Choosing the Best 11 Plus Tutor for Your Child

A Parent's Guide to Finding the Perfect Tutor

All parents want their child to have the best chance of success in the 11 Plus exams. Choosing the right tutor to work with your child can be key in helping them approach the exams with confidence and achieve their potential.

In this guide we will help you navigate the process, briefly explain the 11 Plus exam and what you might expect from tuition.

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Why Should You Consider an 11 Plus Tutor?

The 11 Plus exam is the generic name given to the exams children take in Year 6, when they are 10 or 11, if they want to transfer to state funded academically selective grammar schools or independent secondary schools. There is no single 11 Plus exam. Grammar schools tend to use exams published by GL or CEM whereas independent schools often write their own. The exam can take many formats but will generally test Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Many independent schools also use an online pre-test, the ISEB, to help them select a proportion of applicants to invite to complete written exams, followed by an interview. Some schools also have an open day where candidates may take part in a range of collaborative activities. Ivy Education have produced a detailed guide to the process which you can find here: The 11 Plus Guide

There are several reasons why your child may need a tutor to do well in the 11 Plus exam.

  • A tutor will first and foremost understand the process and what is expected, and can help demystify the exams.
  • Although most schools state the exams test children across the whole of the Year 6 curriculum, some of the questions will be challenging, the exams are aimed at the top end of the ability range, and even test concepts from the KS3 curriculum. A tutor will ensure your child is on track and that they have covered the expectations in full.
  • Independent prep schools may help prepare your child for the exams, but children from mainstream primary schools are unlikely to have had any practise in Verbal and Nonverbal reasoning questions, or the more challenging maths and English papers.
  • A tutor will also cover exam technique and timing – two crucial areas for success.
  • Lastly, whatever their school experience, a tutor will offer personalised, tailored support for your child.

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Choosing a Tutor

There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing a tutor.

  • Experience: Has the tutor experience in preparing children across all the 11 Plus subjects? Some tutors specialise in maths or English, and you might consider having two separate tutors for this reason. Most tutors, however, will be able to offer support across all the subjects.
  • Pass rates: Ask for the tutor’s track record – can they name schools where their students have successfully applied?
  • Qualifications: There is no specific qualification as an 11 Plus tutor. Qualified teachers with experience of planning programmes of study, teaching children of a similar age and ensuring all their pupils achieve success, may offer additional reassurance.
  • Methods: Tuition can be in person or online. Individual tuition is tailored to your child’s specific needs, but group tutoring or intensive revision courses may also be beneficial.
  • Progress monitoring: How does the tutor monitor progress, and how do they communicate that to you? How do they ensure that your child is on track?
  • Location, Time and Cost: The 11 Plus requires considerable commitment and hard work from your child. A tutor coming to your home, or teaching online, will help save on valuable travel time. Your child will of course need time to relax and enjoy other activities but consider whether they can drop any extra-curricular activities for a short time to concentrate on the 11 Plus.

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How to Choose a Tutor that is Right for Your Child

As well as the factors listed above, you may want to consider what type of tutor would best suit your child, their personality and learning style.

Would they respond best to a more traditional teaching approach, or will they thrive with a more dynamic tutor? Although the two are not mutually exclusive. The best tutors will be able to adjust their style and teaching approach to the learning needs of your child, and tuition should always be flexible and adaptable.

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Selecting an 11 Plus Tutor at Ivy Education

At Ivy Education, we pride ourselves on having some truly excellent 11 Plus tutors. The process starts with an initial consultation with our Education Team. We will then consult a number of tutors we believe are best placed to assist with your child’s specific needs and select the tutor best suited to your child, both academically and emotionally. You can review the information about the tutor before an introduction is made. The tutor will create a bespoke plan to help your child meet all the exam specifications. Our Client Services team will continue to be in touch to ensure you and your child are happy with the tuition.

As well as individual tuition, in person and online, we offer 11 Plus revision courses and mock exams.

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We would recommend tuition starts 12 - 18 months before your child is due to sit the exams. This will give the tutor the opportunity to assess your child, identify any possible weaknesses, and develop the necessary knowledge and skills before working on exam technique and timing.

There is no specific qualification to be an 11 Plus tutor, however tutors who are qualified teachers will have valuable experience helping children learn and progress. Likewise, tutors with a proven track-record of success.

As well as questions about experience and teaching style, you might want to ask how the tutor will keep you informed about your child’s progress throughout the process.

At Ivy Education, we offer bespoke academic assessments which cover all the main areas of the 11 Plus and provide an important snapshot of your child’s attainment at the start of the process. Your tutor will conduct their own assessments as an ongoing part of their teaching, to inform their planning and to ensure your child is on track.

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This guide has outlined the steps you should take to ensure you select the best 11 Plus tutor for your child, the questions you should ask and the factors you need to consider.

As well as individual tuition, in person and online, we offer 11 Plus revision courses and mock exams for independent and grammar schools.

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At Ivy Education we have excellent and experienced 11 Plus tutors. Find out more below.

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Alastair - Ivy Education - Author of Choosing the Best 11 Plus Tutor for Your Child

BY Alastair

Alastair Delafield is the Managing Director and founder of Ivy Education.

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