We're here to help you and your child navigate the admissions process from start to finish.
Here at Mentor Education, we specialise in school admissions, in particular the 11 Plus. Our results speak for themselves, with 90% of our 2020 cohort achieving their first-choice school in 2021 and 100% receiving an offer from their first or second choice school. The key to this success is our annual programme. This builds each year, encompassing the whole syllabus, across all disciplines tested in the exam. Therefore, exam technique and mock exams are very important here.
Mock exams are a crucial part of a child’s preparation for entrance exams because they are designed to:
Mock exams come towards the end of your 12 month journey and not before your child knows the full syllabus.
At this point, your child should be secure in their subject knowledge. They should have practised lots of questions in past papers.
This is because the main benefit of a Mock Exam is to experience exam conditions and practice exam technique. They should not be struggling with lots of the questions at this point, although practising coping with that killer question they have no idea how to start is also part of the Mock Exam experience!
Exam technique is difficult for 10-year-olds to grasp and practical experience is the best way for them to learn. The most important concepts for them to learn are to:
These are skills that candidates ideally need to practice under exam conditions several times.
We cannot stress how important it is that all concerned in an school entrance campaign are fully cognisant of how fast children need to perform in their exams. We believe this is one of the major reasons that children fail their entrance exams, and Mock Exams can help. Children often know their stuff, but they can’t work their way through the questions quickly enough to get to the hard questions at the end, where they can really show their abilities and differentiate themselves.
We find this problem particularly acute in children who attend state primary school. They are less likely to have been regularly tested in school under timed exam conditions.
Mock Exams really help applicants practice answering questions to time. Children will begin to understand what the rhythm of picking up one mark a minute feels like.
Here at Mentor, we offer mock exams throughout the Autumn term to help your child experience exam conditions in a safe environment. This is useful for children to realise they must work in silence and can’t nip to the loo or have snacks. Mocks are also helpful for children who feel anxious about their impending tests. They can work through some of their nerves and get used to exam conditions.
Our first mock exam in October is easier, helping children build confidence. Mock papers two and three increase in difficulty through November and December. After all our mock exams you will receive the marked paper and a report from one of our specialist school entrance teachers including critical last-minute advice.
Based on experience from previous years, we recommend that you book at least two of the three dates as your child will then have a chance to implement the advice and feedback that we provide. This will help them see their progress and grow in confidence.
Most children sitting the 11+ will feel anxious at some point in the process and Mock Exams can reduce fear and anticipation related to not knowing what exam conditions are like. We often notice that children display avoidant and stress-related behaviours in their first Mock Exam but control these impulses much better in subsequent practices. In their first Mock Exam, many children fidget, ask for help, ask to go to the toilet or for a drink and struggle to settle into their exam. With gentle reinforcement and support, they lose these behaviours in later practices and crucially do not do them in the real exam.
For many children, the pressure kicks in during the Autumn term and it is an important part of your job as a parent to protect your child from this to the extent you can. Make sure your child is getting fresh air, regular exercise and enough sleep and social time. Many parents drop extracurricular activities, such as sports clubs at this time, but we would not recommend this at all. The chance to relax, have fun and stay in their normal routine is really important for children’s physical and mental health.
Be aware of what you say in front of them about their impending exams and where they may go to school next year. We know there can be a frenzy at the school gates at this time. Children in your child’s class can also be stressed. Nobody wants children making inappropriate comments about the exams and who is going to get into which school.
Reassure your child that you are proud of them wherever they go to senior school. Praise them for their efforts and not their results. Help keep them motivated with treats and promise a lovely present when all their hard work is over.
By the time children are sitting Mock Exams parents should have a clear idea which schools their child will be applying for (often with the help of our Academic Assessment). We take careful note of the schools that you are targeting and set Mock Exams that are relevant to our cohort. Our Mock Exams are suitable for children sitting CEM and GL Assessment exams.
Check in with our School Entrance Coordinator to make sure your tuition is focussed on areas of maximum value to your child and you are on track for all the early or Pre Tests.
Interviews are playing an increasingly important part of selective entrance processes as schools look to identify applicants who are not only bright but also teachable and likely to take advantage of all the school has to offer. Mental Maths and logic problems are common as well as discussions around current affairs and group exercises.
If you have applied for academic scholarships as part of your senior school entry campaign, we can support you with tuition or small group classes. We work with tutors who specialise in a few private schools and their scholarship programmes, all of whom will have a demonstrable track record of success. Alternatively, we pair children aiming for academic scholarships at similar schools into small groups and work through an extension syllabus and challenge questions. Children applying for academic scholarships will also need more interview practice as they may endure a demanding interview before their scholarship is awarded.
One of the main advantages of working with Mentor Education is that we can coordinate your whole 11+ journey. Our dedicated School Entrance Co-ordinator works to get to know you, your child and your aspirations and can flex our services to reflect what you need at any point in your senior school entrance journey.
For example, if you don’t know where to start or don’t know if your child is a good candidate for indpendent school entry, our Coordinator can arrange an academic assessment brimming with data points to help you make decisions, target schools and focus tuition only on where your child needs it.
If your child’s needs change throughout the year, our Coordinator can swap out a general tutor, bringing in Reasoning experts or Scholarship experts as needed.
Essentially, our School Entrance Co-ordinator’s job is to stay close to your journey and assist every step of the way.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help your child fulfil their potential, please get in touch.