11 Plus Exams Forum

Improving Concentration
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Author:  Relieved42020 [ Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Improving Concentration

Hello All,

My DD is a real fidget! She finds it difficult to hold concentration on any task for more than 10 minutes. It's reflected in the longer tests we are working through. Strong start and than lots of mistakes after a third way through and very rarely finishing a full paper. When we go over the mistakes, she knows how to do the vast majority and will give the right answers.

So, beyond just practicing more papers, do people have any suggestions for any games or suchlike that could help maintain focus for longer periods?

Author:  PerpetualStudent [ Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Improving Concentration

Hi Relieved,

Is your DD always fidgety - something widely commented on? My DD has dyspraxia and fidgeting is what she does just to stay upright or if she’s feeling anxious. If your DD is generally ok paying attention in class but especially fidgety doing these tests it might be worth reviewing your preparation plan.

You don’t mention which tests you’re preparing for but many on this forum have suggested using ‘10 minute tests’ while working on subject knowledge and question types. Or working on speed without putting a lot of stress on DC. Longer papers are saved for working on exam technique and stamina in the lead up to the real thing.

Are these tests being timed or are they just for working through knowledge and question type?If your tests are close enough you really need to crack on with the longer tests then consider if it’s a physical issue leading to fidgeting, boredom or something else?

If your DD has done a lot of longer tests then boredom might be the cause - try mixing things up, doing different exercises, games, shorter tests...or even take a break.
If attention is an issue generally then look into ways for refocusing. For example, it could be that taking the time to stretch and breathe would help her feel more comfortable and able to continue. I’m sure there are other techniques others can suggest.

Good luck.

Author:  Relieved42020 [ Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Improving Concentration

Hello PS,

We're preparing for the GL exams. My concern is that because the format is two close together bouts of about 45mins, she will perform well below her potential. We started off with the 10 min tests. Starting off, I gave her all the time she needed so she could become familiar with the types of questions. I also did not ( for the most part! ) comment on or try to halt her fidgeting and general behavior whilst she did the questions. In my mind, I can see her mindlessly kicking the table whilst slouching half way off her chair and looking at what her school mates are doing rather than concentrating on her own work during the actual test.

She's always had more energy than her sisters and its clear an office life sat in a chair for hours is not one going to be one that fits her. But at the same time, as a parent, you want her to be able to give the test her best shot and the result be the result. Being a summer baby, I think some of it is also maturity - age wise, there's almost a two year gap with her older sister but she's only a year group below her.

I think I will go back to the 10 min questions first but this time put her under the time pressure and try and build up to doing two 10min tests back to back before tackling the longer paper again. I think I also need to change my username from Relieved42020( her sister passed ) to Concerned42021!

Author:  Mumma555 [ Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Improving Concentration

You could perhaps try a reward of some sort. DD used to trail off after 15 mins due to bordom and wrestlessness. Largely solved this by linking results to the reward of favourite DVDs (now Netflix time!). We had to be careful to make sure the scheme was designed so she found it fair and achievable. The other thing that helped was doing it after exercise (swimming) instead of before. Ds is totally different: no rewards needed

Author:  Mummyzilla [ Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Improving Concentration

Hi All,

Just jumping on this thread to see if there are any other suggestions to improve concentration and focus in the lead up to the actual exams. Like the OP my DS knows the stuff, but loses focus and makes silly mistakes as a result. We have tried Headspace and DS hasn't really taken to it. He did well with mindful colouring in, but we don't always have the time to do that before the tests. I did think about exercise beforehand, but don't want to tire him out. Would be grateful for any other suggestions that people have to get DS into the zone before exams.

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