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When Should I Start 11+ Tutoring?

When is the Best Time to Start 11+ Tutoring? An Impartial Guide

The 11+ exam is a crucial milestone for many children in the UK aiming to secure a place at a grammar school or an independent school. Tutoring is often sought by parents to help their children prepare for this competitive exam. However, one of the most commonly asked questions is, “When is the best time to start 11+ tutoring?” This article provides an impartial overview to help you make an informed decision.

Option 1. Early Start (2-3 Years Before the Exam)


  • Gradual Learning: Starting early allows children to learn at a relaxed pace, making the process less stressful.

  • Solid Foundation: This provides ample time to build a strong foundation in subjects such as maths, English, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning.

  • Confidence Boost: The extended preparation period can enhance a child’s confidence.


  • Potential Burnout: There’s a risk that the child might become exhausted or lose interest over a prolonged period.

  • Cost: Extended tutoring can be financially demanding.

Option 2. Moderate Start (1 Year Before the Exam)


  • Focused Preparation: A one-year timeline provides a clear structure for covering all topics and subjects.

  • Balance: It’s a middle ground, preventing burnout while still giving adequate time.


  • Increased Intensity: To cover all topics in a year, sessions might be more frequent and intensive.

  • Limited Flexibility: There’s less room to adapt if the child struggles with specific topics.

Option 3. Late Start (6 Months or Less Before the Exam)


  • Short-Term Commitment: Suitable for parents and students not looking for a long-term engagement.

  • Crash Courses: Some tutoring programs are specifically designed for short-term, intensive preparations.


  • High Pressure: The limited time can make the preparation more stressful for the child.

  • Limited Depth: There may not be enough time to delve deeply into each topic.

Factors to Consider:

  • Child’s Current Ability: If your child already shows a strong grasp of the subjects, they might not need an extended preparation period. Conversely, if they need more foundational work, starting earlier could be beneficial.

  • Other Commitments: Consider your child’s other activities and commitments. If they have a packed schedule, starting earlier with less frequent sessions might be less overwhelming.

  • Cost and Availability: Tutoring is a financial commitment. Consider your budget and the availability of tutors in your area.

  • Child’s Well-being: Every child is different. Some thrive under pressure, while others benefit from a longer, more relaxed preparation period. Always consider the emotional and mental well-being of your child.


The best time to start 11+ tutoring varies based on individual needs and circumstances. It’s essential to assess your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall well-being when making a decision. Whichever time frame you choose, ensure the process remains positive, supportive, and confidence-boosting for your child.

What are my next steps?

If you wish to discuss your tutoring path further with a professional tutor, please do contact us by email or phone on 07883 262719.

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