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11 plus – how best to prepare

The 11 plus (eleven plus) has just taken place in Manchester schools. If your child is in Year 5 then now is the best time to start preparing them for their 11+ next year.

The 11+ (also known as the 11 plus or eleven plus) is an exam. Students take it in their last year of primary school (year 6). Students who want to get a place at grammar schools take this exam and these schools use the exam to decide who gets a place. There are a 164 state funded grammar schools in England and the well known ones in the Manchester area include Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Loreto Grammar School, Sale Grammar School, St. Ambrose College, Hale Barns,  Stretford Grammar School and Urmston Grammar School. If your child is in Year 5 then this is an ideal time to start preparing for their eleven plus next year. Good eleven plus tutors get booked up quickly and many have waiting lists, most students need a year or so of preparation before the 11 plus.

If you want to get a place at one of these schools (or another selective grammar school) then you have to take and pass  the 11 plus.

What does the eleven plus involve? It varies depending on where you live in the country but usually involves testing of verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, maths and English. You can find out more about the specifics of the eleven plus your child will be taking from either the school you are applying to or your local LEA. The 11+ varies from school to school with most schools basing their test on the NFER (National 11 plus).

How can I help my child prepare for the eleven plus? The 11 plus is unique in that seemingly bright pupils can ‘fail’ the exam. It tests skills sometimes not specifically taught in the state school system and so you will need to do extra preparation work with your child to ensure they are prepared for the 11 plus. We usually recommend parents start with the Bond assessment papers, they offer short tests in the various topics required. They are several areas you should concentrate on with your child including vocabulary (which helps with both English and verbal reasoning), mental arithmetic and logic problems – you can read more about eleven plus topics here.

Do I need an eleven plus tutor to help my child? Getting a place at grammar school is hard, there is fierce competition for places and the 11 plus is not an ‘easy’ test. At 121 Home Tutors, we have tutors who know exactly what it takes to get a place in one of the grammar schools in Manchester and Trafford. We usually recommend tutoring starts several months before the eleven plus, giving us sufficient time to focus on the various topics and skills. Time allows your child to gain the confidence they need and practise the questions.  You can tutor your child yourself but you need to be very familiar with the materials and standards required and be able to keep your child motivated.

Is my child likely to pass the 11 plus? If you are working with a 121 Home Tutor, we can assess areas of weakness and work on them well before your child sits an eleven plus. If you are tutoring your child then it’s worth assessing their current ability and creating a plan to tackle problem areas.

If you need help with tuition for grammar school entrance tests and 11+ then contact us at 121 Home Tutors. We have helped children from across Manchester and Cheshire including Altrincham, Didsbury, Sale, Chorlton and around Wilmslow get into Altrincham Girls Grammar and Altrincham Boys Grammar, Sale, Stretford and Urmston grammar schools.


4 Responses to “11 plus – how best to prepare”

  1. naz raza says:

    Looking for tutor for my daughter who is in year 5 at the moment.

  2. Alison says:

    Hi – if you’d like to either call us or drop us an email -letting us know where you are, if you need tuition for a particular purpose (eg 11+ or entrance test prep, or maybe just general primary support and confidence building), if you would prefer a tutor to come to your home and/or if you could travel to a local tutors house and if you have any other specific requests re a tutor we can then help you find a potential tutor Thx, Alison

  3. Minakshi says:

    How I can find home tutor or private tutor to prepare 11 plus exam in London. I am leaving between Harrow and Edgware is there any possibility if I can find best tutor for my son to prepare 11 plus exam

    Many thanks,

  4. Alison says:

    Hi meena

    We cover Manchester and Cheshire – good luck in your hunt for a tutor.

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