For each 11 plus question maximum time taken should be between 24-30 seconds. Easy questions need to be done quickly and accurately without hesitation and delay in moving to the next question. If your child has already run through the tests on this site they know that they are working against the clock and need to work fast.

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Focus, focus, focus – to have to go over the question is valuable time lost but also guessing an answer may not help your final score. Their is a middle ground where you methodically work through each question – mark the answer – and move on.

You are now ready to start the first test. Instructions have been given, you’ve run through example tests, and have a pencil and rough paper. Once you start the clock will start and nothing can stop it !! You have between 8-10 minutes to complete the first CAT4 test.

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Reread every question to check your initial understanding

As mentioned in point 3 above you need to be wary of the time and the pace required to complete but on the same hand you need to be as accurate as possible. Each question is a new question – if you get one wrong or are uncertain then make a best guess and move on – don’t dwell on it. The next question is not related to the last and getting the last one wrong doesn’t mean you will get this one wrong. 

There is a simple process; 

  1. Look at the question and understand it taking any rough notes. 
  2. Systematically – work through the question 
  3. Any answers which are impossible mentally ignore
  4. Keep moving towards the final answer until you have it
  5. Click on the answer and move to the next question
  6. Start again and keep doing this until all the questions are complete
  7. If you have any time review the questions you missed

Now there are times when you don’t know the answer in these circumstances try to reduce the number of answers by ruling out those answers which it simply cannot be. So rather than guessing from 4 questions (25% probability of guessing correct) if you cross off two answers you will be guessing from 2 answers (50% probability of guessing correctly). Improving your chances in this way will help you get the highest mark possible – and avoid over analysis of the questions and answers.

Use 11 plus checkpoints to ensure that your overall 11 plus completion remains on track

In any exam you need to have checkpoints to make sure you’re on track to finish ! The CAT4 is no different and with the clock ticking on the screen it’s difficult to ignore. At the half way mark (4 minutes or 5 minutes) make sure you’re at least half, I personally like to be ahead to give me a few extra seconds for those more difficult questions which always seem to turn up towards the end of an exam.

Also if you are ahead it gives you an opportunity to take extra care and spend a little more time on those more difficult questions allowing you to get a higher overall score. Like I said before each question is a mark in its own right so whenever you move on forget about the last question. Cognitive tests in generally will not progressively get more difficult. 

Students are all different so how you exactly structure the time is entirely up to you but make sure you aim to finish and make sure you don’t miss any questions out. Take a “guesstimate” if that’s all you can – rule out answers which are impossible to improve your chances but be quick – brain processing speed, focus, memory and problem solving skills all influence your cognitive ability. Improving any of these factors will help you not only in the CAT4 test but also in your academic work.

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Have an answer for every 11 plus question before your time is up

Then11 plus isn’t like a traditional test where you have difficult questions, essay questions etc… each question is a mark in its own right and (as far as I understand) carry a similar weighting. Trying to leave harder questions until later is simply not possible due to time constraints and this type of traditional strategy may leave you with a lot of unanswered questions.

The tests on this site and the sample questions during the test all help you to become acquainted with the format so you don’t need to think to much about the format. It is much better to answer each question as quickly as possible, or take a best guess. It’s highly unlikely you will have time to come back and answer the question.

In normal exams my approach would be very similar but I would mark the questions that I took a guess on and return to them to double check. This would mean that I always completed the questions but also allow me to return to questions which I wasn’t sure of. Since the CAT4 test is so short just stay focused and answer each question as quickly as you can taking best guesses where appropriate.

Choose to go back to the most complex 11 plus questions

If it looks complex – choose and approach and systematically work your way through the steps to come to an answer. It’s great when this works out the first time and you have an answer but there are times when you need to repeat the above several times before getting to a conclusion. This wastes valuable time but it’s impossible to know on the outset exactly which approach will work – the best thing is to be methodical and quick and if you feel overwhelmed break it down so you can at the very least cross some of the answers off so you can make a better guess. 

Use all the time allocated

It’s highly unlikely you’ll have any time to spare but if you do quickly review all the questions especially ones you were unsure of. This is a chance to scrape another couple of marks. USE ALL the time DO NOT finish early.

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