How To Pass The 11 Plus Creative Writing Exam

Updated:April 21, 2024
Author:Creative Hare


Preparing your child for the 11 Plus creative writing exam can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to creative writing. However, with the right guidance and support, you can help your child go from meeting expectations to exceeding them.

 In this blog, we will explore practical tips and strategies to enhance your child’s creative writing skills and ensure they shine in the 11 Plus English exam.


Understand the 11 Plus Creative Writing Exam

  • Before diving into tips for creative writing, it’s essential to understand what your child’s 11 Plus exam will entail. The English exam typically assesses a child’s comprehension, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and creative writing skills. 
  • Visit your target school websites and you’ll find useful information about the admissions process. 
  • The writing test usually consists of a writing task(s) that assesses your child’s creativity, imagination and ability to express themselves effectively. Knowing what the examiners are looking for will help you guide your child in the right direction.

Tips to Help Your Child Excel in Creative Writing!

Encourage Regular Writing Practice

I highly recommend encouraging your child to write regularly outside of school homework. Set aside dedicated time each week for them to engage in creative writing exercises. Provide prompts or topics to spark their imagination and let them explore different writing styles and genres. Creativity is a muscle that gets stronger and stronger with a regular work out. 

Read Widely

Encourage your child to read a variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and short stories. Reading exposes them to different writing styles, vocabulary and storytelling techniques. 

At school they’ll be taught to analyse the structure, characters and themes of the stories they read, which will help them develop a deeper understanding of narrative techniques. Outside of school, I recommend encouraging your child to read what

they enjoy in order to develop a reading habit. Once your child is reading regularly they will be more open to trying some more ambitious texts that are still enjoyable!

Foster Creativity

Encourage your child to think outside the box and explore their creativity. Encourage them to brainstorm ideas, imagine different scenarios and experiment with different writing techniques. You can buy books, watch BBC Bitesize fun Youtube videos to cover key creative writing skills. 

It can also help to encourage your child to explore their interests and passions through writing. Here are some ideas to help your child’s creativity flow:


Foster a Creative Environment

Create a relaxed environment at home that nurtures creativity. Provide access to writing materials such as notebooks, pens and a quiet space where your child can jot down their ideas and write freely. Encourage them to express themselves without fear of judgement and praise their efforts and creativity.


Focus on Structure and Organisation

Teach your child the importance of structuring their writing effectively. Help them understand the elements of a compelling narrative, including introduction, plot development and a resolution. Encourage them to outline their ideas before they start writing to ensure coherence and organisation in their storytelling.

Expand Vocabulary

Encourage your child to expand their vocabulary by introducing them to new words regularly. Play word games, use flashcards or engage in vocabulary-building activities to make learning fun and interactive. Encourage them to use new words into their writing to enhance the richness of their narratives. Check out my 11 Plus vocabulary blog for more insights and tips.


Provide Feedback

Offer feedback on your child’s writing to help them identify areas for improvement. Focus on praising their strengths while gently guiding them on areas where they can enhance their writing skills. Encourage them to revise and edit their work, emphasising the importance of experimentation, coherence and creativity.

Practise Timed Writing Exercises

The 11 Plus English exam typically has time constraints. It’s therefore essential for your child to practise writing within a set time frame, but only once they are ready. Encourage them to participate in timed writing exercises where they have to craft a story or essay within a specified time limit. This helps them develop time management skills and improves their ability to write under pressure.

Play and Work

While preparing for exams is important, it’s also crucial to maintain a balanced life. Make sure your child has time for other activities they enjoy, such as sports, hobbies, or spending time with friends and family. Encourage them to take breaks from studying and recharge their batteries.


Have Fun

Learning doesn’t have to be boring! Find fun and creative ways to help your child prepare for their exam. Include a variety of resources and creative writing activities into their study routine. When learning is an enjoyable experience for your child they’ll be happier and much more likely to succeed. 

Sometimes, despite making an effort children can struggle with their creative writing. Here are common signs to look out for: 

  1. Lack of Confidence: If your child seems unsure of themselves or lacks confidence in their writing abilities, it could be a sign that they are struggling. They may express doubts about their ideas or worry that their writing is not good enough.
  2. Avoidance: If your child constantly avoids practising creative writing or expresses reluctance to work on their exam prep, it could indicate that they are finding the process and/or content challenging or overwhelming.
  3. Difficulty Generating Ideas: Creative writing requires imagination and the ability to generate ideas. If your child struggles to come up with ideas or seems stuck when trying to brainstorm topics, it may be a sign that they are in need of some fun inspiration. 
  4. Poor Time Management: Managing time effectively is essential.If your child constantly runs out of time when practising writing tasks or struggles to complete assignments within the given timeframe, they may need help improving their time management skills.
  5. Frustration: If your child becomes frustrated or agitated while working on their creative writing tasks, it could indicate that they are struggling with the process. They may feel overwhelmed by the task at hand or frustrated by their perceived lack of progress.
  6. Inconsistent Performance: If your child’s performance in mock writing exams fluctuates significantly, it may be a sign that nerves are getting the better of them. Reassurance and gentle encouragement will help them to develop confidence within themselves. 
  7. Resistance to Feedback: If your child seems unwilling to revise and improve their writing based on suggestions, it could indicate that they are finding it challenging to accept criticism or make changes to their work.


If you notice any of these signs in your child, it’s essential to offer your child support and encouragement. Talk to them about how they’re feeling and offer to help them work through any challenges they may be facing. Providing a listening ear can make a significant difference in helping your child overcome their struggles. 


Preparing your child for the 11 Plus English exam requires dedication, patience and support. By following these tips and strategies, you can help your child go from meeting expectations to exceeding them in creative writing. 

Helping your child excel in the 11 Plus Creative Writing exam doesn’t have to be stressful. By understanding the exam, encouraging reading, practising regularly, providing feedback, fostering creativity and having fun, you can help your child succeed. 

Remember to encourage them every step of the way, celebrate their progress, and instil confidence in their abilities. With the right guidance and encouragement, your child can ace the 11 Plus English exam and excel in creative writing.


Would you like to encourage your child’s creative writing? Here are some ways I can help your child achieve more success:

  1. Bright to Brilliant – My signature 16-week creative writing programme.
  2. Private VIP Days – Intensive, laser focused creative writing tuition.
  3. Quick Write! Fun, timed narrative writing challenges.

Get in touch with Clare to learn more and to book a Zoom chat.