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Tips, Advice and Resources

Caucasian kid writing a Christmas wishlist

How Important Is Handwriting For The 11 Plus Exams

Handwriting is an essential skill for students taking the 11 Plus exams. Poor handwriting can lower marks and affect students’ ability to pass the exams.

There are ways to help your child improve their handwriting, including practising regularly and using the correct techniques of pen holding and even drawing.

If your child is struggling with their handwriting, don’t worry – there are plenty of resources available – keep reading.

Clear handwriting can distinguish between getting the answer correct and not – at least for the person marking the exam paper. If writing is difficult to read, the person marking it is likely to make more mistakes in reading and understanding it. This can lead to lower marks and ultimately affect whether or not a student passes their 11 Plus exams. This may sound harsh, but with hundreds of papers to mark (for writing tasks in grammar school tests; or for independent school entrance exams), teachers may not have the luxury of time to try to decipher (or guess) your child’s answers.

With good handwriting skills, your child will be able to write neatly and clearly – making it easier for them (and the person marking their exam paper) to get the answers correct! I always tell my students that if we can’t read their handwriting, after weeks, months and years of working with them, it’s unlikely that someone who doesn’t know them will be able to.

Handwriting tips your child can start using today

Man Hand write on the notebook.

Here are some handwriting tips to help your child:

  • Use a pencil grip that is comfortable for them. There are many different grips available, so try a few out until you find one that works best.
  • Place the paper at a comfortable angle – not too high or low.
  • Write from left to right and top to bottom.
  • Encourage your child to use short, light strokes rather than long, heavy ones. This will help prevent the pencil from slipping and create neater handwriting.
  • Practice regularly! This is the best way to improve handwriting (or any skill). Try setting aside 15 minutes each day for handwriting practice.

Helping them hold the pen correctly

Many people hold a pen incorrectly, which can lead to poor handwriting. Show

With a little bit of help, they can improve their handwriting and succeed in the 11 Plus exams.

Practise regularly

Help your child to practise writing on a regular basis, whether it’s doing some letter formation exercises or just writing for pleasure. The more they write, the better their handwriting will become.

Try some of our handwriting workbooks, too, especially the handwriting workbook for older children.

Use the correct techniques.

Handwriting calligraphy sheets

Make sure your child is using the correct pen holding and drawing techniques. This will help make the writing process easier and improve the overall appearance of their handwriting.

Make it fun

Try to make handwriting practise fun for your child. There are lots of great handwriting activities and games available online and in-store. This will help to keep them motivated and interested in improving their handwriting.

Take care when writing

Please encourage your child to take care when writing so that their work looks tidy. This will show the examiner that they are taking the exam seriously and are capable of producing well-written work.

Get help if needed

If your child is struggling to improve their handwriting, don’t hesitate to seek help from a tutor or occupational therapist. There are lots of great resources available that can make a big difference.

Watch the following video for more tips on handwriting for the 11 Plus exams:

If you’re looking for more general tips on helping your child prepare for the 11 Plus exams, check out our other blog posts or contact one of our tutors for more information!