Exam syllabi change every year – though this is not always announced. Schools and boards are trying to make their entrance exams tutor-proof. It helps to prepare for an exam earlier than ever now.
Also, standards differ from school to school, as do the format of the 4+, 7+, 11+ and 13+ tests. In some multiple- choice is indicated, and in others students have to write long answers or essays. Therefore practice in both types of papers is essential, as is a high level of English writing skill.
This is why a tutor with Elisa’s experience is crucial for success in entrance and board exams. Not many tutors have over two decades of success in getting students into excellent schools or passing SATs and GCSEs with high grades.
In Elisa’s tutoring school, students have to work in groups, though there are packages that give them intensive one-on-one tutoring to scaffold their weaknesses. Below are some of the tests with which Elisa has had tremendous success over the past two decades.
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This is a test for entrance into independent primary schools. If children don’t do well in these, they can take the 5+ the next year. However, several schools are withdrawing this option, so it is even more important for children to do well in the 4+.
The tests are usually more difficult than people anticipate, and parents are often surprised at how much their children are meant to know at such an early age. The tests sometimes involve conversation and listening skills, drawing and colouring, behaviour observation and simple English and Maths. Elisa finds that children who are articulate and know their phonics sounds do well.
As a guide, North London Collegiate gives a description of their 4+ assessment here.
The last few months have been particularly strenuous financially on our family and I thank you for being very flexible with my payments. I truly appreciate how accommodating and tolerant you have been with me.
Once again, from my husband, Dara and I, we would like to say a big thank you.
It is not good bye but see you soon!”
Chisom (Dara’s mum)
This allows students the chance to get into good independent schools at Year 3. Children take the exam at Year 2. Competition is fierce as there are limited places of entry through the 7+. Students need to do well in Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning.
Children might also be required to do additional things, such as dictation, spelling out loud, mental Maths and sometimes even Art. Creative writing is the most important part of the exam, in Elisa’s opinion. Story writing skills have to be perfected and every essay having a beginning, middle and end. Good vocabulary, perfect punctuation and excellent spelling are essential for getting into a top tier institution. Students can take the 8+ in some schools, if they have not had success in the 7+.
Different schools tend to have their own versions of 7+ exams.
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School publishes some sample papers for 7+.The papers for download below can also be found on their website:
North London Collegiate publishes guidelines and examples for its 7+ exam here.
Here are some of their sample papers.
These are perhaps the most well-known and popular entrance exams for students wanting to get into top independent secondary schools. Competition is fierce and students are tested in Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning.
As it is so important to do well, Elisa has a proven programme with past-papers and decades of experience in what is important. She also has a fast-track and intensive programme for students who are short on time or who have to rewrite the exam once they enter secondary school.
However, the results of these special programmes depend on where the student is when he or she starts the course, as well as how much of their own time and effort they put into their work.
11+ sample papers are available on several school websites. Here are a few samples from Merchant Taylors’ and North London Collegiate available:
“Our daughter Nina started attending Elia’s tutorial service in September 2004 in preparation for 11+ exams and interviews at several secondary schools. Although we were quite late in preparing our daughter for such exams, Elisa was still very optimistic that Nina could get in to our chosen schools, which, with Elisa’s help, she did. She managed to get places at four schools and now attends Northwood College.
Nina attended both individual and group lessons in which she improved drastically in Mathematics and English. The school entrance exam require a good understanding of verbal and non-verbal reasoning, good comprehension and creative writing skills and mathematics according to the National Curriculum at key stage two and above. Our daughter found some of these areas difficult and daunting at first, but Elisa was able to supply us with material specific to Nina’s requirements, which soon gave our daughter the confidence in mastering all subjects.
Thanks to Elisa, Nina had achieved level 5 in English, Mathematics and Science at her SAT’s exams and is now in top maths group at Northwood College. We can high recommend Elisa’s Tutorial services and our daughter always enjoyed attending any of her lessons.”
Sabine and Greg Kadhaya
The 13+ common entrance exams are supported by many top schools. It provides strong practice for students in Years 7 & 8, and is excellent preparation for the GCSEs. The core subjects are English, Maths and Science.
Due to the rigorous nature of the exams, it is highly recommended that students get help and tutoring well in advance. It is a last chance to get into a top academic school that will prepare your children well for the crucial GCSEs.
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and Merchant Taylors’ publishes a selection of sample papers for several subjects are available here.
Of course, the most crucial exams, the results of which stay with you for the rest of your life, are the GCSEs. Elisa and her tutors have had years’ of experience in a range of subjects for both the GCSEs and IGCSEs in various boards.
Each board is different and the syllabi changes often, so it is important that any tutor helps students understand what is required of them – past papers come in handy, and Elisa has numerous ones.
You can find past and sample papers on the Edexcel, CIE and AQA boards websites.
Here are some sample GCSE papers in subjects that Elisa helps students with:
It gives me great pleasure to inform you that Neha has achieved great results in her GCSEs this year.
…you provided her with a sound foundation in English and Maths from a very young age.
She learnt a great deal whilst she came to you for tuition in the primary years.
Well, she is reaping the rewards now.
Once again many thanks.
“Hi I am Rupa I am doing my GCSE’s in May I would like to personally recommend Elisa because she pushed my predicted grade from a C to an A.
I have been with Elisa since I was 9 years old, and I have had a great time. Elisa has a concept of fun through learning and makes all children welcome.”