Ten 11+ Interview Questions That Every Child Should Know

11+ interview questions - thetutoress.com

Since the Independent school exams are just days away, we thought it would be wise to share some of the most popular 11+ interview questions.

These questions have been asked by interviewers at Eton, Westminster, Haberdasher's, Merchant Taylor's and the GDST schools.

Here they are (in no particular order):

1. Tell me about yourself.

2. What's your favourite animal and why?

3. Who is your favourite author?

4. Tell me about the area you live in?

5. Why are you applying for this school?

6. If you could be any animal/colour, what would you be?

7. What's your favourite subject?

8. Tell me about a news topic that you've come across recently.

9. What's your favourite sport?

10. What are your interests?

The key to doing well in the interview is to be confident but not arrogant and to answer questions in detail. For instance, the student should be answering the "why" component of each question before they're even asked to elaborate. 

Elaboration is key.

If you found these 11+ interview questions useful, sign up for our free newsletter so you can receive helpful tips straight to your inbox. 

Wishing you and your child a wonderful 2017.


11+ Exam Tips for January Independent School Entrance

11+ exam practice

January is literally just days away and for many parents, it's an incredibly hectic time.

Here at TheTutoress, we're wrapping up our 11+ Christmas course and have spoken to dozens of parents who are struggling with helping their child to prepare for the exams.

So, how do you prepare for the exams when they're just days or weeks away?
What are the best tips or pearls of wisdom for time-pressed parents?

Here are a few of our biggest quick tips.

Tip 1: Keep calm and carry on.

The more stressed you are, the more stressed and nervous your child will be. Rather than panicking and running around like a headless chicken, try to be as calm as possible because evidently your child will react and respond to your behaviour in the run-up to the exams. Always keep calm and have a 'carry on' approach. In other words, be calm but persistent.

Tip 2. Get moving. 

Yes, you're travelling or spending time with family but that's no excuse to avoid preparing for the exams. These days it's easier than ever to carry or download 11+ preparation materials with you. Simply download them to your laptop or purchase an online 11+ practice service such as 11 Plus Hero so that your child can study in short bursts wherever they are.

Tip 3. Get Social.

Make sure your child receives a great blend of academic and social preparation before their exam. Why? Well, these days most independent/private schools select students based not just on their academic ability but on their social skills and interview performance. It's therefore important to ensure that your child isn't just an academic genius but also has outstanding social/extra-curricular skills. Ultimately, students who have both are far more likely to pass the exam and also excel in all areas of their studies.

So there you have it, three quick tips for handling last minute 11+ revision.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and as always, please feel free to share it on Twitter using the hashtag #thetutoress @thetutoress.

Wishing you the best of luck with the January 11+ exams.

Victoria (The Tutoress).

Why Being an Early Bird is Key to 11+ Success

Are you the parent that hasn't read a single book, article or blog post about the 11+ and have no idea about what the process involves?

Are you the parent that's left everything to the last minute and now you're nervous about how to help your child pass?

Or are you the parent that's researched every area of the 11+ since your child's first birthday? 

Are you the parent that's immersed themselves in reading as much 11+ guidance material as possible?

You see, there are two very different types of 11+ parents.

The first type is the one that leaves everything to the last minute and then freaks out when they realise that their child doesn't even know the basics.

The second type is the parent that's so well prepared that they've studied every piece of literature known to man.

As 11+ experts, we've noticed that the second type of parent is far more likely to have a child that passes the exam simply because they are prepared! They are an early bird and as they say, the early bird always catches the worm.

Time and time again, we come across parents that are the first type and they leave everything to the last minute. As a result, their child is overwhelmed and struggles to score higher than 50% in practice tests. Such parents have no idea how to help their child improve and quite frankly, they often expect miracles from tutors like ourselves. They expect us to magically take a child that doesn't have a grasp of the basics and turn them into geniuses.

Sometimes, there are rare instances where we can help such students but often enough it's the children that have been studying for at least 1.5 years and have worked consistently hard that end up passing the 11+.

So what can you take away from this?

Start preparing for the 11+ as early as possible! 1.5 years is the ideal amount of time.

The exam is meant to test natural ability and potential so ultimately a child that has built an exceptional vocabulary and has a wonderful grasp of English and Maths from an early age is much more likely to pass than one who is trying to cram at the last minute.

Leaving things to the last minute is one of the worst things that you can do when it comes to the 11+ so try to prepare as early as possible.

PS. It's okay to teach your child yourself but it's also good to have your child assessed by a tutor at least once before they sit the exam. It's even better to enrol your child in an 11+ mock exam so that you can find out how they're doing in comparison to other students and identify any weak spots that need addressing.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment below or share it with a friend that might also benefit from reading this advice.

Wishing you the best of luck with exam preparation.



3 Things Successful 11+ Parents Always Do

There are a small number of parents who confidently exclaim that every single one of their children has passed the 11+ exam.

Such parents are the ones who leave other parents filled with envy; they just seem to be able to do everything and they do it with such grace and ease.

It's difficult not to be jealous of them.

I was recently talking to a parent who declared that every single one of her four children had received multiple offers from prestigious grammar schools. 

She asserted that only one of them was particularly bright and that she had hardly tutored them because she couldn't afford to.

She was a normal working mother who simply wanted the best for her children and did what she could to help them pass their school entrance exams.

Intrigued, I began thinking about the many other parents that I've come across over the years who have had similar success with the 11+. 

Many came from 'normal' backgrounds and didn't always tutor their child excessively.

They did however, share three things in common.

1. They believed that no matter how well their child did in the exam, they would always show their child that they were proud of them. They didn't hold back on giving love or affection based on how well their child did. They understood that exams can be hit or miss and that failure in one exam isn't a reflection of their child's full abilities. 

2. They were willing to invest what little money they had into at least a few months worth of intensive tuition. For instance, several of the parents I spoke to invested in 5 or more hours of tuition per week for their child in the final two months before the exam. In the instances where they couldn't afford tuition they simply taught their child themselves or asked an older sibling to help out and then they hired a tutor for a few hours on top. This ensured that key topics were covered and that their child was ahead of their revision schedule.

3. They didn't put all their eggs in one basket! This has to be the most important thing that I observed from these parents and it falls in line with some of the advice that I usually give my clients.

Make sure you have more than one option when it comes to the schools you're applying for. Parents whose children succeeded in the 11+ exams often applied for multiple schools and the vast majority of these parents applied for both grammar and independent schools as a back up measure. They understood that even if they couldn't afford independent school fees, they could look into options such as scholarships and bursaries. 

There's so much to learn by speaking to successful 11+ parents. For me, it's always an eye-opener and I am often amazed by the wonderful advice that they share.

Whether your child has already sat the exams or is about to embark on their 11+ journey, pay attention to the tips above and always remember that your attitude and positivity has a huge role to play in how successful your child is in the exams and beyond.

Here's to your child's success!


Founder, TheTutoress.com.

How To Prep Your Child For The 11+ During The Summer Holidays

As it's one of the hottest weeks of the year, studying for the 11+ exams is the last thing that most children want to do.

This is especially true of 11+ students who would much prefer to be relaxing and playing outside rather than studying for one of the most important exams of their life.

For parents, it can be incredibly difficult (and sometimes even impossible) to motivate your child to study during these warm summer months. 

Even the slightest attempt to encourage them to pick up a book can result in hours of screaming and moaning.

Quite simply, it can be an incredibly frustrating time especially when you're fully aware of how close by your child's 11+ exam is.

Nonetheless, getting your little one to be motivated enough to study isn't impossible and it can actually be an easy process if you follow these 3 steps.

Step 1.

Be sympathetic. Think back to your childhood and how much you enjoyed playing in the glistening sun. Those were incredible days that have lifelong memories.

Although it's natural and normal to want to scream at your child and beg them to study during this period of time, try to be understanding and talk to them in a way that shows that you acknowledge their frustrations.

Step 2.

Act like a parent, think like a child.

One of the smartest ways to deal with a child's lack of academic motivation is to think like not just any child, but your own. 

What motivates your child?

What are there passions/interests? 

Which activities inspire them?

Make a mental note of your answers to these questions and begin embedding some of your child's biggest passions into their study periods. 

There are several ways to do this.

For instance, you could tell your child that for every hour of 11+ practice that they do, they'll receive 15 minutes of time towards an activity that they love most.

You could also consider incorporating their passions into their studies, for instance, use football to teach creative writing (yes, it's possible - we do this all the time during our 11+ courses)

Now this brings me to the final step (and my personal favourite). 

Step 3.

how to pass the 11+ exam

Use the "jam jar technique."

What's that?

The jam jar technique encourages you to think like your child and pay attention to the one thing that they've dreamt of doing or receiving. 

For instance, it could be a trip to Disney Land, a new digital tablet or the latest gadget. 

Next, grab an empty sweet or jam jar and tell your child that for every hour they dedicate towards their 11+ studies, you'll place a marble in the jar, once the jar is filled they'll be able to get that dream prize/gift.

The reason why this works so well is because it encourages your child to study without stating that they'll only be rewarded if they pass the 11+. 

It rewards them for working hard and acknowledges their efforts in a positive way.

Now that you've learnt three great ways to prepare your child for the exam, share this post on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook so that other parents can be inspired.

PS. If you haven't already, sign up to our newsletter so that you can receive the latest updates and tips on how to pass the 11+ exam.

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