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"You need a tutor to pass the 11plus"

For this week's #mythbuster we will be looking at the statement:

"You need a tutor to pass the 11plus"

To pass the eleven plus you definitely don’t need a tutor, but it is very likely that without a tutor your child will need support from their parents/guardians. As with any test that your child will take (from SATs through to GCSEs and beyond!), having an idea of what the test will look like and how to answer the questions is very helpful.


The GL publishers which is the test provider for Gloucestershire provides free materials practice with, and there are other suitable materials on sale (see our resources section). The verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning sections take a bit of getting used to as the types of question are new to most of us, but certainly not so difficult that most adults couldn’t help their child prepare. The English and Maths sections are related to the school curriculum.


The extension to this and what we often see online is the statement:

"You can get into grammar without any tutoring" or "My child got into grammar without tuition".

Agreed, the next Einstein probably could, but for the rest of our children it is more a case of what do we mean by ‘tutoring’. If the definition is ‘paid tuition’ this is certainly probable. If we are thinking about a child who does not have access to reading materials, information about what the test will involve or supportive parents showing an interest in the test, then we suspect their chances are very slim. With such broad opposing definitions in terms of what "tutoring" is, we feel this statement is more misleading than right or wrong.


Using a tutor can be helpful, especially if they are experienced with GL tests and can provide guidance. If you don't want to or are unable to use a tutor, then keep an eye out for our free parent/carer support evenings. We will be talking about what the test involves as well as tips & tricks for how you can help your child prepare. We also provide short courses and highly recommend our mocks, which give your child a genuine sense of what the exam conditions will be like.


We are always happy to answer any questions you may have so get in touch if you think we can help.

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