With parents keen to ensure their child receives the secondary education that best suits their potential, many are looking to the grammar school system as the solution. For the more able student, preparing for and taking the 11 plus exam, hopefully allowing them entry to grammar school, is a challenging and unique process.
The 11 Plus exam is a selective entrance examination to allow schools select the most academically able pupils. It comprises various tests – commonly Maths, Grammar, Comprehension and Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning. Although there are some overlaps with the school curriculum, the level of questions for the English and Maths is at a high Key Stage 2 / lower Key Stage 3 level. With the test at the start of Year 6, potential Grammar school entrants need to be functioning at well above age related expectations. It is also necessary to be accustomed to wordings of 11 plus style questions as these can be quite different to normal school tasks.
The Verbal Reasoning (VR) and Non-Verbal papers are designed to indicate innate ability. Although some critics will say that these cannot and should not be tutored for, it is widely regarded as necessary for pupils to become very familiar with the question types, as they can be extremely challenging and confusing.
All 11 Plus tests are taken in examination conditions with time limits for each paper. Students need to ensure that they can work at the pace required by completing papers regularly.
What can Aspire Tuition do to help?
We have years of experience in assisting with 11 Plus preparation. We are proud that all Aspire students that have taken the 11 Plus test have successfully gained a place at a school of their preference – the majority being able to select the top school on their list.
We work alongside parents. Parents are required to draw up their own programme as it is very personal to each family i.e. in when they start preparation and time spent on it etc, alongside the priority they give to it. Parents need to decide which schools they are interested in, check the entrance requirements and ensure that the right materials are selected.
We can provide tuition on all aspects of the tests. Obviously, with tuition sessions lasting an hour, not all aspects can be fully covered each week. It is vital that parents ensure that the whole range is covered between home study and tuition sessions. We will work on the areas that parents request – usually those areas that parents find more difficult to support themselves such as the trickier maths concepts. We will regularly feed back to parents on how well the child is coping with the work.
We can advise on resources to be purchased for home use and can set practice tests under timed conditions.
We must thank you for the continued support to our son whilst working towards his 11 Plus exam. It was difficult for us to make H. commit to focussing on the work at home so having a dedicated time each week with you made our lives much less stressful. Despite him saying how hard he had worked during the sessions, he also admitted that he felt so much more confident in his own abilities and the work outside the sessions has also become less of a chore for him too.