Discover our top tips for the 11 Plus in this article - from when your child should start preparing for their exam to how to find an 11 Plus tutor and more expert advice.
Private Tutors for the 11 Plus in London and Online
Simply Learning Tuition introduce the highest calibre of private tutors to support your child through their 11 Plus. Every tutor we introduce has a thorough knowledge of 11+ English, Maths and verbal and non-verbal reasoning, and many also have experience working in the UK’s leading independent and grammar schools. To ensure your child fully benefits from 11 Plus tuition, we will only introduce private tutors suited to their personality and learning style. We believe this is the key to unlocking your child’s potential and to giving them the confidence to excel in their exams.
Sophie Taylor Barthorpe, SLT's Director of Tuition explains what is needed for 11 Plus tuition to be effective. A winning combination of experience and empathy is demonstrated by all the 11 Plus tutors we introduce and every year we are proud to celebrate successful acceptances to the UK's leading senior schools, including Harrow, Eton, Marlborough and many others.
11 Plus Private Tutors
SLT introduces expert 11 Plus tutors to help your child prepare for all parts of the 11 Plus exam. Each of the tutors listed below is known personally by us, and we will take care to match a tutor with just the right character and teaching style to help your son or daughter excel at literacy, numeracy and verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Many of the tutors are also familiar with the particular entry requirements of specific day and boarding schools and will be able to pass on invaluable advice about what the school is looking for.
Aisling specialises in Maths tuition from 7+ up to A Level, and is a qualified teacher.
Alex specialises in English tuition and is qualified to teach English as a Foreign Language. He can also support with Creative Writing and is a specialist online tutor.
Alex has a BA and MSc in Maths from Oxford University, and also specialises in Oxbridge admissions. Alongside this he prepares students for 11+ and 13+ Entrance Exams.
Alex specialises in English and Maths tuition and has taught many of our home schooled students.
Alexa tutors students for entrance exams from 7+ to 13+. She also prepares students for interviews and scholarship applications.
Alex specialises in Economics, History and English Literature tuition from GCSE to A-Level, including IB tuition. He can also support with 11+ and 13+ Exam Preparation.
Alexander is a Science specialist, who specialises in Biology tuition. He also supports English and Maths.
Alexander specialises in varying entrance exams and core GCSE subjects. He also prepares students for Oxbridge applications.
Alexandra is a qualified teacher with over 8 years experience, who specialises in English and Maths tuition. She also teaches Psychology, German and French.
Alice is trilingual and supports with English, French and Spanish. She also specialises in Psychology tuition for A Level students, and teaches Maths at 7+, 11+ and 13+.
Alli has a DPhil from Oxford in Chemical Engineering and specialises in Maths and Science tuition from 11+ through to A Level.
Amin specialises in Maths and Science tuition, specifically for the 7+, 11+, 13+ and GCSE Examinations.
Amy is a qualified teacher and specialises in English tuition. She also supports with Maths and 11+ Exam Preparation.
Andrea taught at one of London's top independent schools and is now a full-time tutor. She specialises in English tuition and has prepared students for many of the UK's most competitive entrance exams in English and Maths.
Andrea specialises in English and Maths tuition, from Key Stage 1 through to GCSE.
Andrea specialises in French and Spanish tuition at GCSE and A Level. She also tutors the 11+ and 13+ Entrance Exams in both English and Maths.
Anil is an Oxford graduate who is highly multidisciplinary teaching a range of subjects including Maths, English, Music and Science.
Azeem specialises in Biology, and Medicine tuition. He is very experienced teaching Medical Admissions tests such as the UKCAT/BMAT and GAMSAT, and also teaches Maths at 11+.
Baxter is a qualified Maths teacher, and specialises in tuition from 7+ to A Level.
Ben has tutored for over 10 years and specialises in English, Maths and Science tuition, including preparation for 11+ and 13+ exams.
Beth is a very experienced tutor who has worked around the world, specialising in English tuition.
Blanca works with students from 4 to adulthood, teaching English, Maths and core curriculum to 11+, Maths GCSE and Spanish and French. She has extensive home schooling and SEN experience.
Caitlin specialises in English for the younger years. She also tutors students for school entrance exams, implementing Maths and Reasoning.
Callum specialises in English and Maths tuition from 7+ up to GCSE, including 11+ and 13+ tuition. Callum is also very experienced in teaching children with special educational needs, particularly in supporting with English and creative writing.
Cameron specialises in Maths for the 11+ and 13+, as well as for GCSE students. He can also provide tuition for French, English and Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning.
Camille specialises in English Literature and Language. She provides tuition for 11+ and 13+, as well as University entrance exams.
Candace is a highly multidisciplinary tutor, with particular specialisms in Geography, History, Maths, English, Biology and Classics. She also supports with competitive entrance exams, including the 13+ and SAT.
Carrie teaches English, History, and French, including maths for the 11+, 13+ and UKiset. She also provides mentoring, interview preparation and Oxford applications advice.
Charlotte specialises in English, she also prepares students for entrance exams as well as teaches French and Maths up to GCSE level.
Chris specialises in Maths and Physics tuition and also has experience with Homeschooling.
Christine is a qualified teacher, who is multidisciplinary but with a particular specialism in Geography. She also has a particularly broad range of experience with SEN students and preparing students for competitive entrance exams in both English and Maths.
Claire is a qualified maths teachers, and also supports with Oxbridge applications.
Claire specialises in English and History tuition, as well as teaching at 11+ level for London's top independent schools.
Claudia is a highly experienced multidisciplinary tutor, teaching English, History of Art, History, Geography, Religious Studies & Media studies.
Dora specialises in 11+ and 13+ preparation and interview practice. She also has extensive experience tutoring students with SEN.
Dween's specialist subject is preparing children for Entrance Examinations. He also teaches Key Stage 1-3 Maths & English, A Level Politics & Philosophy and University Politics.
Ed specialises in History, Politics and Geography exam preparation from 11+ up to and including A Level. He also prepares students for Oxbridge applications.
Edward's specialist subject is English Literature, he also teaches History and Maths to GCSE and Science to Common Entrance.
Elizabeth specialises in English tuition, while also supporting with History, Drama and Maths up to 11+.
Emma is an experienced prep school teacher, who specialises in preparing students of 7+ and 11+.
Emma specialises in Psychology tuition and also teaches Latin, English and Maths for the 7+, 8+, 11+ and 3+ exams.
Faizel is a qualified Primary School Teacher and has worked in one of London's top Independent Prep Schools. He specialises in Entrance Exam Preparation at 7+, 8+ and 11+.
Freddie specialises in English Literature and Language; he also teaches Theology, Ancient Greek and Latin. As well as preparing students for 11+, 13+ and 16+ entry examinations.
Gavin has an MPhil from the University of Cambridge in Modern European History and specialises in History tuition up to A Level. He also supports with English and Maths for the 11+ and 13+.
George teaches History, English and German. He is also a Common Entrance specialist.
Georgina specialises in primary level tuition, including English, Maths and Science while also supporting with 7+ and 11+ exams.
Gillian is a highly multidisciplinary tutor, who specialises in English and Maths Tuition and has been working with us for 5 years.
Hanna specialises in English tuition, while also supporting with Entrance Exams, Theatre Studies and Academic Writing.
Haris specialises in Biology tuition up to A level, and can support with Maths, Physics and Chemistry at GCSE level.
Heather is an Acting graduate who specialises in English and Theatre Studies. She is also an experienced SEN tutor, at a range of levels.
Helena specialises in English and History tuition and has supported students with the 11+ and 13+ Entrance Exams.
Holly specialises in English tuition and 11+ Exam Preparation. She teaches from Pre-school age and also teaches Maths and Music.
Hugh has an MFA in Fine art, and specialises in this and English to Undergraduate level. He also teaches Maths for the 7+, 8+, 11+ and 13+ exams.
Issy specialises in English Literature and tutors the subject from 11+ up to A Level. She is also experienced in teaching English as an additional language.
Jack specialises in English and Maths tuition for students up to GSCE level, including preparation for the 11+ and 13+ exams. He also prepares students for the LNAT exam and supports with Oxbridge applications.
James is a Maths specialist who also has experience tutoring Physics, Economics, 11+ Entrance Exams and Scholarship Exams.
James specialises in tutoring towards entrance examinations, in particular 7+, 11+ and 13+. He also supports Oxbridge applications.
James is a highly experienced English teacher and entrance exam specialist, from 11+ to university applications.
Janet is an Entrance Exam specialist, particularly with Science tuition, and a specialist online tutor
Jenny is an English specialist, and also specialises in 7+, 11+ and 13+ preparation, teaching both the English and Maths papers.
Jenny is an SEN specialist who has a huge range of home schooling experience and supports with English, Maths, Geography, History and Science.
Jeremy is a Classics graduate from Oxford and specialises in Latin, Greek and English Tuition. He also tutors Maths, Science, French, History and Philosophy.
Jess is a qualified English Teacher and also specialises in SEN support and 11+ Exam preparation.
Jessica specialises in Psychology tuition and is an AQA Examiner. She also has a strong track record of preparing students for competitive Entrance Exams in English and Maths.
Joanna specialises in English tuition, and also supports with maths up to 11+.
Joanne specialises in Biology tuition, all Sciences up to GCSE and Mathematics. She also prepares students for entrance exams from 8+ to 16+.
Joe specialises in English tuition, and also supports with Maths for 11+ and 13+ entry. He can also teach Science, French, History and Drama.
Julie is a qualified teacher and specialises in French tuition. She also teaches English.
Katherine is a highly multidisciplinary tutor, who supports with a wide range of subjects, including English, Maths, Geography, SAT/ACT, Business Studies and University applications.
Katherine is a Latin specialist, teaching students up to A Level. She is also highly experienced with 11+ English and Maths tuition.
Katie is an experienced primary school teacher. She specialises in preparing students for 7+, 11+ and 13+. She also provides interview practice.
Kieran is an Oxford Alumni, specialising in entrance examinations, History, English Language and Literature, and Oxbridge applications.
Kieron is a Cambridge Classics graduate, who is highly multidisciplinary. He is also very experienced at supporting students for entry to schools such as Eton College, in both English, Maths and Latin papers.
Laura specialises in English and Entrance Exam tuition. She also supports with Maths, Science and Spanish.
Leena specialises in teaching Maths and Science, she also teaches BMAT, UCAT and entrance examinations.
Leia specialises in Maths, Science and Geography from 11+ up to A Level. She also tutors students in essay writing for University entry.
Leon specialises in English tuition, and is an Entrance Exam specialist, teaching from 7+ through to 13+. Leon also teaches Essay based subjects such as History, Geography and the Social Sciences.
Liam specialises in English tuition from age 5 up to A level, while also preparing students for 7+, 8+ and 11+ entrance exams.
Lizzy specialises in English and History up to A level, and also supports with Maths up to GCSE. She also tutors for the 11+, 13+, 16+ and Ukiset Entrance Exams.
Lucinda is a French and Spanish specialist, who also supports with English tuition, including tuition for the 11+ and 13+ exams.
Lucy is an English specialist, who can also support with Maths up to 13+ and Latin up to GCSE.
Lucy is an English specialist, who is currently completing a PhD at the University of Cambridge. She also teaches French, Spanish and Maths for competitive entrance exams.
Luke specialises in Maths and Physics tuition. He also teaches Economics, Chemistry, Biology and competitive Entrance Exam preparation.
Lux specialises in Maths and English tuition and is also experienced supporting with the 11+ and 13+ entrance exams.
Madelaine is a qualified teacher who specialises in English and Maths tuition. She also has a huge amount of homeschooling experience, and experience with students with SEN.
Maeve specialises in English tuition up to A level, including 11+ Preparation. She also has a wealth of experience supporting students with SEN.
Margaret specialises in English and Maths tuition, with a huge amount of experience with competitive Entrance Exams. She also supports with History.
Mariam is a qualified Primary school teacher and specialises in English, Maths and Entrance exams at 7+, 8+ and 11+. She is also a specialist SEN Tutor.
Matthew specialises in English Language and Literature. He also prepares students for entrance exams and Oxbridge applications.
Matthew is a highly multidisciplinary tutor, with a particular specialism in Science, English, Maths and competitive Exam preparation, including the 13+, TSA, PAT, MAT and STEP exams.
Max specialises in English tuition from Pre-school to A Level and has also supported with Entrance exams for students at 8+, 11+ and 13+.
Melissa is a qualified Primary School teacher, who specialises in SEN support and teaches English, Maths and Science.
Michael is a qualified Maths teacher, who also supports with English for 11+ exams.
Minnie is a Primary Specialist teaching English and Maths, who has a huge amount of SEN experience. She also supports with Art and School Entrance Exam Preparation.
Mutasim is a qualified teacher and specialises in Maths, Economics and competitive entrance exam preparation for the 11+ and 13+ exams.
Natasha has been tutoring for over 5 years and specialises in English Tuition, as well as 7+ and 11+ Exam Preparation.
Natasha is a multidisciplinary tutor, who specialises in Exam Preparation, English and Art. She can also support with Maths, Chemistry and Classics.
Natasha specialises in English, Philosophy and Theology up to A level, and also guides students through the UCAS and Oxbridge process.
Nick specialises in English and Maths tuition, along with supporting with the 7+, 11+ and 13+ exams and Drama up to A Level.
Nick specialises in Maths, English, Geography and History tuition. He also teaches Science at 13+ level and has supported many students with competitive entrance exams.
Nicola is a University Lecturer who is highly multidisciplinary, specialising in English, Maths, History and Art History, as well as 11+ and 13+ exams.
Nicole has worked with Simply Learning Tuition for over 12 months and specialises in Primary level English and Maths tuition and 7+ Exam Preparation.
Nils specialises in English tuition and is a qualified teacher with over 20 years experience. He has also supported with the 11+ and 13+ Entrance Exams.
Noelle specialises in Maths and English tuition for the 11+ and 13+ exams. She also teaches English up to GCSE level.
Olivia specialises in teaching English and also teaches, the 11+, key stage 3 English, maths and Science and A-Level Biology. She has over 2,000 hours of teaching experience.
Omari is a highly multidisciplinary tutor, specialising particularly in English and Maths for Entrance exams from 7+ to 13+ for some of the UK's most competitive schools.
Phineas has been tutoring since 2007. He specialises in Humanities and Languages - French and German. He tutors from 7+ age up to A-level.
As a qualified Primary school teacher, working at a top London Prep School, Rachel specialises in English and Maths tuition along with 7+ and 11+ Exam Preparation.
Rajiv is an Entrance Exams specialist, specifically English, Maths and Science for the 11+ and 13+ exams. He also teaches Science and Latin up to GCSE level.
Rishi specialises in Maths, English and Science tuition, and supports with competitive Entrance Exams at 11+ level.
Robert is a multidisciplinary tutor, who specialises in English, History, Philosophy and Geography. He also specialises in Exam preparation for the 7+, 11+ and 13+, teaching Maths and Science at these levels.
Rosemary is a multidisciplinary tutor, who specialises in SEN support. She also teaches English, Geography, History, 7+, 11+ and 13+ Entrance Exams.
Rupert is a PGCE Qualified teacher, who supports with a wide range of subjects including English and Maths and has a range of SEN experience.
Safie is a qualified teacher, who specialises in English and Maths tuition. She also has a range of experience with students with SEN.
Sally specialises in exam preparation, with her students receiving offers from top London Day schools. She tutors from 7+ up to GCSE.
Sara specialises in tutoring GCSE and A-Level science. She also helps students prepare for maths 11+ exams and sixth form entrance exams.
Sean is an online tutor, who specialises in Chemistry and Mathematics. He also supports with Physics and Biology.
Sean is a mentor and tutor who also supports with Personal Statements and Oxbridge applications.
Sean is an English and Maths specialist, while also supporting with Entrance exams, American Standardised Admissions Tests, Science, History, Geography and Music.
Shona is a qualified teacher. She specialises in teaching English and maths, including for competitive 11+ examinations.
Sophia's specialist subjects are Latin and French and she is experienced in teaching 11+ and 13+.
Steph specialises in English tuition, along with Drama and Theatre Studies. She also supports with 11+ Entrance exams, and Drama School Auditions.
Thomas is a highly multidisciplinary tutor who specialises in Business, Geography and Maths tuition. He also provides academic assessments and teaches English, Economics, and Science.
Tom specialises in English, entrance examinations and Government and Politics. He also teaches the SAT for US admissions.
Verity specialises in online tuition, with a particular focus on English, 7+, 11+ and UKiset tuition.
Vishal specialises in Entrance Exam Admissions at 7+, 8+, 10+, 11+, 13+ and 16+. He also supports English, Maths and Science up to GCSE level.
Wiebke specialises in French, English, German, home schooling and 11+.
William is a Cambridge graduate and highly experienced tutor. He teaches English, Maths, German and Science and has worked with SLT for over 10 years.
Xanthi teaches Maths, English and Science, specialising in GCSE Maths and English. As a writer, she is well-equipped to teach essay writing and has proven success in this area at a wide range of levels. She also specialises in Philosophy at A Level and above.
Zoe specialises in the Humanities, English, History and Geography up to year 7, while also teaching Maths up to 11+.
Zoe specialises in English up to A Level, and also teaches Maths at Key Stage 1 and 2, including 7+, 8+ and 11+ Exam Tuition.
What is the 11 Plus?
The 11 Plus exam, which governs admission to many independent and grammar schools, has been one of the key points in a young person’s life for some 40 years. The 11 Plus is usually taken in the autumn or spring term of Year 6 for students applying to join senior school in Year 7. It typically comprises literacy, numeracy, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, although the assessment often varies by school. Working with a tutor who is well versed in the 11 Plus entry examinations for the schools that you are applying to is paramount.
What does the 11 Plus exam involve?
Although the exact requirements of the 11 Plus vary from school to school, the fundamentals are generally the same. Students are assessed in English, Maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.
The English typically comprises reading comprehension and creative writing. Maths covers the core skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – although many assessments will also include more complex problem-solving questions. The reasoning papers require children to spot patterns in shapes, numbers and language, and to make inferences and draw conclusions based on these.
Many schools still use hand-written 11 Plus papers, though some (such as the London 11 Plus Consortium) have moved to online assessments. But although the format is different, the core knowledge being tested is usually the same.
Why is the 11 Plus exam important?
The 11 Plus is used to select students for entry to schools in Year 7. It is used by selective independent schools, including both senior schools which start in Year 7 and prep schools which have a Year 7 intake. Some boys’ senior schools which start in Year 9 (such as Eton College) also have an 11 Plus assessment as part of their selection process. Finally, the 11 Plus is also used by grammar schools (academically selective state schools).
The vast majority of the most popular independent senior schools are academically selective, so if your child is aiming for one of these, they are very likely to have to pass the 11 Plus to gain entry. Unsurprisingly, the most prestigious and sought-after schools tend to have the most demanding and competitive 11 Plus exams.
How 11 Plus tutoring works
Every 11 Plus tutor will have a slightly different approach, but there are several common principles to sound 11 Plus preparation. The key is to target the specific skills that are tested in the exam.
First, the tutor builds up your child’s core skills in literacy, numeracy, and reasoning. This can be done through a mixture of practice questions and more engaging games and quizzes, which keep children focused and learning effectively. Then, the tutor will integrate past exam practice to familiarise the child with how the exams look, and to enable them to learn exam technique and time management. Finally, they will focus on any remaining areas of weakness so there are no gaps in the child’s knowledge before the real exams. At SLT, all of our 11 Plus tuition is delivered one-to-one so it is completely bespoke to your child’s needs.
A good 11 Plus tutor will be familiar with the requirements of the specific schools your child is applying for, and will be able to tailor their preparation accordingly.
What is the difference between 11 Plus tuition and normal tutoring for specific subjects?
11 Plus tutoring is tailored towards the specific subjects and skills which are assessed for the 11 Plus examinations: English, Maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. The particular skills assessed in the English and Maths components are slightly different (and usually more challenging) than the English and Maths your child will be studying at school, so dedicated preparation is strongly recommended. 11 Plus tuition also teaches children vital exam technique and time management which is not usually covered in standard subject tuition.
Does my child need 11 Plus tutoring or tuition for specific subjects?
The vast majority of schools only assess English, Maths and reasoning at 11 Plus. If your child is in Year 4, 5 or 6 and struggling in another subject (like Science, History or a modern language) they would likely benefit from working with a tutor for that subject. However, they would not need 11 Plus tuition.
On the other hand, if your child has 11 Plus examinations coming up for entry to senior school, working with an experienced 11 Plus tutor can make all the difference to their preparation. A generalist English or Maths tutor may be able to help a little with the core skills, but the 11 Plus also tests knowledge which is not part of the core school curriculum – this is particularly the case for the more competitive schools. Furthermore, the reasoning papers require specialist preparation as these are not subjects covered in school. Here, there is no substitute for working one-to-one with a tutor with lots of entrance exam experience.
How to prepare for Maths and English papers and reasoning tests
The 11+ English paper can be challenging for most adults, let alone 10-year-olds. It involves composition and comprehension that requires them to be confident about ‘writing from the heart’. In our experience this is where many children – particularly boys – lose marks. An excellent way to improve verbal dexterity is to tell, or read, your child a story and then talk about it afterwards. Get them to describe to you what happened and explain how it made them feel.
For Maths, your child will need to understand the core concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Practising mental maths and times tables, as well as more fun techniques like playing online maths games, can make a big difference.
Some schools claim that the reasoning papers test innate ability and therefore cannot be coached. However, there is no skill which cannot be mastered with practice. Familiarising the child with past questions by purchasing verbal and non-verbal reasoning practice books is vital. If they have not seen this type of question before the exam they will likely be completely thrown. A tutor can approach a wide range of reasoning problems with a child. Even if these exact problems are not on the exam, the student will know how to deal with the unexpected, having practiced methods of thinking and rationalising larger concepts.
11 Plus past papers and mock exams
Click here to download some general 11 Plus mock exams for English, Maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. These will give an indication of the kinds of questions that are typically asked. Please note, however, that it is important to prepare for the specific schools your child is applying for. Working with an 11 Plus tutor who has previous experience with these schools can often be vital.
We take a strategic approach to the 11 Plus entrance exam and believe that effective preparation should start at least 12 months before the examination. With many schools insisting on one or more pre-tests, it is important to know exactly what your child will be expected to do and when. We recommend an initial assessment to work out where to focus tuition - or if indeed tuition is required in the first place. An assessment will allow you to know how realistic your choice of school is - and how far your child is from the pass mark.
Tutors introduced by Simply Learning Tuition have been helping students excel at the 11 Plus for over a decade. Because we know every tutor that we introduce personally, we are able to guarantee that the match with your child will be perfect. Tutors recommended by Simply Learning are highly vetted, inspiring and dependable. When you review the tutor’s profile you will be able to see a full list of the schools they have had success with, as well as testimonials from their students.
The 11+ exam, which governs admission to many independent and grammar schools, has been one of the key points in a young person’s life for some 40 years. It typically comprises literacy, numeracy, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, although the assessment often varies by school. Working with a tutor who is well versed in the 11 Plus entry examinations for the schools that you are applying to is paramount.
We usually recommend 12 to 18 months of gentle preparation for the 11 plus exam, starting in the Autumn or Spring term of Year 5. However, this really depends on your child and their current attainment levels. Your son or daughter may only need a few hours of exam practice, and a confidence boost, or if there are any deeper learning gaps, or significant obstacles, they might need several months of regular weekly tuition. The good news is that any support focused on the 11+ will pay dividends for your child’s schoolwork.
The 11+ English paper can be challenging for most adults, let alone 10-year-olds. It involves composition and comprehension that requires them to be confident about ‘writing from the heart’. In our experience this is where many children – particularly boys – lose marks. The effective and constructive communication of emotions are not usually a strong point at that stage, which is why many boys’ schools work on a 13+ entry system, which boys sit when they are more developed. An excellent way to improve verbal dexterity is to tell, or read, your child a story and then talk about it afterwards. Get them to describe to you what happened and explain how it made them feel. As well as helping them to unlock their emotions, effective story-telling brings a satisfying increase in marks. From our experience, girls tend to have better accuracy, creativity and consistency with punctuation that allows them to achieve better grades on composition papers.
You need to make sure that your child understands the core concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – and can apply this knowledge under pressure, particularly in problem solving type questions. Their knowledge should be strong and extensive, but flexible. To help your child solidify their knowledge of maths, go over times tables regularly using games, cards and posters. Encouraging them to be alert and thinking outside of the classroom gives you the opportunity to make learning fun!
Some people believe these test innate ability and therefore cannot be coached. However, we believe it is vital to provide opportunities for practice, which is easily done as there are plenty of books on sale. There is no magic to it, but if the child has not seen this type of question before the exam they will likely be completely thrown. A tutor can approach a wide range of reasoning problems with a child. Even if these exact problems are not on the exam, the student will know how to deal with the unexpected, having practiced methods of thinking and rationalising larger concepts.
Anything you can do to help your child reduce the natural anxiety they may feel around the 11+ will be a good thing. One of the best things to do is a mock exam. Tutors can organise these for you and they can be fun! Alternatively, you could organise your own by hiring a hall, or going to a house that is unfamiliar to your child, with a group of other children (even better if those children are unknown to each other) and taking a mock test. Keep things formal, give timings and ensure everyone works in silence. Put the pressure on to work fast, and throw in a couple of unexpected questions. The aim is to help children prepare for what happens when things look unusual, and when problems arise. Then go through the papers afterwards to identify strengths and weaknesses. Bear in mind that mark schemes can be hard to understand and may need expert interpretation. Sometimes a composition piece might look good and be spelled and punctuated correctly, but has nevertheless failed to answer the question properly.
If there is an iPad in the room while your child is trying to work it can prove an easy distraction between lessons. It is not good to switch from making ‘brain and pen’ connections to computer games because both activities stimulate different parts of the brain.Your child will need to perfect the management of calm retrieval of data. They also need time to absorb information – some downtime to process the work they have completed and to let the information sink in. This is best done if breaks involve a walk or some other exercise.
If you find yourself getting nervous, remember the ultimate goal - your child's happiness. With so much riding on the outcome, most parents are quite nervous (as are school heads!). But it’s vital that you don’t convey this to your child. Aim to be relaxed and detached. Don’t push, just give gentle encouragement and explain that exams are not the be all and end all. Help your child to de-stress by making sure they take regular breaks. Tired children are also easily frustrated, and are unlikely to be able to concentrate. Remember that factors such as parents’ relationship difficulties, financial stress, bullying and illness can all affect a child’s performance in their exam. Try to protect them from the real world as much as you can.
If your child doesn’t do as well as you expected, don’t take it lying down – appeal! Grammar schools have an established process for this. For independent schools, the decision is entirely discretionary. Generally speaking you are more likely to succeed if you have the support of your child’s head teacher to confirm that the poor performance on the exam day was unexpected. But stay calm; our advice is to accept the result and praise your child for all their hard work. There are plenty of other schools that will be a good fit for your child and with a bit of help you can make a plan to get them back on the road to academic success and emotional well being.
"Because of Russell's efforts over half term, Doug's marks in his Common Entrance improved so much! I can't thank him enough".
Mrs. T, 11+ Preparation
"I found Erin to be an excellent tutor. She engages with her student and has a clear understanding as to how best to teach the child using methods they will relate to. Within a very short space if time, Erin understood how my son approached English and Maths and taught him accordingly with various plans and pointers to collect maximum marks. Erin made the whole process of the 11+ simpler and instilled great confidence in my son and the belief in himself. Always well presented, punctual and reliable. We would have no hesitation to recommend Erin to anyone".
Mrs. G, 11+ Tuition
"Doug's marks in his Common Entrance improved so much! Russell remained calm and was just brilliant. I can't thank him enough".
Mrs. R, 11+ Common Entrance Preparation
"James was offered at all 3 schools he sat exams for, including Bancroft's, Forest and Chigwell Schools. He was the only child to do this in his school. We took some time to take this in but have now accepted a place at Bancroft's school for September. Nicolas was great. He bonded with James from the start over a shared love of all things Japanese and got him laughing at the very first lesson. He was experienced with children so was able to be firm and focussed without needing to be heavy handed. James looked forward to his sessions with Nicolas as a fun time with a friend. Nicolas gave honest feedback to both James and I on his progress and this allowed me to support his efforts outside of the lessons. I would recommend him to other parents.I would like to thank Simply Learning for all the support we have received on this journey".
Mrs. A, 11+ Tuition and Preparation for Bancroft's, Forest and Chigwell
Advice for Parents
Here is a selection of the most popular Advice for Parents articles that covers a wide variety of topics and questions we have encountered advising families since 2009. You can access more articles on our Advice for Parents page by using the link below.