The One Thing That's Stopping Your Child From Passing Their 10+ or 11+ Interview




Summer is almost over and here at The Tutoress, we're shedding a few tears because we just finished our amazing 11+ summer course. It's certainly a bittersweet time for us. 

During the course we always cover interview practice, namely how to pass the 11+ interview and what to do to stop yourself from being a nervous wreck. You see, even the brightest of children find interview preparation hard.

In fact, I'll be bold and say that smarter children tend to underperform in the interview. 


Well, there are several reasons which I'll go into in another article. 

But for now, I want to focus on one of the most important reasons why children fail their 10+ and 11+ interviews. 

The importance of this dawned on me during the summer course when two of our brightest pupils admitted that they'd passed their 10+ exam but didn't do well enough in the interview section to be awarded a place at one of London's most competitive schools for boys. 

So what did they do wrong?  

They didn't elaborate.  

What do I mean by that? 

They gave short, blunt and overly concise answers which might not sound like a bad thing but when an interviewer wants to get to know you, expanding your answers is vital. 

You cannot give one word answers and expect to impress someone who is interviewing hundreds of children. You just can't. 

Now, this isn't to say that you should ramble, it's simply that you should give answers that show enthusiasm and character.

For example, a commonly asked starter question is "what's your name?" 

A child might think that replying "Jo" is fine but it can come across as being a bit blunt and cold. So instead, my tutors and I coach our students to respond with someone that shows warmth and character such as:

"My name is Jo and it's a pleasure to meet you sir." 

By simply elaborating the child has now shown warmth, friendliness and excellent manners.

This is just one example of the many things that students get wrong when answering interview questions. 

I absolutely love teaching interview skills so I could ramble on about this topic all day. 

For now, take a few moments today to explain how important elaboration is to your child and get them to practice answering simple starter questions. 

I'all share some more of my best tips very soon so stay tuned.



11+ Intensive Summer Course London - Highlights


Can you believe that the summer holidays are just a few weeks away? 

Neither can I. 

It feels like time has just flown by and I still have our last course engraved in my mind.

I remember how our students went from being shy and nervous on their first day to beaming with excitement and happiness by 3pm of that same day. 

"What have you done to my child? She actually wants to do homework!"  


That remark made me laugh so much but it's just one example of how much our students love our courses and literally end up wanting to come in every day for three weeks to prep for their 11+ exam. 

Our goal is to always ensure that each student loves every single day of the course and wants to keep coming back to learn more. 

Here are some of our favourite memories from the 2016 course. 

1. Discovering that Benji had the best secret dance moves. He kept that hidden until the very last day of the course.

2. Being amazed at the fact that's Mohammed was preparing for his GCSE exams at the age of 10. He made national headlines when he passed.  

3. Discovering at the course completion party that Bella had the voice of an angel. It's always the quiet ones.


4. Reading Nayanika's incredible creative wring story. It was so good that she scored full marks. 

5. Playing the most exhilarating basketball games. 

We're looking forward to even more incredible memories and highlights for the 2017 11+ Intensive summer course. We have just one space left so give us a call on 0208 242 4270 to book your child's place or check out the course booking page here

The Tutoress.

10 Incredibly Beautiful Words For 11+ Creative Writing


When it comes to the writing component of the 11+ exam, many students fail to impress examiners because they use the same mundane descriptive words that other children use. 

Such words are good but not great enough to WOW admissions tutors and examiners. 

To help your child improve their creative writing and get them to stand out from the crowd, go through this list of 10 remarkable descriptive words. 

To boost your child's learning further, encourage them to memorise the meanings of each word as well as the antonyms. This will not only help them to learn the words better but it will also help to increase their vocabulary.

Finally, finish off by encouraging them to write a great story or decriptive sentence using each of the 10 words.

Let's take a look at the words below:

1. Assemblage. 

2. Dulcet.

3. Effervescent.

4.  Elixir.

5. Ephemeral. 

6.  Fetching. 

7. Becoming. 

8. Gambol. 

9. Mellifluous.

10.  Luxuriant.

After completing this activity with your child, let us know whether they enjoyed learning these words by tweeting us @TheTutoress.

Here's to your child's success, 

The Tutoress.



How to prepare your child for the CEM 11+ Verbal Reasoning Exam

An increasing number of prestigious schools are opting to assess Year 5 and 6 students using the Durham University CEM exam.

As a result, it's vital that most 11+ students have a good grasp of the question CEM question types and understand the difference between them and other question types.

In the Verbal Reasoning exam, the majority of CEM-style questions are vocabulary based and it's therefore essential that students hone their understanding of various word definitions and know how to apply those words into a variety of sentences.

One of the easiest ways to get started with this is to simply learn the synonyms and antonyms of a variety of words, ranging from the simplest to the most complex.

Here are some quick tips that can your child to improve their vocabulary even if they only have a small amount of time:

- Get a magpie book. 

What's that?

A magpie book is simply an exercise book that's filled with words that your child doesn't know.

Your child can simply write down such words and then each evening, write the definition and synonym and then learn the meaning of the word. It's a simple yet highly effective way to improve your child's vocabulary.

- Use big words when speaking to your child.

One of the fastest ways to help your child with exam preparation even when you're on the move is to use high-level vocabulary words when talking to them.

It might sound like a strange thing to do but children often pick up new words when they're used in a natural context.

So, the next time you're telling your child off, try doing so using a big word and see how they react. They might just pick up a new word in the process.

- Practice a range of CEM question types.

Rather than just sticking to the same Verbal Reasoning questions, make sure that your child has mastered answering virtually every type of question that could come up in the exam. 

This includes cloze questions, synonyms and antonyms, hidden words etc.

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

PS. Don't forget to get your FREE copy of 11+ Success Secrets by entering your name and email below.