How to Prepare for Verbal Reasoning in 11 Plus Exam

Parents always try to figure out how to pass the 11 Plus exam successfully. 11 Plus verbal reasoning, Non-verbal Reasoning, English, and Maths are included as major areas. Thus, students must pass all four regions to get admission to a grammar school.

The problem with these subjects is that only two of them are in the national curriculum. Non-verbal reasoning and verbal reasoning are not taught in schools as in Maths and English. So 11 plus tuition Ilford, London, or Manchester is here to sort out their problem. Therefore in this blog, we will focus on how to prepare verbal reasoning for the 11 Plus exam.

What is 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning?

11 Plus verbal reasoning is ‘understanding and reasoning with concepts framed in terms. It aims to evaluate the ability to think constructively instead of just recognising vocabulary. Thus this subject is used to assess a child’s ability to think critically and use their knowledge to solve problems. 

Verbal reasoning exams can ask you different types of questions. So here are some examples:

  • Identifying letter sequences
  • Cracking codes on numbers and letters
  • Follow written instructions
  • Identifying words within words
  • Find a letter that will complete the following words

The Content of Verbal Reasoning

11 Plus verbal reasoning refers to using logic and critical thinking to solve English-type problems. Both sections are based on words and require extensive vocabulary. Thus verbal reasoning is often confused with the English section of the exam.

However, it requires children to solve problems unique to their ability to use logic and English. A child might be asked to combine letters from one word into another. So they will need to engage in logical thinking. It also asks them to demonstrate that they have enough vocabulary to answer possible questions.

This test is not the same as the 11 Plus English exam which focuses more on orthodox English questions, e.g., grammar and spelling.

Additional Information on Verbal Reasoning Questions

Here are 5 question types and explanations to help you understand the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning portion.

Hidden Words Questions

Students will need to find a hidden word using multiple words or other words.

Sequences and Letter Codes

Children will need to crack the code by placing the correct letter in a sequence. Thus this could be a letter that fits in two words but is still accurate.

Creating Words out of Existing terms

Students may be ask to combine letters from different words into one word. However, the new word could need to be related to the theme or grouping of words, such as animals and colours.

Matching Words

Children might be asked to group words on their meaning (synonyms) like the previous one. So the 11 Plus verbal reasoning portion requires children to have a broad vocabulary and a good understanding of what words mean (semantics).

Complex Words

A compound word is a combination of two or more words. Blackboard (black + board) is a good example. Sometimes children are asked to make compound words, match them up or separate them into their root words.

Thus this requires a strong vocabulary. While some of these skills can be learned in English classes, many questions will not be discussed or taught.

Format of Verbal Reasoning Question

The format of 11 Plus verbal reasoning questions can change depending on the question. Sometimes the question asks students to create new words from existing words. Then they will need to enter the word in the answer box. Thus these questions are classified as open-ended.

So it is best to speak directly with the school about which 11 Plus exam your child will take.

How can you prepare your child for the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Exam?

1. Learn more about Challenging Material

Parents should encourage their children to take as many mock tests as possible for the verbal reasoning test. While mock tests are not a bad strategy, they should not be the only way your child prepares. So support your child to read more challenging books to improve their reading skills.

Classic novels are an excellent place to start. Thus regular reading will improve your child’s ability to recognize words. It will help them to manage their time better in the exam.

2. Improving Vocabulary

Learning a language is a proactive process that requires time to embed new vocabulary in long-term memory. It is possible to improve your child’s vocabulary by giving them an edge over other candidates confidently in the exam. Start a word journal with your child, where you can record each word and its definition. So you can then go through the journal each day and quiz your child about these words.

3. Memory Enhancement

A good memory is essential for learning vocabulary. Your child’s ability to remember words and perform well in exams will depend on how well they recall them. Thus spend some time with your child playing memory games. You can find several memory games online and easily download learning apps. 

Therefore encouraging your child to play these games can make screen time more fun and productive.

4. Mock Tests

11 Plus mock exam is necessary. The skills are essential, but they won’t work if your child doesn’t understand the questions or cannot complete the test timely. Thus mock tests can help your child become familiar with the exam questions and develop an exam strategy.

Preparing well in advance is important so that your child builds their vocabulary and confidence. Thus this will help them to be able to answer these types of questions without stress. Excellent 11 Plus exam preparation is essential for solving verbal reasoning problems quickly and accurately.

Closing Words

This is only one part of 11 Plus verbal reasoning training for your child. These activities don’t promote logical thinking skills. These skills can only develop through personalised tutoring and practice answering these questions. Your child will only be able to master these challenging questions if they are exposed to them regularly.

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