11 Plus Creative Writing Help: How to Ace the Exam
The 11 Plus exams are meant to test children’s understanding of subjects, such as; Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. In some 11 Plus English exam papers, children will be asked to complete a creative writing test – an important component that, unfortunately, many students fear.
At Tutor Rise, we are dedicated to helping your child succeed. In this article, we have prepared a comprehensive guide for your child to help them with their 11 Plus Creative Writing component.
11 Plus Creative Writing: Complete Guide
Creative writing for the 11 Plus Exam can last anywhere between 20 and 50 minutes. It may require you to either complete a continuous prose exercise (where you have to continue the start of a story) or write an original story from scratch. With either task, the goal is to examine your ability to plan and write in a structured and engaging way.
Below, you can find some tips that will help you to unleash your creativity and convey your writing abilities.
Free Your Imagination
Before you start to write (or even plan), take a little time to daydream and let your imagination do the work. If you can clearly see your story in your head, you will be able to describe it in a powerful way, with deep descriptions and engaging writing.
Create a Plan
Your next step is to create a simple plan. When you have a short time to write, there are two crucial things that will hold your story together: the main event and your central character. As such, your plan should include:
- The main event
- Your main character
- Where and when the story is set
- Getting there or how you will get to the main event
- The ending or what will happen after the event
Choose One Main Event
For an 11 Plus Exam creative writing story, we recommend choosing a single main plot event – if there is too much happening, your descriptive skills may simply get lost. If there is a dramatic event, make sure to describe it powerfully and give a clear sense of the reactions of your characters.
Focus on a Single Main Character
Similarly, it is best to focus on only one core character. You likely won’t have enough time to make more than one person believable and interesting in a short thirty-minute exam. Therefore, make your main character stand out and only refer to others in passing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Skip the Intro
If you are writing a short story, it does not need the same introduction as a 300-page novel would. You do not have to give a full background on your character, and especially not in the beginning of the story.
Writing a full introduction will waste a paragraph, when you might only have enough time to write three or four five paragraphs in your entire story. Instead, you can mention any important information about your characters somewhere along the way.
Include a Little Dialogue
Including a dialogue in your exam story is an excellent way to showcase your punctuation knowledge and make your piece a little different. However, be careful not to turn your story into a script. Include a little dialogue for your 11 Plus creative writing test, but keep the main focus on your description of the characters, settings, and events.
Many creative stories have core themes or emotions embedded within them. To give you a better idea of what to expect, below are some common topics and tasks that have come up in 11 Plus writing exams:
- You may be asked to write a story about your favourite animal, an animal you are afraid of, or your pet.
- Activities you like. This is an opportunity to describe the activity itself, as well as how it makes you feel.
- Emotions and feelings. Many times, stories include a requirement to describe a specific emotion like joy or fear that you have experienced in a certain situation.
- The built environment. You may need to describe a build environment, such as office blocks or houses, castles or cottages, roads, churches, and more.
- The natural world. Finally, another popular topic includes the description of the natural world. Think mountains and hills, streams and rivers, rain and sunshine.
To help you prepare, think about how you would describe any of these themes well before your exam. Show, not tell! Use a range of senses throughout your story and do not forget to include similes and metaphors where appropriate.
How is 11 Plus Creative Writing Evaluated?
Creative writing skills evaluated in the 11 Plus Creative Writing exercise include the following components:
- Creativity and imagination. Some people are naturally creative, but do not be desperate if you are not. You can improve your imagination over time by reading a variety of books.
- Effective planning. Never jump to writing right away. Creating a plan will help you organize your thoughts and give a structure to your story.
- Correct use of English grammar. You will be expected to correctly apply the rules of grammar throughout your writing. All sentences should be complete and make sense, all word groups should be used correctly, and correct forms of verbs should be applied.
- Correct use of punctuation. It is important to use all the correct punctuation marks in your writing piece. Review the standard simple forms of punctuation, along with less common punctuation marks like ellipses, brackets, hyphens, apostrophes, colons, and semicolons.
- Correct spellings. Needless to say, correct spelling is essential in any type of writing. Review and practice spelling rules, as well as the spelling of irregular words.
- An interesting and “fluent” writing style. Each person has an absolutely unique writing style. Aim to demonstrate your ability to write in an entertaining way that will keep your reader engaged.
- A good structure of your text. Make sure to demonstrate that your text has structure with clear paragraphs that are organized by topic, characters, and time.
- An interesting and extensive vocabulary. It may take years to develop an extensive vocabulary, but a proven method is to read numerous books and search for new words that you can use in your own writing.
Get Ready for 11 Plus Creative Writing Exam with Tutor Rise
Without a doubt, passing the 11 Plus Creative Writing aspect of the exam is no easy task. From use of advanced punctuation and grammar rules, to correct spelling and interesting vocabulary, there is a lot to keep in mind.
Fortunately, you and your child are not alone in this. At Tutor Rise, our 11 Plus Writing Course was created by 11 Plus exam specialists who have years of teaching experience. We are truly dedicated to using innovative strategies and tools to help your child progress quickly and truly excel in their exams and beyond.
Contact us today to learn more.