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Places in leading schools has never been so competetive as they are now. At Coveted Tutors Ltd, we fervently advocate for a personal approach to exam preparation, which not only results in success in exams, but also grants the confidence students need to succeed in their new schools and beyond.
We allocate specialist Coveted Tutors who are experts at supporting students in 11/13 Plus and Entrance Exams. Our highly selective process ensures that our students receive a tutor with a proven track-record for the ex- ams and subjects which they are sitting. Coveted Tutors guide students through all stages of exam preparation. Students learn about exam format, topical content, writing style, grade boundaries and expectations, as well as research-proven revision techniques. The bespoke one-to-one service ensures students focus on key areas of improvement, as op- posed to following an inefficient set syllabus which results in unnecessary lessons and repetition. We provide students will a full array of practice papers which they can explore with their Coveted Tutor.
ISEB 11 Plus
Common Entrance at 11+
Pupils sit the Common Entrance examination at 11+ when they are in Year 6, mainly for entrance to senior independent girls' schools. There are two examination sessions each year, in November and January. Most girls sit the examination in January. They take papers in English, Mathematics and Science.
Common Entrance at 13+
The 13+ Common Entrance examination is strongly supported by many of the top prep and independent senior schools in the UK. Its rigorous syllabuses and breadth of subjects provide a strong academic focus for pupils in Years 7 and 8 and an excellent preparation for GCSEs.
Pupils sit the Common Entrance examination at 13+ when they are in Year 8. There are three examination sessions each year, in November, January and May/June.
The Common Pre-Tests are taken when a pupil is in Year 6 or Year 7 and are an age-standardised measure of ability and attainment. They are commissioned from GL Assessment and are online and adaptive. The tests include Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and Mathematics. They are in a multiple-choice format and take about two-and-a-half hours to complete; the tests can be taken together or at separate times either in the candidate's own school or at the senior school for which he or she is entered.
GL 11 Plus
GL was known as NFER before it was purchased by Granada Learning in 2007 and re-named ‘GL Assessment’. GL Assessment now develops and administers 11+ exams in the majority of grammar schools in the UK.
Regional variation. Broadly speaking, most GL 11+ exams are either Standard Format (where answers are written in spaces next to the question) or Multiple Choice (where answers are marked in a separate answer book).
Length varies, 45 minutes is most common.
GL takes its questions from the GL Assessment Question Bank and uses a variety of different question types across all four subjects. Through practice and preparation, it is possible for children to become familiar with these particular question types.
A typical GL Assessment paper, with a time limit of 50 minutes, features:
A 2-page document followed by 18 comprehension questions
4 further questions assessing word meaning
3 grammar questions
8 questions identifying spelling errors in sentences
8 questions identifying errors in the use of capital letters and punctuation
8 questions assessing vocabulary, where the child needs to choose the best word from a list that will complete the sentence
The 11 Plus maths tests cover the topics that have been taught in Key Stage 2. A typical paper contains 50 questions with a time limit of 50 minutes. These tests are often multiple choice and assess questions in the following categories:
Number fluency: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
Number: fractions, decimals, prime numbers, prime factors, highest common factor and lowest common multiple, percentages
Measurement: money, time, metric system, perimeter and area, distance, speed and time, volume of cubes and cuboids
Statistics: averages, simple ratio, column graphs, pie charts, co-ordinates
Patterns and algebra
Geometry: angle calculations, reflection and rotation, nets of shapes
A typical paper has 80 questions, to be completed in 50 minutes.
There are 21 types of question set by GL Assessment for the 11 Plus, although in some areas not all the types will appear on the question paper. The format of the papers may be either ‘standard’ format (no answer options are provided and the child must work out the answer from scratch) or multiple choice, where five possible answer options are provided on the answer paper.
Non-Verbal reasoning tests are designed to assess how well a child can analyse visual information and solve problems by using visual logic. Typically papers are 40-minute exams. They are often broken into 4 sections of 20 questions with an allowance of 10 minutes per section.
Topics covered are:
Identifying which shape is the odd one out.
Working out which diagram comes next in a sequence.
Working out cube nets and how shapes will look when folded.
Mirror images and reflections.
Finding 2 identical shapes in a series.
Rotations and symmetry.
CEM 11 Plus
Developed by the Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring at the University of Durham, the CEM 11+ exam was created in response to fears from some grammar schools that the existing 11+ exam system had become too transparent. The exam was designed to address concerns over question spotting and ‘teaching to the test’.
In practice, ‘verbal reasoning’ encompasses many of the skills tested in the GL English exam, including comprehension. Likewise, ‘numerical reasoning’ involves the core maths skills needed for the GL exam.
For both verbal and numerical reasoning, the CEM exam aligns much more closely to the content of the KS2 National Curriculum than GL Assessment does. Again, individual regions and grammar schools can choose what subjects to test as part of their 11+ exam. One of the key differences between GL and CEM is that CEM papers are mixed, with one exam combining English and verbal reasoning and another combining maths and non-verbal reasoning. Standard Format, Multiple Choice, or a combination may be used depending on school/region.
In addition, the paper may quickly flit between a short maths section, a longer problem solving exercise, then some logic puzzles. Timings will be allocated to each section, and children will need to carefully manage the time they spend on each section.
In CEM exams, there will typically be more questions than are likely to be answered in the time allocated, and the weighting of each subject for your child’s final mark will be unknown before the exam.
Feedback over the last few years shows that the content of CEM exams maps closely to the National Curriculum and topics tested fall into the following areas:
CEM have no set system for their exams. They can change from year to year or between schools.
Some examples of features in previous years have been:
Mixed content in multiple papers e.g. one exam combines English and verbal reasoning and the other combines maths and non-verbal reasoning.
Schools selecting to cover just one discipline.
Four papers each covering a separate subject.
Both multiple-choice and standardised questions.
Timings allocated to each section, so children need to carefully manage the time they spend on each section.
More Entrance Exam Boards
A boy may be registered up until 30 June of the school year he turns 10. After this the only route of entry will be through scholarships, available in School Years 8 and 11, plus a few fee paying places for School Year 12.
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