Get ready for the 11+ Knowledge, technique and practice

Does my child need an 11+ tutor?


Perhaps your child is incredibly capable and academic. Is this enough alone to pass their 11+?

How much can a tutor affect the outcome of your child’s 11+ results? Is the usual school and homework rigorous enough to prepare for the varying demands of London’s most selective schools?

A naturally academic and bright child may have a good grasp of the English and Maths syllabus. But, to be ready for the 11+ for a competitive London Independent School, your child will need to fulfil several key criteria for success:

  • By the end of Year 5, your child should be proficient in the entire Year 6 syllabus for English and Mathematics. Mental mathematics, such as times tables and number bonds should be automatic and fast recall, to allow the pace necessary to complete at least three quarters of the Maths exam.
  • Your child should regularly practice Non-Verbal and Verbal Reasoning, being able to solve these puzzles with a high degree of accuracy at speed. Many schools run a pre-test consisting largely of Reasoning and this is an important hurdle to cross for 11+ admissions. Half of the candidates are typically cut at this point.
  • Children should have practised answering comprehension questions on a wide variety of texts and have a detailed understanding of narrative techniques normally taught in Years 7 and 8. For creative writing, they should be able to write imaginative stories from a variety of story prompts with accurate spelling and grammar and a clear structure.
  • Children should have worked their way through all the past papers of the schools they are interested in and several others of a similar standard. They should have practised several mock exams so that they are not overawed or overly nervous on the day of the real exam. They should be able to work at a mark a minute through questions in all the 11+ disciplines.
  • Children should be confident with adults and able to come across well at interview with the Senior Leadership Team of the school. They should be aware of child-appropriate current affairs and be able to talk compellingly about their family and their interests. They should be able to answer logic and reasoning questions verbally during the interview. 
  • Children should have practised group interviews and groups tasks so they come across well as part of a group and understand the basic behavioural principles necessary to succeed in these tasks.

All of this takes time.

What can I do to help my child prepare for the 11+?

The intense level of work needed to prepare for the 11+ can be daunting for families. Whilst parents can do much of this preparation work at home, it adds considerable pressure on home life and your relationship with your child. This is where we can help. 

We have 40 years’ experience helping children with their 11+ exams. Our institutional knowledge will support you however schools decide to assess for 2022 entrance. For example, we have deep knowledge of ISEB digital exams which helped our families, when many schools changed their entrance exams to this format at the last minute.

Now more than ever, it is too big of a risk to not invest in your child’s 11+ preparation. A Mentor tutor can give insight into the landscape of your child’s knowledge gaps, and work with them over time to address these in engaging, lively sessions.

11+ tuition from Mentor

This year, Mentor tutees passed the 11+ for JAGS, Alleyn’s, Dulwich, Emanuel, Whitgift, KCS, Latymer and more. Our specialist team of 11+ tutors have up to the minute insight into the admissions process at various independent schools. Many are senior teachers and heads of department from some of London’s leading schools. They have personal experience of the demands of the latest 11+ exams, which now emphasise lateral thinking and problem-solving skills.

Every one of our 250+ tutors has teaching experience, is reference-checked and holds an up to date Enhanced DBS Certificate. Wherever possible, we will do our best to match your child with a tutor who has taught at the school they are applying to.

Under the current government guidelines, tutors are legally permitted to teach in-person sessions at your home and so we are currently offering both online and face to face tuition with our experienced 11+ tutors


We also offer Academic Assessments, test papers, interview practice and 11+ workshops, giving your child the skills, knowledge and self-confidence they need to shine on their assessment day.

Contact us on 020 8883 2519 for expert advice about 11+ tuition and your next steps. 

“Holistic in their approach, as well as ethical say parents and tutors. So if you’re the kind of parent that believes confidence building is a key part of a child’s journey to academic success, and you’re attracted to highly principled companies, then you’ll be right at home with Mentor Education.”

The Good Schools Guide

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