Are you ready? The 11+ Countdown: 3 months to go

The new academic year has begun and I can smell autumn in the air!


With just three months to go until the assessments, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and nothing is nittier or grittier than PEE! Yep- you read that correctly. I haven’t gone mad. For those who are unfamiliar with the technique, PEE stands for Point-Evidence-Explanation and is a formula used to structure comprehension responses. You may see PEE written as PEA or PET but they are they all mean more or less the same thing.


In your child’s comprehension paper, there will be a number of 3, 4, 5, and 6 mark questions that are best answered using the PEE structure, as it allows children to easily include quotations in their responses (and examiners will be looking out for clearly answered and well-structured responses).


A typical ‘thoughts and feelings’ style question might look something like this:


“How does Charlie feel in paragraph three? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.” (3 marks)


The phrase ‘use evidence’ is a big clue that PEE would be the best formula to use in this situation. It is instructing the children to use a quotation to support their answer. WIthout this quotation, it will not be possible for them to achieve the three marks.


Using the PEE method, and answer to this question (assuming that we had just read all about Charlie) might look something like this:


Charlie feels disappointed in paragraph three, as shown in the following lines: ‘Charlie’s heart sank. He had expected the dart to travel further.’ The metaphor ‘Charlie’s heart sank’ shows the reader that his hopes have been dashed and that his heart is not ‘light’ or ‘joyful’, as it might have been if the dart had travelled as expected.


This paragraph tightly follows the PEE formula:


Point- Charlie feels disappointed

Evidence- ‘Charlie’s heart sank.... Further’

Explanation- The metaphor from the quotation has been explained in detail


The point is always a short and direct answer to the question. The quotation must be inside quotation marks and cannot be paraphrased- it must be directly copied from the text. In the evidence section, children must pick out a specific device, word or phrase and explain it in detail.


The list below shows how many PEE paragraphs are necessary for 3, 4, 5, and 6 mark questions:

No. of marks     No. of PEE paragraphs
       3                                  1

       4                                  2

       5                                  3

       6                                  4


Double check with your child that they feel confident using the PEE format and that their PEE paragraphs are well structured; it is usually in the ‘explanation’ section that children lose marks, as they are not able to explain the effect of words used in the quotations they have selected. If this is the case with your child, then practise picking out phrases and explaining them in detail.


Enjoy the new term everyone!


Aisha x