Tuesday, August 21, 2012

11+ book mine-field

Go into any of the book stores and the one area which is full of different books and revision sets is the section marked 11 Plus, but which ones would be good to go for and which ones are the best? It can be such a worry, after all you want to give your child the very best chance and yet at the same time you don't want to make it too much of an ordeal. You want to remain 'mum and dad' and yet you feel you have to be teacher as well.
There are several options open to you;
  • get a tutor and let them do all the work for you and provide you with either their preferred book-list and then follow their direction or they provide virtually all the paperwork and all yo have to do is centrally time the tests. A good option if you have the finances to be able to do it and have found one who not only has a good reputation, but a good pass rate and is liked by the children. Bad side, you often have to go to them because they are popular and operate from one location. This means taxi-parent is involved weekly or fortnightly.
  • join one of the numerous web-sites who offer 11+ tutoring via the net. A good option because you ca monitor what the child is doing and it involves little or no travel. The down side is, you have the responsibility of 'chasing' your child to do the work.
  • hope the school will do something on the 11+ and leave it to them, maybe get a few books and have a go at home with some of it. Good side is it involves, potentially less outgoings but could end up with the child getting no real learning of the skills needed.
  •  join a centre in the local town and let them take the strain. Up side, they do the work, downside is financial and of course the taxi-parent is in full swing again.
Whichever way you go it will involved books of some description and I will give you an idea of the one's I use so if you fancy following my lead then please feel free to do so.

OK, so let's start with the books which do some teaching. These are;

  •  Verbal Reasoning, Technique and Practice books 1 - 4 by Susan J. Daughtrey
  • Bond Series:
          • How To Do 11+ Maths
          • How To Do 11+ Verbal Reasoning
          • How To Do 11+ Non Verbal Reasoning
For the Testing, then I would suggest you go for the new version of the Letts/NFeR papers and possibly the Learning Together series as back up.
  • Letts, The Official 11+ Practise Papers
  • Learning Together Series: 
          • Non- Verbal Tests, book 2
          • Verbal Tests, book 2 + 3
          • Mathematics Tests
 If you are coming to me for tuition in 11+ then please DON'T GET ANY OF THESE, I WILL PROVIDE ALL OF THEM FOR YOU.
If you're not and want a good broad spectrum then these are the books I use and have a good knowledge of. They have proved over time to be the ones which reflect the standards of the 11+ the closest and as such give the child the best opportunity to evaluate their own areas of strength and weakness. The How To Do books are very good and I tend to suggest parents buy these as a matter of course because whether you go to a good tutor or not, its always good to have a reminder to dip into if you or they forget how to do something. I have just checked on Amazon and they have all the books available now, so if you are interested in getting them, then I would check it out.

So, you are in W H Smith and you pass the 11+ isle. You notice a mother looking stressed, not knowing what to take. Suggest these ones and look fantastic, or give them this blog address and get them to read this article. Either way you will be doing someone a favour and they will be relieved.
Have a great last few weeks, I am off on holiday next week so this will be the last article until I get back in the middle of September so see you then.

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