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11 Plus Courses and Materials

Discover valuable resources and guidance for parents preparing their children for the 11 plus exam. Get expert-recommended online tools and tips to ensure success

Have You Made the Decision about Grammar School?

Not all parents want their children to go to grammar school (see Should My Child take the 11 Plus? for the pros and cons), but once the decision is made to try for a grammar school place, some form of 11 Plus preparation becomes essential.

When Should We Start 11 Plus Preparation?

Starting preparation early ensures a more relaxed approach. It's wise to start thinking about this as early as the beginning of Year 4. At that time your child will be either 8 or 9 years old and will have two full years to prepare.

Even before Year 4, your primary school will have established the foundations for the Maths and English components of the exam. In addition, your child will already be engaging in school activities that promote logical thinking and problem-solving – essential ingredients of the 11 Plus.

Is It Too Late to Begin Preparing?

Absolutely not! It's essential to recognize that securing a spot at a grammar school is a competitive process. Picture a vast ladder upon which all the grammar school applicants in your area stand...

The students near the ladder's top are exceptionally bright and may find the 11 Plus exam relatively easy. Conversely, those closer to the ladder's bottom face challenges and have a lower chance of success. Somewhere along this ladder lies a crucial cutoff point for grammar school admission, and your goal is to reach a level above that threshold.

Don't lose hope if you've started your preparation later in the game, as it may require relatively modest effort to ascend a few more rungs on the ladder and surpass the cutoff point.

However, while it's never too late to begin preparation, it's equally true that it's seldom too early to start.

Do Some Subjects Require More Preparation than Others?

Have a quick look at our 11 Plus Question Examples to understand the types of questions that feature in the 11 Plus and their level of difficulty.

A solid primary school education forms a strong foundation for your child's preparation in the Math and English aspects of the 11 Plus exam. However, for additional confidence-building, you may want to explore our 11 Plus Maths and 11 Plus English quizzes to engage with your child. If they demonstrate proficiency in these quizzes, there's little cause for concern. Nevertheless, the quizzes offer valuable practice that is not only beneficial but also enjoyable.

Verbal Reasoning questions are a key element of most 11 Plus exams and your child will have had a basic introduction to these in primary school Maths and English lessons. However, the questions asked in the 11 Plus will probably be somewhat more complex than they have already experienced. It is well worth the effort to play as many of our 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning quizzes as possible to ensure competency at this level.

Non-Verbal Reasoning is the area where most parents and children feel the most adrift because this will almost certainly be a subject that has not been addressed at primary school. It is interesting to note that BBC Bitesize does not cover this subject, but Education Quizzes steps in to fill the void! Please see the Bite Sized 11 Plus page for further details.

What Types of 11 Plus Preparation is Available?

Parents typically opt for one of three approaches to help their children prepare:

  1. Trusting your primary school to provide the necessary preparation.
  2. Investing in private tutoring.
  3. Utilizing online resources.

Will My Primary School Prepare My Child Sufficiently?

While some primary schools excel at achieving a high pass rate for the 11 Plus, such institutions are in the minority. Before deciding on additional out-of-school preparation, it's wise to talk to your primary school to determine the extent of their preparation efforts and the percentage of students who progress to grammar school.

If your child's school places a strong emphasis on 11 Plus success, it may not be necessary to engage in extensive extra preparation. However, if the school prioritizes it less, it's advisable to make additional provisions.

Should I Use an 11 Plus Tutor?

It is impossible to generalize about the advisability of tutoring because so much depends upon the individual circumstances of both your child and yourself. On our 11 Plus Tutors page, you will find some excellent reasons for employing a tutor, but let's take a look at some of the questions you might like to ask yourself first…

Is Tutoring in my area affordable? Good tutors don't come cheap! You can expect to pay in the region of £40 to £50 per hour.

Are all tutors equally good? Tutors don't need formal qualifications to teach the 11 Plus, so in most areas, you will find indifferent ones mixed in with excellent ones.

How do I find a good tutor in my area? The Internet is a good place to start searching, but invaluable information can be gleaned by asking around. Other parents who have used tutoring in your area are in an excellent position to advise on individual tutors.

Will my primary school be able to recommend tutors? Teachers sometimes recognize that out-of-school tutoring will be valuable for individual students, particularly when (as is usual) the class timetable doesn't provide for specific 11 Plus tuition. In these circumstances, primary school teachers might be able to recommend tutors, and it is well worth a quick telephone call or trip to discuss it with them.

When should I first approach a tutor? Good tutors often have a waiting list and are frequently booked up a year or more in advance, so the sooner you talk to them, the better. Each tutor will then be able to let you know his/her availability.

Will I be able to find a tutor for last-minute preparation? You would be ill-advised to count on this because in the summer months leading up to the 11 Plus, the good tutors will be fully booked with their longer-term students.

How will I fit tutoring into an already busy schedule? Both parents and children are often already fully occupied with out-of-school activities, and therefore it is essential to consider the implications of adding to this.

Are There Any Group Sessions for 11 Plus Tuition?

Group sessions have gained popularity in recent years, and most 11 Plus areas now offer this type of class. Typically, these groups are small, usually consisting of 3 to 10 students, and the costs are significantly lower than one-to-one tuition. However, it's important to note that group teaching may not be as personalized.

Sometimes, three or more parents who are acquainted with each other come together to create their own group and collectively hire a tutor, provided suitable facilities are available.

Is It Possible for My Child to Pass the 11 Plus Without Private Tuition?

Many parents opt NOT to use private tutors due to affordability, limited availability, or their preference for utilizing alternative resources. It's entirely possible to reach the required standard without private tuition.

How Do I Know Which Online Resources to Trust?

Prior to investing your time and resources in any particular website, it is essential to determine its trustworthiness and this can be very challenging.

The MOZ company offers specialized tools that assess the quality of websites worldwide. MOZ utilizes intricate algorithms to generate a "Domain Rank," – the higher the number, the more reliable the website. However, access to MOZ requires a subscription costing over £1,000 per year, making this information inaccessible to most members of the general public. In the website details below, we provide the Domain Rank of the most popular 11 Plus websites as of February 2024.

Which Websites Are Suitable for 11 Plus Home Study?

11-Plus preparation has become a highly competitive field, and as a result, the top search results for "11 Plus" on Google are often dominated by tutoring companies. To simplify your search and avoid the clutter of search engine results, we've compiled a list below of websites that are valuable for home study.

11 Plus DIY (Domain Authority = 12) The company offers online mock exams (£14.99 to £34.99), Classroom Mock Exams (£54.99 to £84.99), and Physical papers (£10.00) as well as one-to-one tuition.

11 Plus Guide (Domain Authority = 26) The site is free to use and provides a wealth of useful information about all aspects of the 11 Plus. There is also a forum and downloadable papers.

11 Plus Leap (Domain Authority = 17) Run by a private tutor covering Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. In addition to private tuition, Tracey Phelps also offers mock exams (£150.00) and practice papers starting at £13.99.

11 Plus Swot (Domain Authority = 20) Offers resources for parents, tutors, and schools. You can purchase test papers or opt for one-to-one tuition.

Bond 11+ (Domain Authority = 31) Offers three separate online courses ranging from £6.50 per month for their basic package to £34.99 per month for their most comprehensive offering.

Education Quizzes (Domain Authority = 48) An annual subscription of £49.99 allows a parent to create accounts for up to 5 children, enabling them to access over 30,000 curriculum-based quiz questions. The 11 Plus sections cover English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning, and Non-Verbal Reasoning. A new Non-Verbal Reasoning course will be available on the site from 1st March 2024 and will be included in the subscription price.

Eleven Plus (Domain Authority = 42) The website states that "Our courses are challenging and tailored to the most competitive grammar and independent schools in Greater London. As such, they are only suitable for children who are exceeding expectations at school and can learn at a quick pace in a competitive group environment. Online course fees start at £1,425.

Exam Papers Plus (Domain Authority = 36) Probably the best site available for the purchase of printed 11 Plus tests. A complete suite (tailored to your own region) costs £160.00.

Key Stages Online (Domain Authority = 21) The company offers personalized, flexible 11 plus online tuition. An early starter course costs £160.00 for 6 months.

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