How parents can home tutor for the 11+ exam - simple advice

Preparing for the 11+ exam through home tuition can be a great way to provide personal support and targeted learning for your child.  Many parents are very capable of home tutoring for the 11+ exam and this article gives professional tips on how to go about it:

Understand the Exam Format:

Make sure that you are familiar with the format of the 11+ exam in your region. Different areas may have variations in content and structure.

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses:

Assess your child's current strengths and weaknesses in the subjects covered by the 11+ exam (typically English, mathematics, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning).

Select Appropriate Study Materials:

Choose high-quality study materials that align with the specific requirements of the exam. This could include textbooks, practice papers, and online resources.


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Create a Study Plan:

Develop a structured study plan that covers all the relevant topics. Allocate time for each subject and ensure a balanced approach to cover all areas of the 11+ exam.

Set Realistic Goals:

Establish realistic goals for your child based on their ability. Break down the study plan into manageable sections, and celebrate achievements along the way.

Consider a Tutor:

Sort of is against the idea of this blog but If you're not confident in your ability to teach the material or if your child would benefit from additional guidance, consider hiring a home tutor specializing in 11+ exam preparation. Tutors can provide targeted support and personalized feedback.

Practice Regularly:

Regular practice is crucial for success in the 11+ exam. As you approach the actual 11+ exam incorporate timed practice tests to help your child become familiar with the exam conditions.

Encourage Reading:

Develop a reading habit. Encourage your child to read a variety of texts, including fiction and non-fiction, to enhance their comprehension and vocabulary skills. A good vocabulary is essential for success in the 11+ exam.

Focus on Weak Areas:

Pay extra attention to your child's weak areas but reinforce your support even in the weak areas.. Provide additional practice and support in those subjects or topics.

Maintain a Positive Environment:

Create a positive and conducive learning environment at home. Encourage curiosity, ask questions, and celebrate small victories to keep your child motivated.

Monitor Progress:

Regularly assess your child's progress through mock exams or quizzes in the relevant 11+ subjects. Adjust your study plan as needed based on their performance.

Feedback and Review:

Provide constructive feedback on your child's performance. Review the mistakes made in practice tests and work together to understand and correct them. All children like positive reinforcement.

Interactive Learning:

Make the learning experience between you and your child interactive. Engage in discussions, solve problems together, and encourage your child to ask questions. This can deepen their understanding of the material and show that you are keen to help them succeed.

Utilize Online Resources:

Explore online resources (such as this site), interactive games, and educational websites that cater to 11+ exam preparation. These resources can add variety to the learning process and make it more enjoyable.


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Time Management:

Teach your child effective time management skills. Practice answering questions within specified time limits to help them become comfortable with the timing needed during the actual 11+ exam.

Stay Updated with Exam Changes:

Stay informed about any changes or updates to the 11+ exam syllabus or format. Sometimes the content of the 11+ can change and you need to be aware of any such changes to the 11+. This ensures that your child's preparation remains relevant and targeted.

Mock Interviews:

Some schools include an interview with your child as part of the 11+ admission process. If this is the case then consider conducting mock interviews at home. This will help your child become more comfortable with the interview format and improve their communication skills.

Encourage Independence:

Foster independent learning skills in your child. Encourage them to take responsibility for their study schedule and make choices about how they approach their learning.

Healthy Breaks:

Ensure that your child takes regular breaks during study sessions to maintain focus and prevent burnout. Physical activity and relaxation are important for their overall well-being and will help with their preparation for this important exam.

Flexibility in Approach:

Be flexible in your approach. If you notice that a particular study method is not working effectively for your child, be open to adjusting the style to better suit their learning style.

Celebrate Progress:

Celebrate the progress your child makes along the way. Acknowledge their hard work and achievements to keep them motivated and confident.

Finally Stay Positive:

It may not always be easy but maintain a positive attitude throughout the 11+ preparation process. Remind your child that the 11+ exam is just one part of their educational journey, and success is not solely determined by the outcome of this exam.


Remember that the goal of home tuition is not only to prepare for the 11+ exam but also to foster a love for learning. Create an environment where curiosity is encouraged, and the joy of discovering new things is celebrated. By providing a supportive and enriching learning experience, you can help your child develop the skills and knowledge needed for success in the 11+ exam. Remember that each child is unique, and it's essential to tailor the approach to their individual needs. Regular communication with your child's school and teachers can also provide valuable insights into areas that may need more attention.



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