Do You Need A Tutor For 11 Plus?

Is 11 Plus tutoring necessary?

I grew up in a part of the country where there was no grammar school culture. I attended the local comprehensive school where I thrived and have continued to have a very successful academic and professional career. Since working for Explore Learning I have come to fully understand the fervour that surrounds the 11 Plus exam and the many potential benefits of it.

One father captured his passion for the 11 Plus perfectly when he said: “I know my children are learning in an environment where everyone wants to be there. They have worked hard to get in, they are motivated learners who strive to achieve. I don’t worry about their class being disrupted by disengaged learners and I am not concerned that they may get in with the ‘wrong crowd’. I know they will be challenged intellectually and have the best chance of succeeding in the future.”

This may be an idealistic view of the grammar school experience, however, I fully understood why this father was so passionate about this path for his children’s future and he did everything in his power to get them there.

Do you need a tutor to pass the 11+?

The 11 Plus exam has historically been the way of selecting those students most suited to an advanced academic stream.

In many countries streaming academic ability in this way has proved to be highly successful, for example, Singapore and high profile gifted and talented programmes in the US.

However, there is often a lot of negative debate around the subject. 10-year-olds put under huge amounts of pressure, ‘hot-housed’ for the exam and huge splits in the perceived quality of education offered at the selective school and in the local comprehensive secondary school.

The ‘right’ environment is the focus here. Ideally, the children passing the 11 Plus exam should be those children who have the ability to succeed in a grammar school. A bad outcome is for a child to attend a grammar school who scraped through an exam just to find him or herself in a challenging environment where it is impossible to keep up with their peer group.

Is 11 Plus tutoring necessary?

11 Plus tuition can be extremely beneficial for children looking to sharpen their skills and prepare to succeed in 11 Plus. Over-tutoring for these exams can be an issue and there is concern that this also alienates less affluent families from the process. There has been a lot of debate around whether 11 Plus exams should be ‘untutorable’ and more of a test of innate abilities.

The CEM exam from the University of Durham is one such exam and has caused a high level of concern among teachers and parents in established 11 Plus areas such as Buckinghamshire. Can an exam really be untutorable and is it right that this should be the case?

The core material of the CEM test is maths and English, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning – skills that can be learnt, practised and improved – they are therefore definitely ‘tutorable’. However, to make it harder to prepare for, the University of Durham do not publish past papers or stipulate the format of the exam and the style in which students have to answer, the speed they have to answer and the mixture of question types.

In holding back this type of information are you at risk of gifted children failing to demonstrate their true abilities because they were unclear on how or where they should put their answer?

At Explore Learning alone we have seen a big increase in the number of parents signing their children up to our 11 Plus tuition – a massive 40% on last year – with approximately 1500 children currently attending them.

Practice papers should be readily available; after all, if a student wants to practise for a test then surely that is their right, and more importantly for the education system, a desirable attribute of a grammar school child.

Learn about what makes a good tutor.

Should I get an 11 Plus tutor?

I am not a fan of ‘hot housing’. I believe that children preparing for the 11 Plus should enjoy the process, take pleasure in learning new skills and honing existing ones. They should develop many skills alongside those covered in the exam so that they become a well-rounded, confident 10-year-old not just a child primed to pass a test.

This is definitely the ethos that underpins our classes at Explore Learning. The feedback we received that children grow in confidence with our 11 Plus tuition course and enjoyed our classes is just as important to us as the successes.

Tuition can improve their exam techniques and boost their confidence in their transition from primary school. If you need help finding an 11 Plus tutor to prepare for the exam, explore our 11 Plus tuition and entrance exam support.

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11 Plus Tutor FAQs

Does my child need tuition for 11+?

Whilst 11+ tuition is not always necessary, it’s almost always beneficial. Tailored 11+ tuition helpsensure your child is ready to sit the 11 Plus exam.

When should I get a tutor for 11+?

Seeking 11+ tuition early is always better. This ensures there is enough time for your child to prepare for their 11 Plus exams and become confident in subjects covered.

What does an 11+ tutor do?

11 Plus tutors are specialised professionals whohave in-depth knowledge and expertise in getting your child ready for their 11 Plus exams. 11+ tutors help to prepare your child and extend their skills within the subjects included in the 11 Plus exam.

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