7 Plus Story Writing

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7 + plus story writing explained

When students sit for the 7 Plus school entry exams, their abilities in Mathematics, English, and Reasoning (including verbal and non-Verbal) are typically assessed. As most parents already know by now, the writing prompts for the 7 Plus entrance exam ‘composition’ section can also vary widely, and it may differ from one school to the next.

It is therefore critical for a child to hone their story writing skills in advance, and to practice how to answer questions correctly when preparing for the 7 Plus exam. However, in order to do this, there should be a clear understanding of the different prompts that may appear in these exams.

For example, students might be required to, or given the choice to continue a story from the comprehension part of the 7 Plus exam. For this, students need to be familiar with writing in the ‘third person’, but also with the story's characters, and they will have to keep using the proper names throughout. They must also maintain tense consistency; for instance, if the story is written in the present tense, they may need to continue with it, rather than switching to the past tense.

It is also vital for the child to use textual cues to help them understand the characters and their environment better. For instance, if the previous chapter depicts Emma as ‘timid or quiet’, it would be confusing to have Emma ‘screaming at someone to hurry up’ in the following scene. The environment, therefore, stays the same.

Child story writing picture
Child thinking and writing picture

How to write a story for the 7 + plus exam

It only makes sense to retain the story in the same environment, for example, a decrepit, run-down house, as it was described in the understanding chapter. Starting where the passage left off is another important aspect of continuing the story, and it is therefore beneficial for the student to read the entire story, including the final paragraph carefully, before continuing with story writing.

Your child can be expected to write a story with a distinct beginning, middle, and conclusion for the 7 Plus exam's story writing part. They will sometimes be given a choice of ‘story lines’, so care should be taken to use precise spelling and evocative wording (openers, similes, adjectives, and connectives)

Keep in mind that most elite schools will expect your child to recognise spelling patterns and be able to correctly spell words with high frequency and common usage, which means the child also needs to be able to read well.

Preparation for the 7 + plus story writing exam

Furthermore, your child will be encouraged to write neatly and clearly, because the presentation is equally important. The reality is that your child might really struggle with this part of the 7 Plus exam, without proper preparation.

The right approach to 7 Plus preparation is particularly critical because, at such a young age, it is important to make learning as entertaining and encouraging as possible for your child, rather than having them fear the exam. Private tutoring is a great approach because it focuses on a wide range of 7 Plus exam aspects. For instance, the right way of learning can help your child improve their ability to follow and continue on a storyline, and participating in educational activities can help them with mathematics and improve their fine motor skills.

While some 7 Plus exams may require students to write imaginative stories in response to a visual prompt, others may ask them to complete shorter writing assignments where they may be required to improve or edit a paragraph. Reading for pleasure can serve as a scaffold for ‘model paragraphs’ and is undoubtedly an inspiration for creative writing. Along with focusing on the use of punctuation, grammar, a broad vocabulary, sentence structures, and various tenses, this is another strategy used by some private tutors.

Child in library picture