11 Plus Preparation Options
There are four main avenues open to parents when thinking about how to approach helping their child prepare for the 11 Plus Exams whether these are for a Grammar School or Independent School or both.
11 Plus preparation using private tuition
A Private Tutor comes to your house, or you go their house for individual one to one lessons.
Main positives– A third party running things, individual attention, work tailored to your child’s needs, good levels of interaction with parents, should be highly tailored to the exam your child will sit.
Main Negatives- Still requires organising and travel if going to the tutor, child will still need to do about 2 hours of homework supervised by parents, quality of tutors can be variable.
Cost- Normally between £2,500 and £5,000 for a year of preparation (costs vary between £12 and £50 per hour but some tutors mark work outside tutor time so costs not directly comparable).
11 Plus preparation using tuition groups
You visit a Tuition Centre where your child has group lessons.
Main positives- Involvement of a third party, involvement of other children (perhaps their friends).
Main negatives– Still requires organising and travel, child will need to do 2 hours of work at home supervised by parents, sometimes parents have to mark work, quality of tutors can be variable, costs often included lots of extras like exam papers, online question banks etc these can amount to hundreds of pounds.
Cost- Normally around £25 – £50 per week for tuition £1,250 – £2500 per year plus around £500 as an additional resources cost.
11 Plus preparation using guided courses
Tailored course sent for you to do at home. Courses usually offer full support (phone and email) and are tailored to suit each individual area.
Main Positives – Everything you need provided for you, so you don’t have to worry about what to buy or what to do when. Work split into weekly schedules so little administration needed. All answers provided. Support on hand to help you.
Main negatives- Work needs to be done at home (same issue applies to other routes of preparation). Requires more parental stamina than using tutors but easier than using books.
Cost– Normally around £1000+ per year, the best providers won’t tie you in and will allow monthly payments.
11 Plus Preparation Using Structured Courses
Like a guided course but without the personalised tutor support.
Main Positives– Cuts out all the hassle of which books to buy, planning the work or deciding what to, when to do it and to what degree. This usually proves more engaging than doing books. All answers are provided. Structured courses tend to be cheaper than guided courses.
Main Negatives– Work needs to be done at home (but the same issue applies to other routes of preparation). This requires parental stamina but is easier than using books.
Cost– Depends on course choice. Typically a single subject might cost £20 and a full course covering all subjects might cost £60 for the complete course. This should be more cost effective than buying books.
11 Plus preparation using books at home
Parents find out what tests are relevant for their area and buy in books which cover those areas to teach to start with and then test and refine as time goes on.
Main Positives- Parents are fully in control, weak areas can be identified and concentrated on, everything can be tailored to the child’s individual needs.
Main Negatives- Some parents don’t have the time/knowledge/staying power to make the most of this approach, arguments at home (but note that no process involves doing no work at home), difficulty getting the right information on which materials to use when.
Cost- On average most parents will spend £250-£350 on their campaign.
To find out more about each of these four approaches just click the title of each and we’ll take you through to an individual page on that area. We’ll also try and help with some advice on how to make the most of that particular approach.