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11 Plus Tuition: Your Complete Guide

11 Plus Tuition: Your Complete Guide

Every year, around 100,000 pupils sit the 11 Plus exams in an attempt to get into their chosen grammar or selective independent school. But how do you make sure your child stands out and gets into their top-choice school? That’s where 11 Plus tuition comes in.

Here, we’ll explore all you need to know about 11 Plus tuition – from the benefits to the different options available and when your child should start. But first…

What is 11 Plus exam tuition?

11 Plus tuition is targeted tutoring that aims to prepare your child for the 11 Plus exams.

The 11 Plus exams are extensive and challenging. An 11 Plus tutor will be able to support your child every step of the way, with learning plans tailored to your child, regular practice papers and specialised knowledge of the exams in your area.

In this way, 11 Plus tuition is designed to give your child the best possible chance of passing the 11 Plus, and getting into their top-choice school.

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What are the benefits of tuition for the 11 Plus?

Umming and ahhing about whether tutoring is worth it? Here are some of the key benefits of 11 Plus tuition compared with tackling 11 Plus preparation yourself at home.

1. Tailored plans to stay on track

It can be hard to know where to start with 11 Plus prep. Our tutors will get your child’s 11 Plus 

learning plan in place, and help your child stay motivated and on track. 

2. Targeted learning

Our handpicked tutors will thoroughly assess your child to discover where they need the most help. In this way, they can build on your child’s strengths and practise areas that worry them.

3. One-to-one support

Build your child’s confidence and help them fulfil their potential with empathetic and personalised one-to-one support.

4. Specialised knowledge

Different schools and regions use different exam boards for the 11 Plus, while some areas are more competitive than others. A tutor who knows your target exam board or school intimately can give your child the inside track and tips to stand out.

5. Regular practice

Help your child master time management and get used to the pressure with regular mock exam practice and access to other valuable 11 Plus resources.

6. Fill the gaps for you

As much as you want to help your child, we all have areas of weakness – whether that’s non-verbal reasoning or marking those tricksy verbal reasoning practice papers. Take the pressure off yourself and your child with a professional who can fill the gaps for you.

7. The right fit

Your child will learn best from someone they click with. At Tutorful, we have over 2,000 experienced 11 Plus tutors for you to choose from, all handpicked and thoroughly vetted. 

Plus, if your child doesn’t click with their tutor straight away, we’ll match them with a new one – and even pay for the first lesson!

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How does 11 Plus tuition work? 

11 Plus tuition will offer your child targeted support in some or all of the areas that are tested in the 11 Plus exams: 

  • English

  • Maths

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Non-verbal reasoning

While some tutors will have the experience and knowledge needed to support your child with all of these different areas, others will specialise in just one or two. So, have a think about where your child could do with some extra support.

Either way, your tutor will tailor their lesson plans to take into account which exam board will be administering your child’s test – as this will vary depending on your region and whether you’re attempting to get into a private or grammar school.

Some schools even use a mix of exam boards, or create their own tests!

Usually, your child’s tutor will:

  • Assess your child to identify areas for improvement

  • Work on exam technique to help your child stand out

  • Cover the syllabus strategically to ensure your child is fully prepared

  • Tailor their approach to suit your child’s strengths, weaknesses and learning style

  • Use exercises, games and puzzles to engage your child

  • Run regular mock tests

  • Give your child resources to support them when they’re not being tutored

In this way, they’ll build your child’s confidence, ensure they’re fully prepared and help them reach their full potential in the exams.

“I’ve been tutoring 11+ students for 7 years now, and every student I’ve worked with has achieved an offer from their chosen school/s.

“I work with your child on their strengths and their weaknesses using a variety of past papers, self-made materials, quizzes, and games.

“When you choose the right 11+ tutor, your child will benefit from a mentor as much as an educator.”

- Rachel B, qualified tutor and examiner

Private tutor vs 11 Plus tuition centre

If you’re considering 11 Plus tuition for your child, you may have come across 11 Plus tuition centres.

Similarly to private tuition, tuition centres are also designed to prepare your child for the 11 Plus exams. But instead of giving your child one-to-one attention, they teach your child in a larger group of around 6 to 10 children.

In this way, tuition centres prepare your child in a more formal environment that’s not dissimilar to a school setting. Your child will still cover the syllabus, but their learning plan won’t be tailored to their strengths and weaknesses in the same way as it would with a private tutor.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences.

11 Plus tuition centre

  • Children learn in a group

  • Should cover the syllabus for your child’s top-choice school

  • Less chance for individual feedback

  • Sessions aren’t tailored to your child

  • Typically costs less than a private tutor

Private 11 Plus tutor

  • One-to-one attention

  • Covers the syllabus for your child’s top-choice school

  • Supports students emotionally as well as academically.

  • Lesson plans tailored to your child’s strengths, weaknesses and learning style

  • Fully bespoke

At Tutorful, we only offer handpicked private tutors, as we believe that children learn best when lessons are fully tailored to their needs and learning style – giving them the best possible chance of success.

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Can a child pass the 11 Plus without tutoring?

Some children find that they’re able to pass the 11 Plus without tutoring.

This is especially likely if:

  • You live in a less competitive area

  • Your child’s school offers extensive 11 Plus preparation

  • Your child is performing at the very top of their age group

However, there are no guarantees. The one-to-one support of a tutor will ensure that your child is fully prepared, confident, familiar with the exam format and well practised – leaving nothing to chance.

In this way, your child will stand the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential in the exams and getting into their top-choice school.

Young girl studies to pass her 11 Plus

How much does 11 Plus tuition cost?

11 Plus tuition is an investment in your child’s future. The average cost of an 11 Plus tutor is £41.12 per hour.

However, exactly how much you pay will depend on lots of different factors, such as:

  • Your tutor’s experience

  • Whether your tutor covers all 11 Plus prep or just some key areas

  • Where you live

At Tutorful, we have 11 Plus tutors available for most budgets – starting at just £25 per hour.

Head over to our guide on how much a tutor costs to learn more.

When to start 11 Plus tuition

It’s never to early to start tutoring for the 11 Plus exams.

However, as a rough guide, you should aim to start at least a year before the exam – usually in Year 5 of primary school.

For the best results, you could consider starting even earlier, at the beginning of Key Stage 2 (Year 3 or 4). Head over to our article on when to start tutoring for the 11 Plus to learn more.

Ultimately, the exams are extensive and challenging. The earlier you start, the more time there will be to cover all the topics needed, refine exam technique, get enough practice under your child’s belt and address any areas of weakness.

Children who start 11 Plus tuition in Year 3 or 4 will often spend the first year or so gaining a solid understanding of the core curriculum, to give them a strong foundation. As they move into Year 5, they can then start to focus on exam technique and more targeted 11 Plus prep such as verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills and time management.

Worried you’ve left it too late? Don’t panic. The best time to start 11 Plus tuition may be early, but the second best time is now! It’s never too late for a tutor to make a difference to your child’s confidence and understanding.

How to find the best 11 Plus exam tutors near me

Hiring an 11 Plus exam tutor near you can be a great way to ensure that they understand the 11 Plus landscape in your area – from your child’s exam board to how competitive entry is to the schools in your region.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the nearest 11 Plus tuition will necessarily be the best. Rather, the most important thing is to find a tutor who clicks with your child and understands how to get the best out of them.

At Tutorful, we encourage parents to try online tutoring for the 11 Plus, as this allows your child to learn in an environment where they feel comfortable. It also allows our tutors to use our unique online classroom technology to boost your child’s learning. And you’ll be able to choose from a wider pool of tutors to find the best one for your needs.

Here are a few questions you can ask to help you find the best 11 Plus exam tutor for your child:

  1. Do you have experience with my child’s exam board?

  2. Do you have experience getting other children into our target school?

  3. What methods do you use to make learning engaging?

  4. What percentage of your past students passed the 11 Plus?

  5. Do you have any relevant qualifications (eg. some tutors are also qualified teachers)

  6. How long have you been offering 11 Plus tuition?

  7. Can I see reviews of your services?

All Tutorful tutors are handpicked and carefully vetted. In fact, only 1 out of 7 applicants are successful. They also regularly receive reviews from other parents and students, so you can be confident that you’re hiring someone loved and trusted by others.

Ready to find the best fit for your child’s 11 Plus tuition? Simply click the link below to browse a selection of our top 11 Plus tutors.

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When to start tuition for 11 Plus?

It’s best to start tuition for the 11 Plus at least a year before the exam. Most children take the exam in Year 6, which means starting tuition in Year 5 at the latest.

How much tutoring for the 11+?

How much tutoring your child needs to pass the 11+ can vary from child to child.

However, the most important thing is consistency. We recommend one to two hours of tutoring per week, starting at least several months before the exam.This way, your child will have a chance to practise, action feedback and get used to the format of the exam with plenty of time to spare. 

Your child’s tutor will also be able to thoroughly assess your child and advise on how much tutoring they’re likely to need to get them ready.

How much does it cost to sit the 11+?

If your child is sitting the 11+ with a view to getting into a grammar school, there won’t be any fees to pay. 

However, you’ll likely need to pay for other associated costs, such as tuition and study materials.

On the other hand, if your child is sitting the 11+ for entry to a selective independent school, you’ll usually need to pay an examination fee. Many schools use the common entrance exam set by ISEB. In this case, the 11+ fee due to the exam board is around £130.

How much do 11 Plus tutors cost?

The average cost of an 11 Plus tutor is £41.12 per hour. But there are tutors available to suit a range of budgets. At Tutorful, our 11 Plus tutors start at £25 per hour.

Do you need a tutor to pass the 11+?

Not necessarily. Some children are able to pass the 11+ without a tutor, especially in areas of the UK that are less competitive. Head over to our blog on whether your child will pass the 11+ to learn more.

However, 11 Plus tuition is the best way to make sure your child is fully prepared for the exams and can fulfil their potential.

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Imogen Beech

Imogen Beech

17th Jun 2024