11 Plus Guided Courses

11 Plus Guided Courses fall between using books and using a Tutor (either a Private Tutor or a Tuition Group). 11 Plus Guided Courses provide a full structured package of work split into weekly segments for you to do at home coupled with help and advice on the phone and through email.

What do 11 Plus Guided Courses typically provide?

11 Plus Guided Courses typically cover everything your child will need to know for the exam they are doing. The courses tend to be split into weekly work sections that cover a mix of Maths/English/Verbal Reasoning/Non-Verbal Reasoning as required by the exam your child is sitting.

Typically the work is similar to that provided by a professional Private Tutor, the only difference being it is done at home rather than at a Tutor’s house.

Those courses we have reviewed (there aren’t many) tend to provide a good mix of work each week and crucially deliver lessons so that they are very straightforward and easy to understand. Many parents might question if they have the ability to administer the courses but with the way the work is explained coupled with help on the phone or email this is usually not a problem. The good courses provide full explanations and answers.

Who will find 11 Plus Guided Courses useful ?

11 Plus Guided Courses will be useful in the following situations:

–          Families who want to work at home but don’t have the time/knowledge to structure a work programme for themselves and select and buy in the right materials.

–          Families who want to work at home but would feel happier having some guidance while doing so.

–          Families who live too far away from a Tuition Group or Private Tutor but still want their child to go through a professionally structured programme of work.

–          Families who can’t get a place at a Private Tutor or Tuition Group or can’t afford a place and still need professional help and advice.

Advantages of using an 11 Plus Guided Course.

11 Plus Guided Courses can be really useful in a number of situations but primarily where families want to work at home but would prefer to have a fully structured course so that they know they are doing the right thing at the right time, as well as help and advice on hand when they need it. The courses are also going to be useful for families who might want to use a Tuition Group or Private Tutor but either can’t get to one or find one or can’t afford one.

The best 11 Plus Guided Courses provide :

–          The right work at the right time for whichever exam your child is trying for.

–          A work plan that is divided up sensibly into managebale chunks –often a week at a time- this takes the stress out worrying about what to do when or next.

–          They should provide everything a child needs including the right number of exam papers built in at the right time.

–          All the answers. Often books either don’t provide answers or sell answer books which makes things more difficult than they need to be at home.

–          While some 11 Plus Guided Courses provide work online the better ones provide work on paper (children by and large learn better on paper than working online- although some online tools do have some useful utility).

–          You can start when you want to. Guided Courses tend to be able to tailor the work they give individually so you could start late and work hard and still complete or you could decide to do less work during term time and more in school holidays.

–          For parents who want to work with their children the Guided Courses frees up time that would otherwise be taken up with organising work or travelling to and from tutors and allows parents to focus on their child, spending more time on weaker topics and less time on stronger topics.

–           Parents of children who are at  a private tutor or tuition centre need to spend two hours per week on homework. A guided course will ask for a similar commitment but at a much cheaper cost.

Disadvantages of using 11 Plus Guided Courses.

Like any preparation route 11 Plus Guided Courses have advantages and disadvantages, they are not right for everyone but will be perfect for some.

–          Good courses will give out roughly 2.5 hours of work per week during year 3 and year 4 and early part of year five rising to between 3.5-4 hours per week during the latter stages. Like any preparation route there is no option that avoids the need to work at home.

–          While everything is provided for you and fully structured families still need to define a work time table in the home and stick to it. (as they would do with tutor homework or books)

–          While all the answers are provided families still need to mark the work and give feedback and help to their child. This is a fundamental part of the learning process (families will need to do this as well if they are using bought in books or using a Tuition Group or Private Tutor- no process delivers a work free home life).

–          Help and advice is available but you won’t be force fed, no one will check up on you, you need to be self-motivated to get the work done.


Costs of 11 Plus Guided Courses.

Costs vary but so does provision. Some of the online courses which provide pre-written online help icons (push a button and you get a tip) rather than human help cost around £45 per month, but expect these to be question focussed rather than teaching focussed. Most of these focus on providing you with lots of questions rather than teaching you the skills of how to answer them.

At the other end of the scale are the off line operations where help and advice is provided and materials are sent to you as hard copy for your child to work through on paper. The cost of these types of operations varies between £70 and £110 per month depending on provider. For this you can expect a full service with learning materials evolving into actual exam papers and tailored to suit what time you have available and which school you are trying for.

–          Ask questions about tie-ins. Online providers often tie-in for 3 months.

–          As with any preparation route ask about extras- additional costs for resources or postage for instance.


11 Plus Guided Courses can be a really useful alternative to either Tutors or using books. Like any preparation route there are no easy answers and you will need to organise and manage working at home. Equally having a reading programme going at home will be as essential with Guided Courses as it is for any other preparation route.

11 Plus Guided Courses will be most useful for parents who don’t want to or are concerned about buying in the right books/structuring work but still want to work with their own child at home, or for parents overseas or those who cannot get into/find/afford a Private Tutor or Tuition Group.