When should I start 11 Plus tuition for my child?
This is a question I get asked a lot. I have a simple answer and I have a detailed explanation. The simple answer is that 11 Plus tuition should start early in Year 4, ideally before January. Below I have summarised some ideas for you to consider to help you decide when to start 11 Plus tuition.
A challenging learning environment A well structured 11 Plus tuition programme opens the possibility of children learning with others outside of their own school but who are on the same challenging journey towards passing and getting into a grammar school. There is a high chance that through the learning process the children will interact with somewhat likeminded individuals who can be just as or even more motivated to learn. Children develop a much higher level of abilities in maths and verbal reasoning. A challenging learning environment over time will help the children to get ahead.
Getting ahead Your child needs to be at least two years ahead of their peers that fall into the average category. Is it realistic to think we can achieve this in a short space of time? Think about getting an 8 year old child to be at the level of a 12+ year old child by the time they are 10 years of age... Allowing 18 months to prepare does seem a sensible timeframe to get through the vast range of topics that need to be taught, practiced, tested and assessed through mock tests.
Meaningful learning. The idea here is to nurture students into becoming lifelong learners. Preparing for the 11 Plus test with an excellent tutor is a perfect way to instil a genuine interest for learning in English , maths, verbal, reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. An excellent tutor makes all the difference.
A vast number of topics Allowing 18-20 months allows enough time to comfortably work through all of the topics. The last minute rush to cram in learning is very stressful not only for the children but for parents and the tutor.
Speed It is almost a requirement of the 11 Plus test for children to be able to think quickly and respond to questions accurately. There are many cases where I have known children to not pass the 11 Plus test simply because they ran out of time. Allowing sufficient time to develop speed for this just makes sense.
Summary All of the above requires time to achieve. While there are many children who have the ability to get ready for the test as a strong candidate in less than 18 months it is much lower risk to allow enough time for children to confidently prepare by allowing enough time to conduct mock testing and polishing up on subject knowledge and speed.