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Tutoring for Eton

(39 Posts)
Dancingdreamer Sat 07-Feb-15 13:06:37

Posting in behalf of a friend. Last minute decision to sit son for Eton and Harrow. Has to do pretest (not sure when but quite soon) but at idependent school which has own senior so does not prepare boys for other schools.

Does anyone know of any tutors who will prepare a boy for these schools. Needs to be in Midlands or perhaps an internet service. The parents don't want to move him to another prep or consider any other schools as if he is unsuccessful he will stay at current school.

TinkerBellThree Sat 07-Feb-15 14:07:03

You cannot prep for the Eton test and interview as far as I am aware. It is spesificallt developed so that prepping is neither required nor desired.
The Harrow interview-test is not until year seven, and as far as I have been informed, preparation is not required for this either. I believe the schools want to see the boys potential rather than pre-rehersed answers. I hope this is of some help.

ZeroFunDame Sat 07-Feb-15 14:18:38

This is not very helpful I'm afraid, but if your friend genuinely thinks you can buy Internet tuition for the yr 6 pre-tests they have either not done enough research into the application process or have misunderstood what they have read.

The test for at least one of the two schools is designed to be untutorable for. (That is to say it should require no more than regular education at a reasonably good school.)

Tell your friend that if her DS is clever and outgoing and can demonstrate an enthusiasm for boarding he stands an equal chance of succeeding as any other similar boy.

bcareathe Sat 07-Feb-15 16:15:36

The more important question is going to be, does the boy's current school prepare for Common Entrance? If the expectation is that all its children go through to its own senior school, there might well be differences between their syllabus and the one that'll be assumed for exams at 13 by Eton and Harrow. In that case, it might just be a question of reading syllabuses, or having a tutor for one or two subjects, or it might be really impractical to stay there and go on to Eton or Harrow. As others have said, definitely no need to prep for the pretest for Eton, and I believe the same is true of Harrow.

Dancingdreamer Sun 08-Feb-15 14:47:09

Her issue is that the current school prepares only for own entrance exam so boy has no ideas about prep tests or common entrance. When I said internet I was meaning are there any resources which she can access to help her. As I said it was a very last minute decision to enter him due to a change in circumstances So she would agree that not done a lot of research.

She asked for my help as she knows I was looking at boarding for my daughter but I have researched 6th form entry not age 13. People were really helpful on here when I needed help so was hoping someone woukd be able to pass on good advice for her too.

grovel Sun 08-Feb-15 15:03:32

My DS did no preparation for the Eton test (well, one interview practice/chat with prep headmaster).

ZeroFunDame Sun 08-Feb-15 15:08:14

Ok. Firstly she doesn't need to even think about CE unless and until her DS passes a pre-test.

One thing I didn't mention before is the need for the current schools support in applying to other schools. The HM's report is very, very important so she needs his blessing.

I'm sorry I sounded unhelpful. Lots of people do think places can be bought with money alone.

But I repeat - no extra resources needed for E pre-test at least. (Assuming she has been, or will go, for a school tour they will confirm this.)

As another poster has said there might be a difficulty if the current school does not for instance teach Latin. Her son won't have the same waivers as boys from a state school. But she would - at that stage - need to talk to the prospective senior school.

ZeroFunDame Sun 08-Feb-15 15:09:49

Oh! It's a really hard process to go through without thorough research!

ZeroFunDame Sun 08-Feb-15 15:12:35

hmmSorry - Latin is only in relation to CE. Not pre-test!

Dancingdreamer Sun 08-Feb-15 22:46:47

Agree about needing to research hence why trying to help her gather all the info we can. As we have some of the leading day schools in the country near here, people don't send their kids away so no one in our circle to help with these schools. So thanks again to all who have replied!

I know she has spoken to the current junior and overall school head. I understood that they were helpful but not sure what report they have given. Plus they don't generally expect kids to go anywhere else except to their senior school so not sure if they would know what these schools looking for in these reports.

Also school does do Latin but not sure what age they start.

Are people in feeder schools really not doing any preparation for these pre-tests? Finding this hard to believe. I say that coming from a grammar school area where all schools say you can't and shouldn't prepare for exams yet everyone does!

bcareathe Sun 08-Feb-15 23:07:02

Really truly! DS's prep has a steady, good record with E, W and H, and they told us there was no need to prep. The E pretest, at least, is nothing like the formulaic 11+ tests you hear about elsewhere. DS said it was more like a computer game than a test. You could maybe prepare by forcing the boy to play Minecraft daily...

ZeroFunDame Sun 08-Feb-15 23:18:33

Is it ok if I jump in hot on your question? (Just picked phone up.)

Imagine the best, the loveliest, the very cleverest-at-getting-DCs-in-to-the-toppest-of-top-senior-school preps in the world country. Most of the yr 6 pupils will have been there, night and day for at least two years. Absorbing all that wonderfulness Some of the pupils would have arrived that year. (Absorbing only minutes of wonderfulness.) Imagine this heavenly place sends their brightest and best half to said pre-tests. Some of these young wonderfulnesses will be the scion of generations who have attended the desired, exalted havens of the 13+ schools. Off they trot to the pre-test. Here they are back again. Computer test. Check. Interview. Check. HM's Report. Check. Let's wait happily for the results.

Oooh look. Quite one third of them have firm offers. Another third waiting list. But look! Can it be true? Some of these small wonderfulnesses (no matter how zillionairate their parents or how long their family tradition at such and such a school) some of these small will have to look elsewhereshock And no one (except their little fellows ...) could say why this one and not that.


Medoc Sun 08-Feb-15 23:33:07

Sorry zero, that's gone straight over my head. How do they select?

ZeroFunDame Sun 08-Feb-15 23:36:46

Normal school, a cosy chat about applying with the tutor, a practice interview (can't remember, probably,) with the HM.

Families are told not to wear the kids to a frazzle because being over-prepared is a positive hindrance to a sprightly and spontaneous performance.

Anyone doing the E computerised test will be able to have a practice at the mechanics of the computer thing. No expensive prep required.

Prep schools come into their own once you have passed the pre-test and have a conditional offer. The CE mark for these schools is pretty high; those aiming for scholarship have a massive amount of work to cover. They are worked really hard in yrs 7 and 8. (You're not expected to fail CE if you already have an offer.)

It's intense. No idea how people would do it outside a prep. Which is why state school candidates take a modified exam covering the syllabus they will have covered. And why your friend will need to sort this out personally with all the schools involved if her DS passes the pre-test.

ZeroFunDame Sun 08-Feb-15 23:37:14

How who??

ZeroFunDame Sun 08-Feb-15 23:51:21

Sorry Medoc - crossed you. How do who select. (As if I have any idea ...)

Medoc Mon 09-Feb-15 00:42:18

Sorry- whomever you meant when you said 'one third get in, one third waiting list, one third declined'. Did you mean genuinely that no-one really knows why the two thirds are not offered places?

I couldn't tell if you were being [wink wink, nudge, nudge]!

ZeroFunDame Mon 09-Feb-15 01:18:04

Hmmm ... In my recent experience the boys had fairly accurate opinions as to who would probably fit in where. Was harder for parents to accept a surprising decision.

Of course we're only talking about two schools - about one of which I know only so much as the TV has shown us. I know Winchester has a much longer interview - but again I've heard of surprising decisions.

I think most boys might try for two or three and the vast majority would find a place amongst those.

With regards to the OP's question the advantage the preps have is regular, continuous contact with the senior schools. They know what they're doing. They can't guarantee success but they can suggest schools suited to the personality and capabilities of all their individual pupils - and the senior schools know they can trust the prep. That's what you can't buy from any random freelance tutor.

Medoc Mon 09-Feb-15 01:25:48

Ah, thank you- much clearer to me now smile

IndridCold Mon 09-Feb-15 09:57:08

I think the only prep you need is to make sure that the boy is familiar with VR/NVR type tests, and that his maths is good. Weakness in that area seems to be a quite significant reason for not succeeding. There is a video on the website that gives a sneaky glimpse of what the test is like. In interview, they like boys who are 'lively and communicative', and who can chat away happily on a range of subjects (not necessarily something terribly serious or academic btw).

That's quite funny about the thirds zero. DSs prep traditionally sent one or two boys a year to E, but our year was unusually large and 6 boys applied. Of these, two got places, two were declined and two were wait listed, with one of these eventually being offered a place.

ZeroFunDame Mon 09-Feb-15 10:23:34

That is funny yes!

But I was just plucking a fraction out of the air - based on random observation and gossip. The preps I know best send hordes to the pre-test. I felt rather guilty on another thread when someone complained about a rumbustious crowd from one school - knowing it was quite likely that our ten year old was amongst them.

OP another way things are easier for prep school parents is that in the earlier years preps receive visits from the admissions staff of the relevant senior schools specifically to discuss and offer guidance on how to make the best choice. It's much harder to make an informed choice at the last minute. But registration/ admissions staff are ime invariably helpful.

IndridCold Mon 09-Feb-15 11:58:07

On our assessment day it was the parents who were rumbustious, not the boys! grin

Dancingdreamer Mon 09-Feb-15 20:07:31

Lol at the idea of all the rumbustious parents! My friend would really fit in! Hope she's not reading this!

Sorry to keep asking questions but how good does maths need to be? I mean are the boys getting in the very best in the year for maths or more above average? Reason I ask is that his Mum says he is generally stronger at English.

Ingrid do you have a link to the video you mentioned? Thanks again for all your time.

ZeroFunDame Mon 09-Feb-15 20:19:01

Re abilities in different subjects - boys I know of who pass the E pre-test (or indeed the W interview) have generally been in the top stream or second highest stream. They would very much be "all-rounders".

There are btw several videos on the E website if you're curious!

Dancingdreamer Mon 09-Feb-15 20:41:48

It's not my DS so haven't checked the school websites! Sure my friend has looked.

The boy is a charming, bright boy and very sporty. Don't think he is considered scholarship material in current school but mainly because he is a very, very talented sportsman so spends lot of time on his sport. He is certainly not struggling academically. However difficult to gauge his level as not at school that sends to Eton and Harrow He is currently at a moderately good independent. Not sure how the boys there would compare with those at feeder preps...

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