Frequently Asked Questions

It is natural to have a lot of questions, so we have provided a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, with answers below.

  • What are the term dates?

  • Do lessons run throughout school half-term holidays?

    • Yes, we usually have lessons during half-terms. Our lessons are scheduled to run every week, with the exception of certain dates around the Christmas and Easter period.

  • What are the class sizes?

    • Each class has 16-18 students, with a teacher and a minimum of two teaching assistants. Tutors have been trained in the eleven plus syllabus and will have a degree in the subject being taught.

  • Are Year 4 students automatically accepted onto the Year 5 course?

    • Teachers will determine the child’s suitability for Year 5 based on their performance throughout the year, including their class participation, behaviour, end of term exam results, class performance and commitment to homework.  The vast majority of children who complete our Year 4 course are accepted into Year 5.

  • What happens if my child is unable to attend their usual lesson?

    • We do not normally allow the option to swap lessons because of the additional work involved due to the setting up of the in-class digital voting pads and the way we collect plenary test data for each group. If there are exceptional circumstances then please contact our office by Thursday to request permission to change slot.

  • Do you hold mock examinations for your students?

    • Our Year 5 students start their mock exams from the end of May and sit them through to mid-August. The last 3 mocks are usually sat with external students so that our students receive exposure to real exam conditions.

      We hold a series of mocks between April and September that are open to the public and are usually advertised from February on our website.

  • Are your teachers qualified?

    • Our tutors have been trained in house on the 11 plus syllabus and deliver lessons prepared by us. We used either qualified teachers or tutors with a degree in the subject being taught. We never use qualified teachers or tutors in maths or English unless they have a degree in the subject. All staff are DBS checked.

  • Do I need to purchase any additional materials for the course?

    • You should not need to purchase any extra materials in Year 4 or Year 5 as what we provide is sufficient. We also provide plenty of books and test papers in the final term of the Year 5 course.

      The most valuable practice materials are provided online with our structured topic based tests.

  • What are the fees for the course?

  • What are the term dates?

  • Will I have to pay extra fees if my child is targeting multiple schools?

    • Our Year 5 course provides specialist training to fully prepare your child for one exam board or school to target your first choice.  However, the course is comprehensive and will provide good preparation to target most other local schools, therefore the majority of parents will not incur extra tuition fees except for Independent Schools. However, all parents may, if they wish, book additional mock exams in the final term to cater for a second school or exam board.

  • Will I have to pay extra fees if my child is targeting multiple schools?

    • Our Year 5 course provides specialist training to fully prepare your child for one exam board or school to target your first choice.  However, the course is comprehensive and will provide good preparation to target most other local schools, therefore the majority of parents will not incur extra tuition fees except for Independent Schools. However, all parents may, if they wish, book additional mock exams in the final term to cater for a second school or exam board.

  • Do you provide guidance on school choices and catchment policies?

    • We are always happy to help you with any specific queries you may have, but are not able to offer tailored assistance to all parents on their school options. This is something that you must research for yourself, depending on your postcode, and decide if you are prepared to move address in qualify under any catchment policy. You should make the necessary enquiries directly with the LEA or school.

      School admissions policies which contain catchment information are usually on the individual school’s websites. Policies vary from school to school, and are usually updated on the school’s websites by February or March of each year.

      It is the parent’s responsibility to check that they qualify under any catchment policy as this is not something we can take responsibility for.

  • Do you offer classes for creative writing?

    • Yes, these lessons are offered to Year 5 children but are charged for separately.  We offer creative writing classes for those applying for grammar schools which test this in September/October. These lessons will be scheduled in the 2nd term and may be arranged on a weekday.

      For those children sitting creative writing in January for the independent schools, we offer classes from October to December (usually on a Sunday) after the main course has finished.

  • How much online homework is given to children every week?

    • The average home for each year group is below. The time given includes online tests, any reading written work, reading and vocabulary:

      Year 3 students are set 3-4 hours of homework

      Year 4 students are set 5-6 hours of homework

      Year 5 students are set 7-8 hours of homework

      The above times are a guide for the average time, as children will take differing amounts of time depending on their ability and time-management.

  • What is the deadline for completing homework?

    • All Year 3, Year 4, and Year 5 students have the following deadlines:

      Online Plenary Tests must be completed by Sunday 9.00 pm

      Online Homework Tests must be completed by  Thursday 9.00 pm

      Plenary Tests are used to ensure students have understood the lesson topic. They are usually short tests comprising a series of questions on the lesson topic for the week. Plenary tests are usually time-limited, either by test or by question.

      Homework Tests are always topic-based and provide more practice on the new topic covered in the current week. We also continue to set  homework on the topics covered in previous weeks enabling students to consolidate their learning, improving their speed and exposing them to more challenging questions.

  • What is a top-up session?

    • A top-up is a one-to-one session by a teacher or teaching assistant to help a child with specific weaknesses identified from assessing the weekly homework. Weekly homework is reviewed by our teaching staff ahead of the next lesson, so that top-ups can be arranged for any child that is struggling.

      Due to the vast amount of topic-based tests on our online platform, we are able to set homework tailored to what has been taught in the lesson.  The topic videos are extension of the lesson and can be watched at home to help the child consolidate their learning.  As a result, the vast majority of the children are able to do their homework to a high standard each week. However, there will be occasions when a child still needs individual support on a specific topic.

      Top-ups do not disrupt the lesson, as they held outside the lesson time, usually before or after the lesson in slots of 15 or 30 minutes depending on the topic needing attention.

      Top-ups offer peace of mind to parents they are assured that if their child is not keeping up with the class, that he or she will receive the attention they need to progress.

  • How long do top-ups usually last?

    • Typically, top-ups that take place on the day of the lesson, and are held either before or after lesson, will usually be 30 minutes or less in duration as they will be limited to a specific question type or topic in the current week’s homework.

      Top-ups that are arranged during school holidays, however, tend to be longer and will usually be 1 hour.

      Where there are a group of children needing help on the same topics, a group top-up can be arranged during school holidays, which may be longer than one hour.

  • How many top-ups are allocated to each child per term? Is there a limit?

    • Most children only need a top-up on the odd occasion from time to time. If a child has weaknesses arising on a weekly or fortnightly basis it usually indicates the child needs more individual support, and learning in a group environment is not suited to the child’s learning needs. It may be necessary for the parent and teacher to discuss whether the child is getting the maximum benefit from the course, especially if they are not responding favourably to the lessons and the additional help they are receiving. Our teachers will repeat many topics and so the need for top-ups should only arise from time to time for most children.

  • How am I informed about my child’s performance in the course?

    • You will receive an end of first term report which will analyse all of the data presented from homework, class activities and in the end-of-term tests. These reports give an overall ranking within the cohort and individual ranking by subject. The reports also identify strengths and weaknesses across all topics.

      We monitor and continuously assess your child to ensure their performance is on target, therefore you can assume that your child is progressing well, unless we have specifically brought concerns to your attention.

      Throughout the course, we offer top-ups to children based on their performance in class and at home. If your child is regularly being offered top-ups, you can infer that they are weak in multiple areas and need more help than other children. If your child has not been offered top-ups then it is usually a good sign that your child is performing in line with the cohort.

      Later on in Year 5, when your child sits mock exams, you will also receive a report for each exam sat, which will provide a rank, and high, low and average scores of the cohort.

  • How can I enrol my child on the in-person courses?

    • All students, pre-existing or external, must take our Admissions Test, to ensure suitability of our course to their learning requirements. Admission tests usually take place from March to May each year.  It is important to understand that our programmes are of advanced levels and will only suit students who are accustomed to academic study and who display a keen interest in learning.

  • What is the purpose of the Admissions Test for the In-Person Course?

    • Our courses are challenging and tailored to the most competitive grammar and independent schools in Greater London.  As such they are only suitable for children who are achieving expectations at school and can learn at a quick pace in a competitive group environment.

      We do not separate children into classes based on ability levels and they all follow the same lesson plan.   Therefore, students must have a good foundation to enable our tutors to deliver optimal lessons that suit the learning pace and needs of the group as a whole.

      The test outcome will indicate if a student has sufficient knowledge in numeracy and literacy to be able to follow the pace of the course. Students who have multiple gaps in knowledge may be better prepared with a one-to-one tutor who can provide tuition tailored to the needs of the individual student.  Eleven Plus Exams does not provide one-to-one tuition.

  • What score does my child have to achieve in the Admissions test to qualify for a place on the in-person course?

    • We look to accept children who can approximately match the average level of our existing cohort of Year 3 students going into Year 4 or Year 4 students going into Year 5. We would not expect external students to be able to perform as well as our enrolled students but would expect scores of at least 65%.

  • Why do you charge for the Admissions Test?

    • When the test has been free in the past, we found large numbers took the opportunity to sit the test purely as an assessment of their child’s level rather than to actually join the course, this delayed our enrolment process for genuine applicants.

  • Why is there no Admission Test for the online course?

    • This is because the lessons are not delivered in one live session so there is no need for all students to be of similar level. Online students initially watch pre-recorded lessons at their own pace and seek parental help if needed. They only attend a live online Zoom class after watching these videos.

      The pre-recorded videos are separated into subjects making them shorter and more easier to digest.  This enables students who do not meet the required level to learn at a pace that suits them, as they can re-watch a video with parental guidance if needed.  The follow-up live Zoom lessons are an interactive a recap of the video tutorial to help children consolidate their learning.

      The online course also provides a more time-efficient learning experience that can free up time that the student can better use to work on weak areas and elevate their level.

  • What is in the Admission Test?

    • The Year 4 and Year 5 admissions test comprises a test divided into timed sections for comprehension and maths. The Year 4 test is 60 minutes and the Year 5 test is 70 minutes.

      The content will have been covered as part of the Year 3 and Year 4 National Curriculum.

      Our admissions test is not a full assessment. The test result only signifies whether your child has a good foundation in numeracy and literacy as a whole and will not enable us to identify any specific weak areas within the subject.  We regret therefore, that we are not able to provide scores or any feedback on your child’s performance.

  • Do you offer a re-test?

    • In our experience, a child who does not meet the criteria is likely to need a few weeks to improve on their score, by which time the course would become full.   As we are not able to hold places, we will not be able to offer a re-test.  If there are extenuating circumstances which will impact your child’s performance on the day, please let us know.

  • When will I receive the outcome?

    • Parents will receive the outcome as individual tests are reviewed and marked by our assessment team. We expect to issue most of the Year 5 results by 20th April 2024 and the Year 4 results by 18th May 2024.

      The admissions test is to assess whether our course is likely to meet your child’s current learning needs.   The outcome of the test will result in one of the following:

      • An Offer for a place in the face-to-face course – where the student shows the potential to fit in with our existing cohort.
      • An offer to place your child on a waiting list – this will mean that your child will be invited for a 2nd assessment involving reading and reasoning.
      • An offer for an online place – where the student has not met the criteria for face-to-face but shows potential to follow the programme online.
      • Recommendation one-to-one tutoring – where the student’s performance indicates a weak foundation in numeracy and literary and the structured pace of our course is felt to be at a pace that is too fast for the student thus requiring the student to need individual support. Eleven Plus Exams does not provide one-to-one tutoring.
  • How does the online course compare with the in-person course?

    • It is the same course so all resources such as homework, handouts, books, videos and lessons will be identical. All students have access to our New Virtual Learning Environment and will see the same homework instructions, videos, and tests.

  • How are lessons provided?

    • Pre-recorded lesson videos are uploaded to the homework portal (VLE) weekly. These replicate what children are taught in our face-to-face groups using the same slides.

      As children of primary school age struggle to focus on learning at home beyond 30-40 minutes, the lesson videos are separated into sections by subject or topic so children can better digest them in smaller segments.

      One of the advantages of recorded lessons is that they are shorter than physical lessons as there are no students to interact. This means the learning can be done in a faster time.

      The ability to watch pre-recorded lessons on demand also means that online students have the convenience of being able to watch a lesson at a time when they can also do their homework on a new topic, thus making it easier to consolidate their learning whilst the lesson is fresh in their mind.

  • How do you assess if my child has understood the lesson?

    • Each lesson video is accompanied by a plenary test which usually comprises 10 questions on the topic. Plenary tests are usually timed to test a student’s speed and recall. This time limit can be 30, 45 or 60 seconds for each question, or the total test may be timed. Scores in these tests are an effective way to assess whether the lesson objective has been met.

      The plenary test must be done before moving onto other homework on the topic – the tests are unlocked until the plenary is completed – thus ensuring students do not rush into their homework before fully understanding the lesson.

  • What if my child does not understand the lesson topic?

    • If a student gets a low score on the plenary test, this may indicate that they do not understand the week’s topic. There is a plenary review video which reviews all the questions and answers in the test. This will usually fill any gaps in their understanding and explain how they could have achieved an answer.

      Where students are still unsure and require further support, we offer live interactive zoom top-up lessons usually each Tuesday. These are delivered by the same staff that teach our face-to-face lessons. They will usually be between 60-90 minutes in length.

      The zoom lessons are optional; children who have fully grasped the week’s topics and attained high scores in their plenaries will not need to attend and their time may be better spent progressing with their homework. The goal of the top-up lessons is to provide a space for students to ask their own questions to teachers and to clarify any uncertainties in the topic.

  • What is the structure of homework?

    • One of the main benefits of our course is its high level of structure and learning materials provided. All homework tests are topic-based and set for homework once the topic has been covered in a lesson. This enables students to focus on one topic during a test and through repetition, they can fine-tune their exam techniques and timing. As a result of this method, the average homework scores for most students is over 85%.

  • Do you check questions which are incorrect?

    • All questions on the homework portal have full explanations which can be revealed provided the student has made a second attempt at a given test.

      Since all questions in the test will be on the same topic, if the student makes a mistake, we can generally assume there was a careless mistake. A “sweep test” button will appear after a test is completed whenever a student scores less than 100%. This prompts them to make a second attempt to review the questions they got wrong, after which they can access the explanation of the question.

  • Topic and sub-topic videos

    • To supplement the lesson tutorials, we also provide shorter videos throughout the course. Some of these will be compulsory to watch before attempting a homework assignment. These videos provide a quick explanation of a given topic or subtopic to aid in students’ understanding and revision.

  • How effective is the online course?

    • There is no difference in the attainment levels of average in-person students versus online students. The primary advantage of our course does not lie in the mode of lesson delivery (whether through in-person classes or pre-recorded videos), but rather in the comprehensive structure of the entire programme, the high calibre of resources available, and the analytical capabilities we offer to track your child’s progress. Every question your child answers on our course is time-stamped, providing us with valuable data that enables us to identify and address their areas of weakness in accuracy and speed.

      The course is highly structured with topic-based tests for homework leading to greater efficiency in learning. Focusing on topics enables students to build their knowledge whilst improving their timing and techniques.

      The key features of our course are our structured tutorials and resources, and the analytics carried out on your child’s progress. Every question your child answers on our course is timed, which provides invaluable data to help us identify and target each student’s weak areas.

      Students who are focused on learning can make excellent progress on the online course and be better placed to compete with their peers due to the time-advantage they have, which is beneficial when time is limited, especially for those that have to travel some distance to attend our lessons.

      You should not consider enrolling either online or face-to-face unless your child is committed to preparation. They must be diligent in their studies and have the willingness to learn. Our courses are designed for academically abled children to be challenged.

Do you have some more questions or want to discuss the package that's right for you?