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Small changes can make a big difference to young people’s performance in 11 Plus exams.

We have all seen the rise in anxiety among children and parents as they approach the end of primary school. If there are 11 Plus exams to take, this can create even greater problems. Significantly, the more a young person and their family want to do well in exams, the more the chances of success can decrease.

How can our brains reduce 11 Plus exam performance?

This is because the human brain developed to help us survive. Consequently it is always on the lookout for reasons to worry. That was helpful when we shared the world with sabre-toothed tigers. It was beneficial when we needed to watch out for life-threatening situations. It is certainly unhelpful today when we try to remain confident in the build-up to important exams and remember multiplication tables.

To be calm and perform well in 11 Plus exams, young people need to build their confidence.

“This programme has helped me reduce my stress a lot. It’s lifted a weight off my shoulders.”

A Year 7 pupil

Confidence has two parts:

Part 1: Belief – our overall view of how good we are at something (e.g. ‘I’m pretty good at maths’)
Part 2: Evidence – the reasons we have to support that belief (e.g. ‘I understand fractions’)

How to build confidence using the Me Power Academy?

We have created simple and practical tools to help children build confidence and improve exam results. For example, to help children collect evidence we have created the House of Confidence®. This encourages children to reflect on three positives and one area for improvement, after every revision session for their 11 Plus exams.

Each time they finish a revision session, they should write down:

  • Three things that went well or they found helpful or positive (e.g. ‘I used correct punctuation, correct spelling and kept working’)
  • One thing to improve next time (e.g. ‘I need to understand more about using paragraphs’)


House of Confidence - increase confidence to improve 11 Plus exams, GCSEs, A levels and personal performance and well-being.

Children who do this repeatedly will build robust confidence. Most importantly they will also have a better chance of reaching their potential in their 11 Plus exams in September. They will also build confidence for future exams including GCSEs, A levels and University exams.


The Me Power Academy programme is for parents and families who believe in their children’s potential and for teachers, personal tutors and schools who believe in young people’s potential. It’s also for further and higher education institutions with the same view.

It make it easier for everyone in your family or education community to be healthy, happy and at their best in the challenging world. This includes performing well in 11 Plus exams.

The easy-to-use online programmes were created by Dr. Jon Finn and his team at the awarding-winning Tougher Minds consultancy. Their programmes help young people achieve good grades in 11 Plus exams, GCSEs and A Levels.

Support your young people through every stage of education and life with Me Power.

You can also read more about how the Me Power Academy can help young people moving schools and year groups. Click here.

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