situation, but if you work hard enough you can turn that frown upside down.

Staying on top

There are a few simple things you can do to help you, your little one and (where applicable) their tutor to make the most of the exam delays.

  1. Update your plan If you don't have a learning plan, it's never too late to make one. Get it on paper, decorate with your son/daughter and make it an activity you do together. Fill it with key weekly milestones, no more than one or two a week, from now until the big day.

  2. Use the original date There was a date that you were working towards, use it. Go to your favourite mock location (if you want some tips on that, see here) and sit a full or half mock. Make this a real line in the sand day and remind yourself (and mini-you) that if there are problems, great news, you still have time to fix them.

  3. No negativity It is unfortunate that exam dates have changed. There are things the school and the council could have done differently and yes it probably has been managed better in some other countries. Your son or daughter doesn't need to hear this. All they need to know is that if they keep working hard and really focus, then they can pass this exam. That's it, save the politics for another time and help your child to feel safe, secure and as much normality as you can possibly muster.

Got ideas on how to make the most of our situation? Let us know, we'd love to share them with the community.

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