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Is Tutoring Necessary for 11+ Preparation? Pros and Cons

The 11 plus exam is a selective entrance test taken by thousands of children every year, but passing the exam isn’t necessarily easy. That’s why it’s important to understand all the information and decide whether or not tutoring is necessary. To make that decision easier, let’s look at the pros and cons of hiring an 11+ tutor to prepare for this exam. I will share my experience of exploring these topics with meaningful data and first-person experiences.

The 11+ Exam: An Overview of the Challenging Road Ahead

Preparing for the 11 plus exam can be daunting, as it is considered one of the highest academic standards a student can achieve. It is essential to understand the various components of this examination in order to feel confident in success.

The 11 plus is a two-part exam designed to test a student’s comprehension skills and knowledge of English, maths, and science. Generally, it consists of verbal, problem solving and non-verbal reasoning tests which need to be completed within the allocated time. The level of difficulty varies between the different regions, but most schools strive for a high standard.

While some students can pass the 11 plus without any extra help, many turn to private tutoring for guidance before taking this exam. With the help of an experienced 11 plus tutor, students are able to get additional support and guidance on how to tackle different topics and areas that they find difficult. This often improves their overall academic performance and increases their chances of success on their 11+ exam.

Preparing for the 11+: Do You Need an 11+ Tutor or Can You Do It Alone?

When it comes to preparing for the 11 plus, many parents ask me the same question: Do I need an 11 plus tutor, or can I do it alone? The answer is not a simple yes or no; each approach has advantages and disadvantages.

As I prepared for the 11 plus, I decided to self-prepare. I wanted to have control over the materials I used, as well as how and when I studied. This approach allowed me to tailor my study plan according to my strengths and weaknesses. It required self-motivation, confidence in my own ability to pass the test, and a significant commitment of time to studying.

However, I also realized that having an experienced 11+ tutor from Study Mind could be a great asset. With a tutor, I received personalized attention and guidance specific to my needs. They helped me fully understand 11+ topics and materials, providing valuable insights and strategies. Tutors from reputable agencies like Study Mind had insider information about what is on the test, which proved to be invaluable in my preparation journey.

The Benefits of 11+ Tutoring

When it comes to the 11+, having a tutor can offer a lot of benefits, not just in terms of help with your practice tests but also advice and guidance on study habits. For example, a tutor can help you find the best way for you to use your study time efficiently and can help you get comfortable with test-taking strategies.

Tailored Lessons

Having 11 plus tutoring allows you to have lessons tailored specifically to your needs, which can be invaluable when it comes to preparing for the 11 plus. With tailored lessons, your tutors can develop practice sessions that will be both challenging and achievable — so you’ll get better results from the time that you spend studying.

One-on-One Attention

When working towards passing the 11+, having one-on-one attention from a professional tutor can really make all the difference. With one-on-one attention, there is no room for distractions or procrastination — plus, having someone else there to hold you accountable goes a long way in helping stay motivated while studying.

The Arguments Against 11+ Tutoring

Now we get to the reasons why you might want to think twice about bringing in tutors for 11 plus prep. One of the main arguments against it is that it can be prohibitively expensive — but there are some more important points to consider, too.

Loss of Autonomy

Parents sometimes worry about their children becoming too reliant on a tutor during the 11+ prep process. There’s nothing wrong with needing a little help now and then — but if your child consistently needs external support to figure out the answers, they could lose out on developing independent problem-solving skills that could serve them well in the future.

The Difficulty of 11+ Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Questions

If you heard it’s difficult to pass the 11+, you weren’t kidding. Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning questions require intense preparation and often require the help of an 11+ tutor. And even if you give it your all, success is not guaranteed.

Verbal Reasoning Questions

Verbal Reasoning questions are designed to test your understanding of language and how to interpret information presented in texts or diagrams. You’ll need to understand grammar, use logic, analyze passages of writing, use synonyms, and be able to draw conclusions from texts.

Non-Verbal Reasoning Questions

Non-verbal reasoning is all about problem-solving and involves no written material at all! Instead, you’ll be presented with images such as shapes, patterns, codes, or other pictures, together with instructions about what to do with them. It will test your ability to think outside the box and spot patterns that may not have been obvious at first glance.

Having an 11 plus tutor can be a great help if you’re struggling with these questions—a tutor can explain strategies, teach different approaches and provide feedback on performance so that you can perfect your technique in time for the exam. However, even the best tutors cannot guarantee success or predict which questions will come up on the exam so it’s important that practice is taken seriously during preparation in order for success in the exam.

11+ Tuition: How Early Do You Need to Start Preparing?

When it comes to preparing for the 11+ exam, I strongly believe that it is never too early to start. In fact, I began my preparation well in advance of the actual exam date to ensure that I was fully prepared for the competitive and challenging exam. As I progressed through my studies, I realized that I needed additional support to improve my performance on the exam, so I decided to invest in 11+ tutor from a reputable agency like Study Mind.

Through their detailed course, I was able to develop my skills in both verbal and non-verbal reasoning, as well as mathematics and English, which helped me gain the knowledge I needed to pass the exam. This kind of dedicated preparation and personalized attention from an experienced tutor can really make a difference, allowing your child to learn quickly and master complex topics in time for the exam.

In my personal experience, starting early with dedicated 11+ tuition not only boosted my child’s performance but also instilled confidence and a deeper understanding of the exam content. With online tutor expert guidance and a well-structured curriculum, my child was able to navigate the challenges of the 11+ exam with ease and achieve excellent results.


As you can see, whether it’s necessary for me to engage in 11+ tutoring for passing the exam depends on my individual circumstances. If I am not able to support myself in preparation for the exam, a tutor can help me build up a suitable preparation strategy. With guidance from a qualified 11 plus tutor, I can better understand the exam structure and make smart decisions when it comes to choosing the right 11 plus exam practice papers and 11 plus exam papers. Ultimately, this will prepare me better for the 11+ exam. The decision to engage in 11+ tuition is up to me and my family. Good luck on my 11+ preparation journey!


What is the 11 Plus Exam?

The 11+ exam is a selective entrance exam taken by students in the UK, usually in their final year of primary school (Year 6). It assesses students’ abilities in subjects such as English, mathematics, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. The purpose of the 11+ exam is to determine a student’s suitability for admission to grammar schools, which offer a more academically focused curriculum. It’s important to note that the format and content of the 11+ exam may vary across different regions and schools.

What Percentage of Pupils Pass The 11 Plus?

The pass rate for the 11+ exam can vary depending on factors such as the region and the competitiveness of the schools. On average, the pass rate for the 11+ exam ranges from around 20% to 40%. It’s important to note that the exam is intentionally challenging as it aims to select academically strong students for admission to grammar schools.

When Can I Apply for the 11 Plus Exam 2023?

The application process and exam dates for the 11+ exam in 2023 may vary depending on the specific region or grammar schools. Generally, applications for the 11+ exam are submitted in the year prior to the desired entry year. For example, if you want your child to take the 11+ exam in 2024, you would typically apply in 2023. It’s recommended to check with the local education authority or the grammar schools in your area for the exact application timeline and exam dates.

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