Is it possible to get into private school without a tutor

(46 Posts)

Dd is very bright. Top of her class in Maths, English. All of her friends have tutors with the aim of trying for private schools, some hope to get bursaries etc. we couldn't afford private school fees but might if we got a bursary or scholarship. She's not good at music or sport just clever.

I don't really want to go down the tuition route as it just heaps on the pressure. But people say you can't get in without tuition as ss don't teach the skills for the tests.

Has anyone got in to competitive private schools without tuition? Sure this has been asked before so sooty. Would love to hear from anyone who hasn't tutored.

TheRevengeOfMrGrumpy Fri 08-Mar-13 12:57:17

I suppose it depends on what you mean by competitive. Our DD got offers from two top twenty schools without using a tutor (from a state school). The only thing we tutored her on was not to wipe her nose on her sleeve during the interview.

Kenlee Fri 08-Mar-13 13:04:10

Ha ha I like that not wiping your nose on your sleeves.. My DD got into a private school without any problems. She never had a tutor apart from Chinese...which ia quite difficult to do without...

BeckAndCall Fri 08-Mar-13 13:16:36

Both my Dds went from state primary to private sector without tutoring.

But, their primary school was/is Sunday times top primary school in the country - so really strong academic background.

On the other hand, their senior school is also ST top independent school, so really tough to get into.

I think the answer is probably "it depends".

hardboiled Fri 08-Mar-13 13:30:25

paddy, I guess you count being prepared by your parents as being tutored?
I never paid a cent for tutoring but did put in the time and effort to prepare DS ourselves - I guess we did have to pay for the books!

It will depend on the level set by the school and how competitive it is but you say you need a bursary... One thing is to get an offer from a school, another very different is to get the school offering you the fees. Your child will have to score pretty high up in the exam. Have you had a look at some of the 11+ exams? Has your DD ever seen a reasoning test before? Verbal and nonverbal? Has she ever been told how to fill in a multichoice separate answer sheet? Has she ever been taught how to manage time in an exam when under pressure? Has she ever encountered simple algebra plus many other Level 6 maths topics? Does she get enough practice re creative writing in her ss?

If the answer is no, then I think it would be unfair to make her sit the exams hoping for a bursary against a cohort of children for whom the answer to these questions will be a big yes. Unfortunately, it's like this. If you want her to have a fair chance then you have to prepare her in one way or another. This doesn't mean heap up the pressure, pressure comes from parents attitudes to the outcome, not from preparing and trying. My DS would've felt a lor more under pressure if he went to the exams not knowing how to ride them.

amidaiwish Fri 08-Mar-13 13:38:54

Do any of your local private schools offer a 10+ deferred entry?

I am tempted to try dd1 for Kingston grammar 10+ without any tutoring, to see how far off the pace she is. (But I will do NVR/VR practice with her myself I guess you can just buy the books & practice papers)?

Our local privates are Alleyns, jags, st dunstans. All v competitive. Good to hear it is possible for some.

Tbh we wouldn't be able to afford fees without massive discount so we are probably ruled out in any case. Most of me thinks she'd be better off not trying as it would be awful to get in and then not be able to afford it

Hardboiled I wouldn't count help from parents as tutoring. We try to help and encourage all the time. I don't even know where to start re the types of exams these schools do. Why are they testing different things from sats?

hardboiled Fri 08-Mar-13 14:21:05

They do, don't ask me why. DS sat a superselective grammar that only tested on maths and english but even they now have included a stage 1 based on reasoning. Grrrrrr.

I know it has been vilified on MN, but the elevenplusforum is a very good source of information, especially in terms of the reasoning. And a visit to your local WHS will give you an idea of what it is required - Bond and GL the best publishers of 11+ papers and "How to" books. Then you have to choose schools and see what type of exams they each do - many will have samples in their websites you can print. Then the best is to do a planning, set a time in the week when it is good for everyone and just start. We just did it as in "this is part of the transition", not a big deal. We were all learning together. I could now tutor anyone, gosh did I learn!

Only you can know how academic your DD is and whether it's worth trying for the bursary. You did say she is top of her class. Have you asked her how she feels about all this? Does she want to try?

tiredaftertwo Fri 08-Mar-13 15:53:28

Look on the websites of the schools for details of the exams. IME, and we are not a million miles from that area, they try hard not to include material the kids won't have covered at state primaries, unlike SS grammars. You can also ask all those schools what their % intake is at 11+ but make sure you allow for junior schools if relevant.

The formats and speed and expectations are a bit different - you need practice. It can be more or less stressful using a tutor compared with a parent, depending, but if you can afford tutoring you may be out of the running for a bursary. You should talk to the school first about the income level at which a bursary might be offered, and depending where you live perhaps check out the Whitgift Foundation schools which have generous schemes I gather (they may look far away but trains can be fast).

Honestly though - you need to go to the schools for up to date detailed info. If a bursary is not going to happen, and you can't afford it otherwise, there really is no point in putting yourselves through the mill.

LadyPeterWimsey Fri 08-Mar-13 16:06:03

Same as hardboiled here, and have got maximum bursaries and scholarships for two children now with parental help but no tutors.

The most helpful thing one school did was give us the bursary form to fill in as a sort of trial run, and then they gave us an idea of the level of support we would qualify for. That meant that we knew if the DC did well that we would be eligible; otherwise it is hard to know if it is right to put them in for a school they may get in to but then you can't afford the fees.

Our experience is that bursars have been very helpful, and at the schools we applied for (3 different ones now) they genuinely wanted to give places to bright children who couldn't otherwise afford to go. It is in their interest after all.

castlesintheair Fri 08-Mar-13 16:08:02

My DS was only "tutored" by us for a few months and got into a selective school. I think he is quite bright though a late developer but it is hard to tell in the highly competitive area we live in. I do think their maturity at this age plays a big part in it all as well as ability and preparation. The DCs from his state school who got into schools that are in top 10 of league tables are all bright too but have all been tutored for a minimum of 3 years prior to the 11+.

If you want to find out what they test on, have a look at their website under admissions and it should give you a good idea. Many have sample papers. The standard for the competitive London ones seems to be maths, english - comprehension and essay, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. IME they should be at least a 5 in SATs by time they sit the exam (January of Year 6 usually). My DS is a 6 in Maths and was told he wasn't strong enough for one of the selectives he sat so, like others have said, it depends on so many things.

shikin Fri 08-Mar-13 16:34:50

Hello, I was where you are about a year back and yes, it is possible not to go the tutor route. However, I will not recommend sending DD without any sort of preparation. Competition is really tough for spaces in good indies/grammars and in most cases, other DCs tend to sit for quite a few schools to spread their bets.

We didn't have the funds to go the tutor route and tried supporting DD by giving her past papers, VR and NVR. Some of the books have answer sheets which is fine although I did struggle trying to explain some of the NVR stuff. The past papers comes without answers so to mark them and feedback to DD, I had to brush up on my own stuff!

The prep is really a two-prong approach - to make sure DD covered all the subjects needed plus get used to exams conditions. Interviews are another hurdle, of course.

Now about the bursaries, it is also pegged to DD ranking on the entrance exams; something which didn't occur much to me when we started. We tried very hard because we are aiming for scholarship/bursaries and although I think DD is bright (level 5a end of Yr 5, now level 6 in year 6 in Maths and English), the competition is so so tough for bursaries, we only got fee-paying offers in two selective indies. Luckily we had an offer for a bursary for a 3rd one.

IndridCold Fri 08-Mar-13 17:10:23

It's such an incredibly competitive environment, and if you are looking for a bursury as well, even more so.

I think you should keep in mind other factors such as outside interests, which can sometimes swing the balance in favour of a particular child in the case of a close 'tie'. Schools like children who will do well in a regional or even national arena, which will in turn reflect well on the school.

You mention that sport and music are out, but you might want to look at things like essay, spelling or maths competitions. Keep an eye on the local papers for things that your DD might get involved in to raise her profile a bit.

crazycarol Fri 08-Mar-13 21:06:08

I didn't even think about tutoring, or even realise that people do it! However I did some preparation on the types of papers with dd myself. She got in (to a selective school) and got a bursary. She isn't smart enough for a scholarship but we are poor enough to get some bursary funding.

Pretzelsmakemethirsty Wed 13-Mar-13 22:23:20

You put your child at a disadvantage by not having him/her tutored at all, since everyone else is being tutored. If your child is in a state school, they have to compete for places with children from prep schools who are being prepped 5 days a weeks for months on end, just to pass these 11+ exams. If you are already in an independent school, you are better placed for an 11+, due to the prep work that the teachers there do. How much tutoring needed depends, of course, on the ability of your child. Yes, it is true that some children seem to have no private tuition at all and still pass these tests, but they have probably had a lot of parental input and support and 'coaching'.

Pretzelsmakemethirsty Wed 13-Mar-13 22:24:03

You put your child at a disadvantage by not having him/her tutored at all, since everyone else is being tutored. If your child is in a state school, they have to compete for places with children from prep schools who are being prepped 5 days a weeks for months on end, just to pass these 11+ exams. If you are already in an independent school, you are better placed for an 11+, due to the prep work that the teachers there do. How much tutoring needed depends, of course, on the ability of your child. Yes, it is true that some children seem to have no private tuition at all and still pass these tests, but they have probably had a lot of parental input and support and 'coaching'.

MTSgroupie Thu 14-Mar-13 09:53:03

crazy - doing preparation with your DC is tutoring.

I am constantly confused by what parents consider to be not tutoring. One such parent went on to say that, instead of tutoring, she preferred to spend quality time with DC and do things like brain puzzle games on the iPad???

But to answer the OP's question, we successfully home tutored all three DCs. If we hadn't they still could have passed the 11+ at a non competitive selective. For their schools however, the 'safe' mark was 90% plus. Without tutoring they wouldn't have been able to pass.

ariane5 Thu 14-Mar-13 14:18:09

It is possible to do well in 11+ with no tutoring.

My dd managed to get an offer at an independent school and had no tutoring. I got her some bond workbooks but she sat and did them herself most evenings so not sure if that counts as 'tutoring'. All her friends had extensive tutoring. Dd has always read a huge amount of books though and is very good at english, her maths is not as strong but she tries her best.

She said she found the verbal/non verbal tests ok, that it was almost like doing puzzles and not hard to understand so I am not sure why it is seen to be so important to have tutoring for those type of tests?

OhDearConfused Thu 14-Mar-13 14:55:13

I don't know anyone who got into a selective secondary school in SW london without tutoring. Even friends who sent their DCs to prep schools tutored. (That alwasys puzzle me!).

I know people who have successfully got bursaries for their DCs but also tutored to get them up to the standard.

But agree also that a tutor is not necessary if the parent is motivated/competent themselves to help preparation and the DC doesn't mind getting down to it with the DP (some kids benefit from outside help simply because they have less resistance to putting the effort in if not being asked to by parents).

sue52 Thu 14-Mar-13 19:26:36

I can't think of a single state or prep school educated child at DD's old west kent grammar who did not have tutor for her 11plus.

amidaiwish if you are going for KGS 10+ they only do VR not NVR so don't waste your time on NVR. DD did it this year - said the maths was hard, English ok and the VR was very easy, she did it in 10 mins and had time to go over it 3x

She has just started small group tutoring (ie 6 of them in a class 45 mins a week) and got in to KGS without being tutored. I bought a couple of VR books and we looked through them just to see if there was anything that flummoxed her the weekend before the exam.

Farewelltoarms Fri 15-Mar-13 11:57:44

ODC - I am also puzzled by all the prep school kids who get tutors. I have always thought the appeal of a prep school is that they would, er, prep your child so that you could subcontract out all that anxiety and just enjoy your children outside of school. But, yes, they all do seem to have tutoring on top which is why the average state school child is at a disadvantage if they have no preparation (parental or otherwise).
We have relatives who are very smug about the fact that their boys got into QEB 'without tutoring'. They went to a prep school and their dad is a teacher who trained himself up in VR etc...

amidaiwish Fri 15-Mar-13 13:46:21

Thanks Countess. Sounds good. do you know what tests LEH and surbiton high do? Have been to SHS but waitingfor all the open days this autumn to get all the info.

newgirl Fri 15-Mar-13 14:12:38

Yes my dd got selective place w no tutor though I did two test papers w her. But scholarships might not be as valuable as you think - my dd got one for 10% which barely touches the fees! Bursaries only avail to those earning combined less than 40k.

TWOTB Fri 15-Mar-13 14:33:41

Lets be clear here: there are selective schools (in 11+ counties) and there are the top indies (st Paul's, Westminster and so on) and the superselective gramamrs (Henrietta Barnet, Tiffins and so on).

Can believe its possible to do what newgirl says for the Bucks/Kents "ordinary" grammars, but not for the latter - with exceptions perhaps for the most highly gifted of children.

TWOTB Fri 15-Mar-13 14:35:07

... when for eg, for Tiffins, you are competing with 2000 pupils who are all incredibly bright for 150 or so places, and most of those 2000 have been well prep'd for just that test.

JollyYellowGiant Fri 15-Mar-13 14:37:12

My brother and I both got into a selective private school from a state primary without tutoring. We both also got bursaries. But it depends entirely on the school and the exact level of academia expected.

MTSgroupie Fri 15-Mar-13 14:58:21

RE the value of scholarships, at DC's they have 50% each year to divi up. Typically that means 5 scholarships at 10% each but it varies from year to year.

In DC1's year the split was 20%, 20% and 10% (=50%). In DC2's year it was split 30%, 10% and 10%. I heard that one year a kid was miles ahead of the competition and got the whole 50%. Here on MN I heard of DC's getting 100% (I don't know how common that is).

So, depending on your school, a scholarship can make a difference. And even at 10% that's still about £1500 pa x 5 years. £7500 is quite a saving.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 15:14:13

I'm guessing you are talking about London. Here you write a cheque and have a bash at the scholarship exam if you think your clever enough.

DFs DD got offered scholarships at two different schools, not a tutor in sight. Very bright girl and a pretty reasonable state primary.

Copthallresident Fri 15-Mar-13 16:10:41

I think it depends on whether your child is confident over the required syllabus. DD1 from an International School that paralleled state schools here hadn't covered the syllabus so we used Key Stage 2 Maths workbooks in the Autumn term to bring her up to speed. She had a lovely tutor, also for a term, a cosy hour in her living room with squash and biscuits to do the same on the literacy side. Most of the schools she applied for had exams that tested ability as much as attainment and though we practised reasoning and logic questions, if they don't have the ability you can't put it there. She got in to the four top girls' schools.

Oh Dear Confused DD2 applied from a South West London Prep, there were a couple of deranged parents who had tutors on top but it was totally unnecessary as they were rehearsed over all the ground to within an inch of their life, any more and they would have spontaneously combusted. Since tutors were engaged because said deranged parents thought their child would be a failure if they didn't get into St Paul's Girls', it was a waste of money too (they didn't whilst the brightest, though untutored, did), and quite probably child abuse.

The scene for boys at 13 is different though as they seem to want them ready prepared for AS level......

Copthallresident Fri 15-Mar-13 16:22:09

TWOTB Having had two DDs at a top indie, I know a significant number of girls were not tutored. The exam tests ability as much as attainment and they put a lot of value on the interview. They also ask if girls have been tutored and take that into account. They build up a full picture of the pupil with reasoning, logic and general knowledge questions as well as attainment. Providing they reach the minimum level of attainment that they build on they will take girls with weaknesses in attainment if they have demonstrated ability and potential. I know because I was concerned whether my dyslexic DDs should be there but they clearly had a very good idea of their strengths and weaknesses. The Head actually said to me that you learn a lot about a girl at interview. Year 7 starts by consolidating Year 6 precisely to bring everyone up to the same level.

loveyouradvice Fri 15-Mar-13 18:45:38

I do think you need to prepare them unless you are at an exceptional primary - two very bright kids I know were relatively untutored this year and didnt get offers... just as bright as all those who did but not prepared.

You can do it yourself - I did a fair amount with my daughter, especially about techniques and what they were looking for.

Two key points - I think it is unfair to put them in without preparing them adequately AND I do think just doing all the prep has huge benefits and needed be pressure but a positive experience. My DC has grown enormously in confidence and love of writing storiesand now enjoys maths for the first time ever - as well as more ready to try new things. Key for us was DC decision to go for it in June - ie self-motivated - and we then did 3-5 hours a week for six months, which is NOT a huge amount but did make a HUGE difference. You'll be amazed how fast a bright child can learn! Result - offers from all schools (all academic), scholarship from one - and I do not think she is brighter than those who performed less well, but just better prepared and more "ready" on the day.

I would check out how eligible you are for bursaries with your key schools - we only were with one which we didnt alas like (although a top school not right for DD)... they vary enormously

poppydoppy Fri 15-Mar-13 19:07:43

DD sat for St Albans high school without being tutored and got in.

sue52 Fri 15-Mar-13 19:45:02

I just checked the cut off score for 2012 at DD's old school. It is now 413 out of a maximum 420. Anyone not doing a bit of extra tutoring with their child had better be very confident.

Needmoresleep Sat 16-Mar-13 07:53:22

It depends on the school. I disagree slightly with Copthall. (Unusual as I usually agree.) We tend to know the more central London girls and I would be surprised if many of the SPGS girls we know were not tutored. Some, as she suggests, very very extensively. (The exceptions were very bright and from prep schools.) There is a huge cache around getting your child into the school, and the school is looking for girls who expect to work very hard. The school unlike others, does not seem to do much catch up in Yr 7. You need to hit the ground running. Hence, I assume, their relatively small percentage of kids from state primaries.

The same does not seem to be true of other schools in the area, where the proportions from state schools tends to be higher, and where kids from private preps get the chance to consolidate in Yr 7, whilst the others cover the ground for the first time.

Many kids from state primaries though do seem to have had some tuition. I went to a Yr7 coffee morning where there was a widespread moan about the local tutors and how much they charged. I suspect this may have been the first time people were open about the subject. Many of the kids had had a shot at grammar and were primarily prepared for this, with the indie as a fall back.

Like any exam your child needs to have covered the syllabus and be secure in their understanding. Prep schools should have done this. If your child is from a state primary, there may be gaps in maths which need to be covered and unless your child is a natural, they may well need essay and comprehension practice. They should also be familiar with the sorts of VR and non VR questions that may come up.

Beyond that they need some exam practice, the aim being to have them go into an exam confident and able to perform well in a timed setting. Again prep schools have this covered. If you child has not done many exams, get them to do timed papers. If you have room you might also consider applying to a couple of selective state schools amongst your options. Their exams are in the autumn and will be way more scary. Private school tests, where they lay on good food and try to help kids feel at ease, then appear like a walk in the park.

Beyond ensuring your child is able to show what they are capable of I suspect tutoring starts to be counter productive. Schools are looking for potential. They are judged on what they achieve with 18 year olds, not what their 11 year olds know. Too much tutoring is likely to lead to anxiety or lack of spontaneity, and leave the school unsure how much is the child and how much is the coaching. You want your child in the right setting, and squeezing a kid into a more academic school is probably not in anyone's interest.

Copthallresident Sat 16-Mar-13 10:50:34

nomoresleep I don't actually know of any girls who went to SPGS from DDs' prep having had additional tutoring but then any serious SPGS prospects are trained like prize race horses by the school............ DD1 was completely put off SPGS by the exam and interview process, she felt that they were arrogant and disinterested, one of the things that put her off was that their answer when we asked why such a small proportion of state school pupils got in compared to the other schools we visited, that state school pupils were behind prep school pupils and they weren't prepared to enable them to catch up shock Pretty short sighted view since those coming from state schools to DDs' school were every bit as much represented amongst the top achievers.

poppydoppy Sat 16-Mar-13 11:30:04

I would be interested to know how far into the curriculum parent tutor their children to gain a place at 11?

Copthallresident Sat 16-Mar-13 12:50:21

The schools will publish details of their entrance exams, some even provide past papers. I am not aware of any indies that require attainment past the Year 6 curriculum. It is more a case of making sure they are secure in all the concepts and processes covered in the Year 6 curriculum and preparing them to be asked to use logic to apply familar concepts in unfamilar contexts. like the later questions here However they won't allow the unfamilar contexts to become familar, because it is the way in which they approach finding the answer that they are interested in. The year that DD sat the Godolphin paper the last question kept several of us mothers (Maths graduates, business postgrads etc.) busy for a day or so trying to be the first to get to the answersmile but it was more logic puzzle than maths question

DD did finally encounter how to solve a question that arose in SPGS's Science comprehension when doing AS Biology! However you could not tutor an 11 year old to that level!! They are looking at how they approach finding a solution rather than whether they know how to do it.

purples Sat 16-Mar-13 14:52:02

Hi Paddy, you don't mention what school year your DD is in, as that makes a great difference to how you approach exams. Also is your DD in state or indie primary?
To get a full bursary, I see no way round it, you have to tutor. Full bursaries will only be given to the best performing DC at exam/interview, so a bright child without tutoring may perform well, but will it be well enough for a 10% or 100% bursary? DIY tutoring is fine as you know your childs strengths/weaknesses, but there has to be some form of familiarization with the papers, exam techniques etc. If you are unsure about resources, then most indies/grammar school will issue past papers that will at least give an indication of level required. I've done a mix of DIY home tutoring and some private tutoring (had problems finding a good tutor!). I must have done something right as I now have 2 DCs at superselective Grammars. Found a lot of useful advice online (especially ttp:// ).
My DC were at state primaries, so when it came to indie/11 plus exam, they are at a disadvantage to DC from private primaries. State primaries concentrate on SATs, compared to indie primaries which from a young age teach the skills needed for 11plus/ scholarship exams. If your DD is state primary, then you have alot of ground to catch up on, a bright child can succeed.

Copthallresident Sat 16-Mar-13 15:14:31

I should add that in terms of bursaries DDs' very selective indie school works quite hard to find bright children who deserve them, liaising with state primaries, running Saturday morning classes etc. I am quite sure that for most of the pupils they enable to take up bursaries the parents wouldn't have the resources to tutor. They work hard to make the exams tutor neutral and more about ability and potential than attainment. I am sure the same applies to all the old established indies.

Pyrrah Sat 16-Mar-13 15:41:36

Depends on the school your child is at and the school they are sitting for.

I spoke to admissions at one of the top London girls schools about 7+ and 11+ and they freely admitted that students sitting from state primaries would probably not have covered some of the maths that would be included in the exam papers.

They told me that even though they didn't like students to be tutored, if it was a child from a state school then they would have no problems at all with tutoring for the exams - but please not for the interviews.

I've applied for a primary school place in a state primary that offers extra classes to children sitting the 11+ and prides itself on an excellent record of getting children into super-selective indies and GS.

DH and I both went the selective route back in the 1980s - I went to a hot-housing prep and DH went to a state primary but had two years of tutoring (since he went on to get across the board A's at GCSE and A level, and a place at Oxford it wasn't a case that he couldn't keep up having been tutored to get in - ALL his friends were tutored to get in or went to preps).

DH and I fully intend to tutor DD for several years in advance. Competition for places is fierce as it is, and will become more so with the rising birth rate. I would feel I had let her down if I put her in for an exam without being prepared as well as possible. If we are after a bursary or scholarship then it is even more important.

It isn't a case of an average child being tutored to get into these schools, it is the case of very bright children being tutored to give them the extra 1 or 2 points that make the difference between a place or no place.

Copthallresident Sat 16-Mar-13 17:15:28

Actually ironically I think a child will be helped more by tutoring to get into the less selective top London schools. The exams for places like Surbiton and KGS were much more focused on attainment than G&L, LEH and SPGS who had exams it would be much more difficult to tutor a child to do well in. Nor is entry to the latter schools a case of first past the post, and 1 or 2 marks making the difference. The admissions process is designed to enable them to learn about all aspects of the DCs ability and personality precisely so they can make a holistic judgement about whether the child will succeed at the school based on a whole range of factors, attainment is just one of those. They will often admit pupils with significant weaknesses in attainment if they can see that they are bright, have potential and the qualities that will enable them to succeed at the school. All a bit opaque but when I phoned to make sure my DDs were not going to be below average they were able to articulate exactly what qualities had led to them offering them a place and had achieved a pretty good idea of their strengths and weaknesses, they are by the way about as different as two human beings could be......

Copthallresident Sat 16-Mar-13 17:17:03

I should say before nomoresleep jumps in that SPGS is probably the exception to that in that no weaknesses of any sort would be tolerated grin

pithy Sun 17-Mar-13 18:35:54

"They can make an holistic judgement...based on a whole range of factors"

These "holistic judgements" are made on the basis of subjective values and are therefore biased, no matter how experienced the assessor is likely to be. The only robust tests used are the measurable entry exams.

Copthallresident Sun 17-Mar-13 18:43:22

pithy From the mouth of the Headmistress of one of the top 10 schools in teh country "we learn a lot from interviews". They have a basic cut off on attainment which prunes 25% of applicants, then interview the rest and select 25% on the basis of interview, VR and general knowledge.

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