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11+ Self Tutoring

(39 Posts)
JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sat 01-Dec-18 20:50:57

we live in a v selective Grammar area and we cant afford to tutor. I used to teach but not primary/11+ material.

What do I need to do to help my child with the 11+? Did anyone else do this?

I was thinking the 9-10version of the 11+ booklets initially (weve started one of these) for my year 5 child. We have 3 subjects. Presumably we need to move onto the 10-11 version before they have even finished year 5 material in school!?

How much prep should I be looking at. An hour a weekend initially and the 10min a a day books in summer?

My child does sport and other extra curricular so we dont have tons of time but she is quite geeky and superbright so the grammar would probably be a good fit.

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showmeyourgroovymoves Sat 01-Dec-18 20:57:23

We have signed up to Bond online and my DS does a bit every weekend. It is hard work but I sit with him. Its not about scores, more getting used to questions and a bit of strategy. Pass or not, he will be ok with the format etc.

My DD took it 2 years ago and we used the books. Ramped it up to most days during the summer hols. She passed and is loving year 7. You don't need a tutor imo. All the kids I know that were tutored didn't pass, but are very happy in a non selective school as that is right for them.

Flowersonthewall Sat 01-Dec-18 21:01:10

You sound like me in a years time! My daughter will be in year 5 so not starting anything now but good to get some ideas for this time next year xx

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sat 01-Dec-18 21:09:24

I sort of wanted to start yr 5 a bit low key (we visited the grammar open day end of year 4 so we could see if they liked it initially!) and have emphasised they'd do well wherever they go. Ive also bigged up the other schools (one in particular) as I hate the feeling that they'd put so much work into it and then "fail". Ive said its fun to do and will help prepare for secondary whatever they do.

I think plan is bits together of 9-10 books til feb then start the 10-11 ones then summer do the 10min a day books and some practice real tests (as opposed to ones in the books.)
Does that sound right?

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showmeyourgroovymoves Sat 01-Dec-18 22:53:01

That sounds very similar to our prep. For us, in the summer hols, it was much more about strategy (if its too difficult go back to it, answer all of them even if its a guess, work out which isn't the answer and pick the likeliest, what to do if you are running out of time etc) whereas before that it was more practicing the different type of questions. If they do CAT tests at school, it won't all be new to them.

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 01:04:54


They dont do CAT tests so even the aspect of filling in the little "lozenges" is new to them!!! I remember annual "Richmond tests" at school and we did some practice 11+ "in my day."

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showmeyourgroovymoves Sun 02-Dec-18 08:49:54

Practice tests definitely sound like they will be useful then. And learning to do things quickly. My mantra is "the answer is in front of you and 3 of them are probably way off, so work out the wrong answers". A lot of the time they think they need to work out the answer, whereas imo they work out which it isn't. Good luck. Doing it yourself can be stressful (but I'm not a'll be fine smile)

Hiddeninplainsight Sun 02-Dec-18 08:52:05

I'll be interested to see what others say but I think you might be better to start with 10-11 and then move to the 11+ sample papers, although the how-to books are perhaps the most useful first starting point (at least for VR and NVR - and even for comprehension to a certain degree). Personally for the superselectives and with a very academic DD I wouldn't start with 9/10.

GinaLinetti99 Sun 02-Dec-18 08:58:19

I'm an 11+ tutor. If your child is in Y5, I would really recommend that they start with the 10-11 books. I would be aiming for several short bursts a week, with a longer session at the weekend.

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:02:29

Hidden the 11+ covers material that year 6 are expected to have finished. As shes just started year 5 Im giving her the books theyre supposed to do at the end of year 5, which still means sge wont have covered for eg the maths.

I think we can work through them so she gets the style of questioning and then move it up to the next level.

So far weve pretty much finished the verbal reasoning. The next book (i have both the easier and harder ones for each subject!) looks the same style but trickier questions. Its a whole new way of answering questions so it definitely has helped to ease her in to all the styles of questions they do. (Its GL exams so a set type of question categories for verbal reasoning.) I think getting through the "easier" book will lay down the frame work rather than jumping into 11+ which is a year and a half ahead. Ive only done verbal reasoning so far as weve only been going slowly with a plan to do more after xmas.

Weve certainly got friends that have only really started after Easter with familiarisation papers/proper prep in the summer with classes and quite a few got in.

Alternatively the private schools prep for ages and theres def a group of tutoring agencies that will start in year 4! I don't believe in this personally.

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MrsPatmore Sun 02-Dec-18 09:03:43

Do you mean you are in a super selective Grammar area? Or in an area where 25% who sit get offered a place? I think it makes a difference to the preparation. Head over to the Elevenplusexams website - there is a forum for all of the different areas and their respective exam formats.These vary ie; is it CEM, GL, one stage or two stages etc. Key mantra; speed plus accuracy. Mock tests are very good too.

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:05:13

Thanks Ginal. Im glad we did the earlier one for verbal reasoning as its a completely new skill to her and shes found it easy.

Im not sure about jumping into maths thats that far ahead . If the 10 one is easy she will whizz through it so we can start the 11 one! At least with me I can look at both and we can do a bit each day and I can mix it up a bit

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Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sun 02-Dec-18 09:05:42

Go to the 11+ forum - it'll tell you what the tests are like in your area, and any other information that could be useful, e.g. providers of test, format of tests, timing of tests.

Just a word of warning though - some of the posters are a trifle intense.

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:06:40

Super selective, about 6-9 out of 90 in our year got in last year though (all tutored tjat Im aware of but mostly just towards the end). GL and 3 tests in one sitting .

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Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sun 02-Dec-18 09:07:32

Just to add, a PP talks about Bond. Some areas this might well be useful. But in my area, for example, Nfer set the test papers - and Bond are significantly different, even for the NVR which you might expect to be the same whoever sets them.

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:08:29

Def will wotknon lots of proper mock tests from GL once shes covered the material . For now theres sort of mock tests in the book Im planning to use regularly once shes finished each book. No point testing until she knows the stuff, so focussing on getting to grips with it and then nearer the time actual exam technique.

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JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:10:14

I did look at the bond online and it says they cover GL and CEM but they are different tests so wasnt sure if we'd do that. We have lots of books that have GL on the cover though and past papers from GL for the summer term.

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JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:11:24

We may need to ramp it up a little. We did quite a bit in sept/oct and then havent so much this last month. A bit most days and I think she'd be there.

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OneStepMoreFun Sun 02-Dec-18 09:12:48

We bought the Bond books form WH Smith and worked through them. Start with well below 11+ and work up, as the younger ones are great fun and intorduce the concepts of VR and NVR cleverly and easily.)

Read aloud with DC every single night. Ask informal questions about the story as you go along, 'Why do you think he did that?' or 'What do you think they mean by that?' (if figurative use of language). Keep a notebook beside you and get them to shout out whenever they don't know what a word means (you can turn it into a game) Get them to guess form the context, then tell and have them write it down, with its definition in the notebook. (Top tip given to me by a very siccessful 11+ tutor)
Get them to write a short story at least once a month - maybe enter some competitions - and use their newfound vocab in the stories.

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:14:16

For the books were doing Im essentially using the 10+ books as familiarisation prior to using 11+ books. Its worked for verbal reasoning and given her confidence. I'll see if we can get the maths one done next. If she finds it easy now then in feb when we start the 11+ versions it will be am easy transition I think.

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JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:16:44

Onestep glad youre on the same wavelenths as me! I think if i made it too hard early on she'd lose interest so I wanted to scaffold it.

She is an avid reader and we do read to her (although reading to her doesnt happen on late sport nights she always reads ) . I do think encouraging the love of reading and the library and bookshops etc has helped tremendously. And thankyou for the question ideas.

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TwoGinScentedTears Sun 02-Dec-18 09:18:29

Go on the websites for the schools you're looking at. They should tell you if the test is CEM or Bond style.

I live in a ss grammar area and the Bond books weren't right for the test.

We didn't pay for weekly tuition but we read more old fashioned books together to help with the vocab needed. I did pay for a one off thing which was 3 mornings of revision and a mock exam on the week before the exam. It was really useful because we learned that ds wasn't great at Cloze tests (I'd never heard of them!) and that the exam was more about getting answers down fast-the majority of kids that didn't get in just didn't finish enough of the papers. I also learned that the exam is split into smaller sections and you can't go back over a section once the exam had moved on.

I have no idea if that's the same for your area and exam style but I'd start by finding all of that out.

MrsPatmore Sun 02-Dec-18 09:20:52

I agree that Bond is not that useful for a GL NFER type test but it's a good start. We did the 10-11 Bond at this stage in Year 5 then filled in some gaps. Old Athey papers I think were a similar format and you can try First Past the Post papers but these are harder so I'd leave those until June/July. Ds moved on to the GL practise paper packs from Easter onwards and we concentrated on speed (generally tests are 45/50 mins with 80 questions). We spent time also on practising filling out the separate answer booklets - so easy to get out of sequence under pressure. Ds did a couple of mock tests (Sutton and a super selective school's own one). This was around May and gave us all valuable experience of being in a big hall with several hundred other kids etc. It's pretty nerve wracking! Mocks will flag any weak areas and give you a general idea of where your child sits in a generally well prepared cohort.

Ds went to a group tutor though so we had a lot of guidance/experience.

JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimmi Sun 02-Dec-18 09:27:06

TwoGin Thankyou - I've been looking at the GL website and have some past tests that we'll use next summer to practice. From what ive heard frombyear above me it seems all those things you mention are key! Theyre not taught speed/moving onto the next question at school.

MrsP i was perhaps thinking of doing something similar in August - 3 mornings and a mock test.

I had wondered about running a "mock test" for her and her friends who want to sit the 11+ but in her own home still feels very different to something external.

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Hiddeninplainsight Sun 02-Dec-18 09:55:39

My point was just that the 10-11 aren't the 11+ books. They are a level below. So I was agreeing with you that it makes sense to start with the level below and build up to the 11+ stuff. In my experience the 11+ stuff is a step up from the 10-11. But sounds like you are happy with your system and your DD is enjoying it, which is good.

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