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11 plus - advice/tips

14 replies

user890890340 · 19/08/2020 15:57

We're thinking of entering DS9 for the 11 plus exams next year in the hope of getting a place at a grammar school. We've only just started preparation and I'm aware we're behind many others who apparently start preparing for the 11 plus 2 years in advance. We do have a tutor who will work with DS 2 hours a week.

Since we have only 1 year to go, any tips/advice on how to prepare? Are 2 hours of tutoring a week enough? (I know it depends on the child, DS is bright but he's unfamiliar with most of the material in the 11+ tests).

Any tips/advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

OP posts:
dibbleme · 19/08/2020 16:16

It depends on the child but it also depends on the area. If you're looking at super competitive London grammars where you need about 95% to get a place, then maybe it's not much time (no experience personally). If you're looking at a full grammar county like Bucks or Kent then a year should be plenty of time with a bright DC. Two hours a week tutoring should be plenty too. I would trust your tutor's advice, assuming they're experienced in 11+. But generally you probably just want to regularly practise all the different areas and initially don't worry too much about scores and timings (plenty of time for that later). Also make sure you read lots with your child, and try to include historical fiction as well as modern, as it's great for vocabulary. It's a good idea to talk about comprehension when you're reading with your child as well (if you can bear it Grin). Things like word games, jigsaws and puzzles are also great for verbal and non verbal reasoning.

Zodlebud · 19/08/2020 16:27

Bucks 11+. No tutor, just did Bond and CGP books at home (including the “How to” CGP books) from start of Y5. Concentrated on timing and exam technique e.g. eliminating all the obvious wrong answers first, missing questions out and coming back to them (but putting something down on the answer sheet so your answers don’t get out of sync) etc.

Kept it very low key. Did a ten minute test every other day in the summer holidays. Passed with a very high mark and we had none of the stress.

Her best friend was doing three hours a day in the summer holidays and they didn’t go away. She failed. Best tip is really ask yourself if your child truly is grammar material. If they are then gentle prep is all they need - although not talking about super selectives here!!!

ripple11 · 19/08/2020 16:43

Lots of reading ;-)

Darbs76 · 19/08/2020 17:40

Agree very much depends which grammars. We were for the very selective London grammars and we only did 1 month of tuition, not enough. He got 2 under the pass rate, but never would have got in anyway with that for those ones. He’s due his GCSE’s tomorrow and expect he will get the same grades as those who attend the school he failed to get into (hopefully 8’s and 9’s). A lot of it is knowing how to sit the test. To be fair we had an excellent back up option with an outstanding secondary he had a guaranteed place at due to primary - or I would have got the tutor a lot earlier.

user890890340 · 19/08/2020 18:22

thanks for all the advice - I ordered the Bond books - given that he's never done these sort of questions before, the 10-11+ ones are pretty challenging - tutor suggested starting with the 9-10 and then progressing to the 10-11.

I really want to keep things low stress for him, so much more stress to come later with GCSE/Alevel/uni entry etc, I don't really want it to start now. Since we have so much to cover in the next one year I am freaking out a bit, but I'm going to make a plan that will involve a daily but light routine so it doesn't feel so overwhelming for him. The 95% for supers electives sounds pretty tough - I think we'll have to look at our list of possible schools and probably aim for some of the middle ranked ones.

OP posts:
Cookerhood · 19/08/2020 18:48

Try it's not as scary as it looks at first, most people are really helpful.

user890890340 · 19/08/2020 20:05

Looking at the papers, the English and Maths would be useful anyway, so I guess it wouldn't be completely wasted effort even if he didn't get in - I'm trying to think how all this prep would help him aside from the very narrow focus on passing this test and getting into a good school. The VR and NVR are likely not going to be used elsewhere.

OP posts:
Zodlebud · 19/08/2020 22:36

The CGP 10 minute tests books are good for verbal and non verbal reasoning questions. Keeps it ticking over without being a chore.

VR and NVR do need a little guidance though. Like I said, the CGP books are good as they have “how to” sections which you can work through before even starting on the test side.

user890890340 · 21/08/2020 21:53

Thanks for all the advice so far.

For those who got a tutor, how many hours a week tuition did you get? (starting from 1 yr before the exam)

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user890890340 · 21/08/2020 21:54

and also, what's the average most people are paying per hour- I know it depends on the tutor etc and the rate can be quite varied.

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13lucky · 21/08/2020 22:29

My ds started 1:1 tuition in October of Year 5 for one hour per week and did about 1 to 2 hours of homework for his tutor during the week. He's due to start at a super selective in September. Good luck.

dibbleme · 22/08/2020 07:54

Similar here. DS did a 1.5 hour group session a week, plus 1-2 hours homework. Cost is £35 per session.

chalkyc2 · 22/08/2020 09:04

Go onto the 11plus forum for your area. All the 11plus exams are slightly different - some are all multiple choice for example, some do include creative writing. Find out the exam board and get some past papers. Then as time is short tailor your prep to that particular set of tests. Familiarity with the paper is really important even if very smart! Some papers have the hardest and big mark questions at the end. Some mix verbal and non verbal reasoning - or don't include it at all!

Daniamom27 · 19/03/2021 10:31

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