11 Plus Vocabulary tips, prepare for 11 Plus, 11 Plus preparation, 11 Plus exam

How to Build and Improve 11 Plus Vocabulary?

11 Plus Vocabulary tips, prepare for 11 Plus, 11 Plus preparation, 11 Plus exam

As verbal reasoning makes up a significant portion of the 11 Plus exam, parents should take every step to increase their child’s vocabulary. At first, it could seem scary, but you don’t need to be worried! Your child must possess a broad vocabulary to do well on the 11 Plus exam. You will get detailed instructions and tips on how to prepare and improve the vocabulary for the 11 Plus. 

6 Effective Tips to Improve 11 Plus Exam Vocabulary 

The English section and the verbal reasoning component of the exam are the two specific sections that assess your child’s vocabulary. Your child will succeed on the test only if they have a large vocabulary and a grasp of synonyms and antonyms. 

Let’s get to the point with the most effective tips to build a rich 11 Plus vocabulary.

Tip 1: Get Your Child a Notebook

Encourage your child to enhance their vocabulary by providing a dedicated notebook built to last. So, this notebook will be a valuable tool for them to jot down any unfamiliar words they encounter in their day-to-day activities, such as reading books, tackling comprehension exercises, or even watching television.

  • Teaching them the habit of looking up these unfamiliar words and taking the time to learn their definitions will greatly benefit their language skills. 
  • By actively engaging with new words, they will broaden their understanding and usage of vocabulary. Ultimately, it will enable them to communicate more effectively and easily comprehend complex texts. 

So, this simple practice can have a lasting impact on their overall linguistic development and academic success.

Would you like to try 11 Plus vocabulary questions for free?


Tip 2: Play Word Games

Expanding your child’s vocabulary has a direct impact on their language proficiency. Therefore, engaging in word puzzles is an excellent method to expose them to diverse vocabulary and encourage them to explore different word definitions. It is one of the best ways to boost vocabulary and pass the entrance exam.

Here is an example of unscramble words.

11 Plus Vocabulary tips

Ask your child to use a dictionary when encountering unfamiliar words, further expanding their understanding.

  • Word games, such as crosswords, reinforce spelling skills and require accurate spelling to complete the puzzles successfully.
  • Injecting fun into spelling practice can be done through word puzzles like anagrams, where your child can unscramble words for enjoyment and learning.
  • These word puzzles contribute to developing essential skills needed for exams like the 11+ or Year 7 CATs, including verbal reasoning, vocabulary, problem-solving, spelling, grammar, and memory. 
  • Regularly practising these skills enhances your child’s speed and agility, allowing them to think quickly and efficiently through the exam paper.

By incorporating word puzzles into your child’s learning routine, you create an engaging environment that strengthens their language abilities and prepares them for success in academic assessments.

 Here is another example of 11 Plus vocabulary question – associated words:

11 Plus Vocabulary tips

Corrects options will be: silver, zinc and lead (because these are metals)

Tip 3: Revise the 11 Plus Vocabulary Word List

Children often struggle with 11+ vocabulary because they encounter words out of context. Although it’s not a definitive solution, the following list has been compiled based on years of tutoring experience for 11+ and 12+ exams. 

These words are commonly challenging for children. While these words may not appear in an actual test, children need to start somewhere and expand their vocabulary.

The following choices provide a glimpse into the type of uncommon language your child could come across.

Would your child be familiar with the meanings of these words?

  • stout
  • emulate
  • placate
  • abhorrent
  • impeccable
  • jocular
  • intrepid
  • porous
  • cantankerous
  • meagre
  • commotion
  • frail
  • rancour
  • embellish
  • banal
  • frivolous
  • stagnant
  • vague
  • dawdle
  • ample

We recommend going through the 11 Plus vocabulary list with meanings with your child and asking them if they know the meaning of each word. However, it’s crucial not to provide hints or clues since you won’t be present during the exam. 

Children should understand the singular form of each 11 Plus spelling list word’s meaning rather than relying on its usage within a sentence.

Here’s a wonderful system for using this list to improve 11 Plus vocabulary;

  • After identifying the unknown words, begin creating 11 Plus vocabulary flashcards.
  • On the front side of each flashcard, write the word in bold letters (your child can decorate them if desired). On the back, write the meaning of the word, along with single words that have similar or opposite meanings. A Thesaurus can be helpful for this step.
  • Once you have a substantial number of flashcards, introduce memory games. For instance, encourage your child to match the words with their corresponding definitions.

Tip 4: Develop A Habit of Reading

Reading is well-known for enhancing 11 Plus vocabulary and spelling skills, but did you know reading has a more significant impact on vocabulary growth than talking or direct instruction? 

When we read, we encounter words that may not have been part of our recent conversations or encounters. Interestingly, the language used in children’s books tends to be more advanced than in typical everyday conversations.

So, how does this benefit students? 

  • Engaging in regular reading and actively searching for the meaning of unfamiliar words leads to gradually expanding vocabulary. 
  • By immersing yourself in reading and encountering new words and phrases daily, you expose your mind to a diverse range of vocabulary you may not have acquired otherwise. 
  • Each word discovered adds to the richness of your vocabulary over time.

If you aim to succeed in the 11 Plus, we are here to assist you at every stage of your journey towards Grammar School. Find out about our 11 Plus exam tutoring services.

Tip 5: 11 Plus Vocabulary Assessments and Practice Papers

Utilising assessments and practice tests is an excellent method to enhance 11 Plus vocabulary, but it’s crucial to approach it correctly. Some students may not respond well to checklists or quizzes, and memorising vocabulary lists can become tedious. 

However, learning essential vocabulary has been proven to help students excel in the 11+ Exam. So, what is the most effective way to assess your child’s knowledge?

11 Plus Tutoring provides an ideal platform for using assessments and 11 Plus vocabulary worksheets. With these 11 Plus Vocabulary resources, students develop proficiency in learning new words and increasing their knowledge to pass the entrance exam.

For students who like learning to spell, making word groups, synonyms, antonyms and pairing up words, we have a range of resources covered in the 11 Plus Vocabulary course backed by qualified tutors.

Tip 6: Talking and Reading

One of the most effective ways to teach a child new vocabulary is to introduce the word and then provide contextual examples, repeating this process several times to ensure a clear understanding. So, this approach follows the natural learning pattern from a young age and continues to be effective as we age. 

The same principle applies to the 11 Plus vocabulary list. When your child asks about the meaning of a word, it presents a perfect opportunity to explain. However, often, by simply hearing the word used in context, the meaning becomes apparent. If they do inquire about the meaning, ask them to look it up in a dictionary as the first step.

We can help you with synonyms and antonyms: vocabulary for the c.e.m. style 11 Plus covered in our detailed online practice quizzes.

It is important to establish a regular reading routine with your child, incorporating reading to your child and listening to them read. This practice serves several purposes. 

  • Firstly, demonstrating your interest in reading can cultivate a love for reading in your child. 
  • Secondly, you can model proper reading style, including appropriate intonation and pronunciation. 
  • Thirdly, you can provide feedback to your child as they read, helping them improve their reading skills. 

Additionally, this reading time allows your child to ask questions about unfamiliar vocabulary, providing an immediate opportunity for understanding. Meanwhile, you can try some of the free vocabulary apps as students tend to respond well to them. We are always happy to listen to your concerns – let us know on Facebook @11plustutoringuk.

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Enriching new vocabulary can be challenging in preparing for the 11 Plus exam. However, if you consistently implement the above-mentioned strategies, you will be astonished at how rapidly vocabulary can expand.

Keep in mind that some students may initially be hesitant when it comes to reading. Nonetheless, it’s important not to give up. Significant progress can be made in terms of vocabulary development by employing simple strategies like the ones mentioned above.

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