Are you ready? The 11+ Countdown: 8 months to go

8 months! I’m betting that the audience is divided here between ‘that’s plenty of time!’ and ‘what? Where did the time go?’

Well, I’m here to reassure you that 8 months is still plenty of time to get ready for the assessments, but also the time that a serious stock-check needs to be taken!

Most schools release half-termly maths and English results, so you should already have a pretty good idea of how your child is doing in each of those subjects, and whether any work needs to be done to improve those grades over the coming months.

What needs to happen at this 8- month mark is that those grades need to be broken down into a little more detail. If your child’s school doesn’t offer detailed reports, then now is the time to schedule an appointment with your child’s maths and English teachers, and this is what you need to ask them:


(English specific)


  1. How are my child’s overall English grades, compared with the national average? This will be different to how they're doing compared with their classmates (and this might be what the school report is showing).

  2. Is there a difference between my child’s writing grades, and their comprehension grades?

  3. How could my child’s writing grade be improved (which particular topics are they finding more difficult?)

  4. How could my child’s comprehension grade be improved (which particular areas/ text types are they finding difficult?)


(Maths specific)


  1. How are my child’s overall maths grades compared with the national average?

  2. Is there a difference between my child’s grades in the calculator, non-calculator and mental maths papers?

  3. Are there particular maths topics that my child is struggling with?

  4. (If you are applying to the most selective secondary schools) Will you be covering all of the maths modules that will be tested on the (*name of secondary school*) entrance exam?


With this information you can begin, at this ideal 8-month mark, to start prioritising your child’s out-of-school learning. It may be apparent that they need a tutor to support their understanding of certain topics, or to cover more difficult subject areas that may not be taught in their current school.

Most importantly, do not panic! The more information you have about where your child’s grades are right now, the more likely it is that they will be ready for the December assessments (knowledge is power!) And remember, habitual, enjoyable, daily reading is the very best thing for boosting those English grades.

Look out for the 7 month countdown post, and make sure you complete your homework :)


For some amazing free 10+ and 11+ resources, click here! your 11+ sanctuary