When should you start 11 Plus practice?

Year 6 is quite a year for our children whether they are sitting entrance exams, SATs or preparing to move up to Secondary school. All are academic hurdles which children need to navigate…

Entrance exams for Grammar, Independent or Private Schools need different preparation since the exams fall between September in Year 6 or just after Christmas.

This means that many of the topics tested may not have been taught in the state system by then. What does this mean for your child?

How to navigate entrance exams

Realistically, because of the more advanced English and Maths requirements, you need to start earlier if your son or daughter is competing for a coveted place.

With English entrance exams, for example, the comprehension text is often set at a much higher ability level. ChildrenĀ therefore need earlier exposure to wider vocabulary knowledge, pre-twentieth century texts and how to answer harder inference and language analysis questions.

Many students we support through the 11 Plus process are often surprised by the extra difficulty level. This is where one to one tuition can come into its own. Far from tutoring purely for an exam, our specialist tutors teach a raft of skills and strategies to help our tutees tackle tough questions with confidence.

Tuition is all about nurturing what is there, after all. If a child really isn’t cut out for entrance exam testing, we always speak to parents.

How to handle fierce competition

Here at 121 Home Tutors, we are not advocates of pushing a child to be perfect at all costs. Instead, our children do need to learn how to handle life’s pressures. We can’t eradicate stress, but we can skill-up youngsters to do their best through trying times.

One of the issues which parents need to understand is that entrance exam students are not competing against themselves – they are competing against hundreds of others all vying for a school place. It’s not unheard of to have 800 youngsters sitting exams for just 250 places…

That said, not all schools select students by academic results alone. While it helps to teach your child exam techniques, many schools have an interview process, plus look at the wider ‘all round’ picture.

Need entrance exam support?

Some of our past eleven plus students have been offered school places based on their sporting abilities, or having ‘good egg’ personalities or great school reports. Equally, many smashed their initial expectations and achieved incredible exam results…

So our main advice, therefore, is not to heap extra stress on children by reminding them how few places there are, but to give them the skills they need to simply do their best on the day.

We have secured places for scores of students in the past who have been attracted to local grammar and independent schools across Manchester and Cheshire. When you, too, need a tutor with entrance exam expertise, get in touch with us.

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