Updated: Jan 12
As we are now in the middle of the 7+, 11+, 13+ and pretest entrance exam season, many parents and students alike are looking at what last minute exam preparation can be done with a private tutor and independently. Having worked as a private tutor in London and online as well as working with and training many other private tutors in London for the 7+, 11+ and 13+ exams in London and throughout the UK, I have seen firsthand the buildup and nerves that accompany these daunting entrance exams and have worked on many long-term as well as last-minute exam strategies to build confidence and entrance exam success.
No doubt, there is no quick-fix to prepare for the 7+, 11+ and 13+ entrance exams - or indeed any exam for that matter - with or without a private tutor and I would always recommend preparing for these entrance exams with a private tutor either at home or online far in advance of the exam period. That being said, in preparing for the 7+, 11+ and 13+ entrance exams with a private tutor or independently, it is imperative that planning is made right up to the entrance exam period with some final crucial steps for exam success.
Here at Brentley-Edwards Education, our private tutors in London and online have helped many students gain places through the 7+ entrance exams for Latymer, Westminster Under, Kings College and Bute House; the 11+ entrance exams for Dulwich College, UCS, City of London School and St Paul’s Girls School and 13+ entrance exams for Harrow, Hampton and Westminster to name but a few, which has allowed our private tutors and support team to hone our entrance exam preparation approaches for excellence and success.
What is crucial, as you get to the last few weeks before a 7+, 11+ or 13+ entrance exam is to asses and target the student’s weaker areas (ideally with a private tutor) in line with the entrance exams they are taking (chiefly comprehension, writing and mathematics). Our team of private tutors in London and online would then focus on strategies to achieve the best exam success in these areas. For example, a recent student who was sitting the 11+ exam for Dulwich College, City of London School, Alleyn’s and Kings College was very apt at answering the questions in the comprehension segment of the 11+ paper but struggled with the timing of the paper and so, would often not finish the paper in time. This was seen by one of our expert private tutors in London who targeted his time-management skills and taught him strategies that enabled him to complete the paper under the time constraint of the 11+ exam. This student went on to receive offers from every school he applied to for 11+ entry. Had this not been targeted and he had specific strategies taught to him, he would likely have missed an opportunity to really shine in his 11+ exams.
Another recent success story was from a year 2 student of Brentley-Edwards Education who was taking the 7+ exams for Latymer Prep, Bute House and South Hampstead Juniors. Her private tutor, who visited her at her home in Hampstead, found that her arithmetic skills were strong but that she would lose marks in her practice 7+ maths papers when a sum was written in a different way than she had anticipated or was part of a longer word or reasoning problem. The expert private tutor was then able to hone in on this and teach the 7+ exam student techniques that enabled her to achieve a greater result through targeted work on her 7+ exam. She was also offered places at all the schools she applied to for 7+ entry.
I firmly believe that it is this specific, targeted approach, which can often only come in to play in the last few weeks before the entrance exams, that facilitates 7+, 11+ and 13+ entrance exam students to achieve the best results and that constant practice papers is not the best way forward. Truly, the advice I would give to anyone approaching these entrance exams is to work out (ideally with an experienced private tutor) what is it is – specifically – that needs to be targeted to achieve success in the 7+, 11+ and 13+ entrance exams or, indeed, other entry points.
Myself and the team at Brentley-Edwards Education would like to wish all those taking 7+, 11+, 13+ and an other entrance exams this year the best of luck. Be confident, work hard and strive for excellence!
Founder – Brentley-Edwards Education