How to improve English skills for the 11+

You can’t improve English skills overnight; it requires a lot of persistence and practise. To help you on your way, here are a few tips you can follow: 

Listen to your child read and test their understanding

Reading loudly can help your child practise tricky words but also help your child identify new words they haven’t heard of and learn their meaning. Use this opportunity to test your child’s understanding of text by questioning them; discussing  the storyline with your child will fire up their imagination, develop their creative writing skills and boost their confidence! 

Practise spellings

Identify a few words your child has gotten wrong whilst doing their homework. Focus on “high-frequency words”,  words that come up often in everyday language. 


Use the “copy, cover write” method 
to help your child learn how to remember and spell independently.

Expand your child’s vocabulary

  • Encourage your child to read a wide variety of genre.
  • Share a book
  • Encourage journal writing where your child uses the new words learnt.
  • Use the words learnt in everyday conversations. 
  • Play “new word” each day game. 

We upload a resource for you to print and practise tricky vocabulary with your child bi-weekly.

Practise shuffled sentences

Shuffled sentences requires understanding and identifying the different part of speech which allow a child to then form a sentence and identify the word that does not belong. A good understanding of word meaning is essential. 

At SmartStepZ we believe each child deserves a bright future. Sign up to SmartStepZ Online and access past papers today.

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