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How to Ace 11 Plus Comprehensions

read to boost comprehension

If your child is a budding mathematician, it’s likely that he or she could underperform in 11 Plus comprehensions. Some brains are more logical, while others are more creative. Some children – perhaps on the Autistic Spectrum – find numbers easier to negotiate too.

Because entrance exams usually include a comprehension and writing task, it matters to swiftly brush up on skills to perform well in both.

Conquer 11+ comprehensions

  • To be good at comprehension, encourage your child to read different genres, more challenging texts than they are used to and to try reading a classic. Look up words that are new too. Comprehension texts are usually harder to read than most popular kids’ books. So spread your reading wings higher!
  • Nowadays you can listen to audio books through library, online and commercial apps, as well as national apps such as BBC Sounds.
  • Boost inference skills by following a system. Can you read the questions before reading the passage? This gives you a head start on what to look out for. In turn, highlight information and short quotes as you read to help answer questions later.
  • Summarise each paragraph as you go along.
  • When answering a comprehension paper, ask your tutor or parent to write their answer too. Swap to see what’s effective, and what needs more work. Spotting what is good and bad in your work is an excellent way to improve.
  • Talk through answers as comprehensions are all about assessing setting, plot, character. Work out what is behind a character’s comments and reactions. What atmosphere has been created? How? Is there a shock ending or discovery?
  • Be concise. A two mark question will often expect you to make a point with a quote and explain its effect.
  • Practise learning to ‘read’ characters. You can do this with any book. Pick an extract, photocopy if you can, and highlight language (verbs, adjectives, descriptions, reactions) that show how the character is feeling. Sum up that character’s personality based on what you discover.

Remember: comprehension is all about understanding the who, what, where, when, why and how. Focus on those elements and you’ll fly!

Need extra help to beat your comprehension blues?

Call on our trusty tuition team in the heart of Manchester and Cheshire, or online if you are further away. Whatever the problem, we’ll help you solve it. Just get in touch here!

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