Ace Your 11 Plus English Mock Exam

Updated:May 10, 2024
Author:Creative Hare

Hi Parents,

If your child is gearing up for their 11 Plus English mock exam, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into everything you want to know, from preparing mentally and visually to handling any unexpected low score like a champ!


Understanding 11 Plus English Mock Exam

First off, what are these mock exams all about?

They’re practice exams designed to get your child ready for the real deal. They cover grammar, comprehension and sometimes creative writing – all crucial parts of the 11 Plus English test. Often, the mock exam content is harder than the real thing and sometimes includes some obscure questions.


Online vs. In-person 11 Plus Mock Exams

If you’re not sure whether to book an online or in-person mock exam then here are some helpful pointers to help you decide: 


Online Mock Exams


Convenience: Your child can take the exam from the comfort of home. No need to travel or worry about getting to a specific location. 

Flexibility: Online exams often offer flexible scheduling options, so you can choose a time that works best for your child.

Variety: There are lots of online platforms offering mock exams, so you have plenty of options to choose from.

Immediate Feedback: Some online exams provide instant feedback, so your child can see their results right away.



Technical Issues: There’s always a chance of technical glitches or internet problems disrupting the exam experience. 

Previous experience: May be unsuitable for children who haven’t had any previous experience of online tutoring. 

No exam hall: Your child won’t have the same experience with exam invigilators and other students in what is normally a large school hall. 

In-Person Mock Exams:


Invigilator: Having an exam invigilator present ensures fairness and reduces the risk of cheating.

Mirroring the Exam Hall: Your child gets to experience the high adrenaline atmosphere which can help prepare them in dealing with their natural exam nerves.

No Tech Issues: With in-person exams, there’s no need to worry about internet connection problems. 


Travel and Logistics: You’ll need to arrange transportation to and from the exam venue, which can be time-consuming and can feel stressful with lots of other anxious parents.

Less Flexibility: In-person exams may have fixed dates and times, limiting your scheduling options.


Choosing Between the Two:

Consider your child’s preferences, comfort level with technology and any scheduling constraints you may have. 

Choose the option that will help your child feel comfortable and confident during the mock exams. Trust your instincts, weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that works best for your family. 

My personal recommendation is to book several in-person mock exams if your child’s 11 Plus exams will be taking place in a school hall. An exam hall can feel like an overwhelming space for children,  so it’s helpful to give them plenty of prior experience, so they learn to become more resilient. Once they’ve learned to adapt and cope with their nerves it will be much easier to perform at their best. 

Booking a few online mock tests before their first in-person mock exam could also really helpful. This way, your child will gain experience of completing a test under time constraints before an in-person mock exam.

Mental and Visual Preparation Tips

We don’t talk enough about how children feel before an 11 Plus mock exam. It’s normal for children (and parents) to get really nervous and put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well. They might not show it, but inside they’re feeling stressed. These children are usually high performers, but they keep their nerves hidden because they think they should be able to handle it.

Here’s an uncomfortable truth, if you’re feeling nervous, even if you’re trying to hide it, your child can tell. They can sense your uncertainty and they might start feeling nervous too. Children pick up on your feelings and expectations of their parents. It’s therefore  important to be aware of your own feelings and work through them, doing what it takes to help you feel more positive and calm. 

Visual preparation can be a great way to help children prepare. It’s all about imagining how they’ll feel on exam day. 

You can help your child picture themselves walking into the exam hall, feeling the way they want to feel, for example calm and confident. 

They can think about how they’ll handle any nerves that pop up, like focusing on their breathing or reminding themselves that they can do this. They can even imagine turning the first page of the exam and feeling ready to tackle it.

Visual preparation helps children get in the right mindset for the exam. They can think about how they want to feel – calm, confident, and focused – and come up with strategies to help them get there.

Being mentally prepared is crucial and visualisation is a powerful tool that can make all the difference on exam day.

Here are some tips to help prepare your child for their exams:

Reduce the Pressure & Stay Positive: Tell your child that you are so proud of them no matter what happens. Remind them that it’s okay to make mistakes – that’s how we learn and improve.

Visualise Success: Help your child visualise themselves doing well in the exam. This has been scientifically proven to boost confidence and reduce anxiety.

Practise Relaxation Techniques: Teach your child simple relaxation techniques like deep breathing to calm their nerves before their mock exam.

Create a Comfortable Environment: Make sure your child has a quiet, comfortable space to study. A clutter-free environment can help them focus more clearly.

Dealing with Unexpected Low Scores

Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – what if your child gets a lower score than expected?

For a first time mock exam, it’s quite common for children to receive a lower than expected score. After all their hard work and progress it can feel disheartening for both you and your child to receive a low score. However, do remember that walking into an exam hall full of students to sit a formal test can feel very daunting for children – especially the first time!

Children who have  high expectations of themselves are particularly vulnerable to succumbing to pressure. They tend to race through the papers, without fully being present. In instances like this it’s common for children to say they think they  did well. 

So, what can you do to help? Aside from visualisation, here are some pointers to help your child bounce back from a low score.

Stay Calm: First and foremost, stay calm and supportive. Getting a low score doesn’t define your child’s abilities or worth. Nor does it mean they’ll get another low score in their next mock exam. 

Review and Practice: Focus on understanding the concepts rather than just memorising answers. Memorising can often lead to more stress when the stakes are high. 

Acknowledge the low score: Validate your child’s feelings then move on!

Seek Help if Needed: If your child is consistently struggling in certain areas, consider seeking help from a professional tutor. 

Encourage a Growth Mindset: Show your child the power of a growth mindset – the belief that they can grow their abilities through dedication, patience and work. Remind them that setbacks are just temporary (and normal) and that with perseverance, they can easily improve and win!

Celebrate Progress: Celebrate small wins along the way, whether it’s understanding a difficult concept or improving their score in other practice exams. Positive reinforcement will boost your child’s motivation and confidence. 


Remember, the journey to success in the 11 Plus exam is not just about getting high scores – it’s about learning, growing and giving it your best shot. The English 11 Plus mock exams are an opportunity to learn and grow.  So, keep supporting your child, stay positive and trust in their abilities. They’ll win in the end!

Want some free exam papers? Get some here.

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