What is the 11+?

The 11+ is a test to decide which secondary school your child will go to. The test itself comes in two papers. They are multiple-choice and are both of about the same level of difficulty. Each paper is about 45 minutes long and is in a number of separately timed sections.


Why tutor for the 11+?

Despite the assertion that the “new” Buckinghamshire Transfer Test is “tutor-proof” this simply isn’t the case. The new 11+, devised by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University, is supposed to comprise 80% of what is being taught at school. However, this does not allow for those who need extra help with the school curriculum, nor that elusive 20% that isn’t being taught!


What’s the process for applying for the 11+?

Depending on which school you are applying for, you will either need to apply directly to the grammar school or to the Admission & Transport team. If your child goes to a Buckinghamshire LA primary school they will automatically be registered to take the Transfer Test. If your child goes to any other school you need to register them for Transfer Testing by the deadline in early July. Click here for more details.


What’s the process for applying for the 11+ if I’m out of county?

The same process as above applies, but there is no guarantee of a place, even if your child passes the test.


When is the 11+ exam?

Usually the second Thursday in September, with a preparation test on the Tuesday before. Click here for further information.


When do the results come out this year?

14 October 2016.


What if my child doesn’t pass and I want to appeal?

If your child scores 121 or more on the Transfer Test they are automatically qualified for grammar school. If they do not score 121 parents can request a Selection Review and/or Independent Admission Appeal. Download the Transfer Testing Process on this page for more information.




What does a tutoring session consist of?

A tutoring session will be a fun mixture of learning using books, computers and games. We will practice some English comprehension, some mental maths, a maths topic, and English topic, some spelling and possibly some nonverbal reasoning. We will have at least 6, but usually more, activities in a 2 hour lesson and that won’t include the stop for refreshments and the opportunity to try one of the many educational games just waiting to be played on the shelves in the classroom.


How long is a session?

Each session for the 11+ Preparation course is 2 hours.


How often should my child have a session?

There are 34 teaching weeks in the year so your child can have a lesson almost every week of the school term time.


Are all tutors CRB checked?

Yes, all the staff have the DBS clearance that is expected of any person working with children.


Where does the tutoring take place? Can you come to my home?

All sessions take place in our fully equipped bright and airy classroom above a shop in the High Street in Chesham. We don’t come to your house as we don’t like to clear you off your dining table just as you are trying to prepare the dinner and we can’t bring all our resources with us.


Can I have a trial session?

Yes, of course, there is no charge for a trial lesson or a free assessment session before your child decides whether they want to join us.


How much do I have to pay in advance; is there a contract?

We ask you to set up a standing order for payment over 10 months and split the cost across those 10 months. Lessons will not take place unless you have paid a deposit or the first month’s payment.


What’s the best way to study for the 11+?

It will depend on your child, but we suggest a weekly lesson from us will build their confidence and enable them to progress at a steady pace. We do offer a last minute ‘crash course’ for those children who have not done any preparation before the summer holidays but most children learn better at a more sensible pace, with a mixture of different ways of learning; books, computer programmes, games etc.


What’s the maximum size of the study group?

The maximum size of the group is 5 children. That means we know every child very well and can individualise our teaching for the children as necessary.


Can my child have private sessions on their own with you?

We find children learn better in small groups as they interact and learn from each other as well as the tutor. If a child is having difficulty with a particular subject then we might suggest they have individual sessions as a top up but there are no individual 11+ lessons.


What makes Pen and Ink Tuition different?

We strongly believe that all children need to enjoy their learning so we work hard to make the sessions fun and exciting. We want children to become happy and confident learners. Our small group sizes ensure that we can give each child individual attention and they still benefit from the group sessions.


What happens if I miss a session, do I still have to pay?

Payments are made monthly with no refunds for non-attendance.


Will my child have homework?

Yes – but we don’t insist on it, as we recognise that children are likely to already have a heavy burden of homework from school, but if they are to get the most out of the sessions they should try to do at least some of it every week.


How many of your tutees end up passing the 11+?

We accept any child whose parents would like them to do the course. We don’t just pick those who will pass. Fairly early on we will be able to tell you whether your child is likely to pass and we will say that to you. Grammar school will not suit every child and you as parents need to visit all the schools and decide for yourself which school will suit your child. The children who do not pass will have improved their English and Maths skills considerably and are more likely to be placed in higher sets when they get to secondary school. Every group of children is different, but a rough guide would be 60% will pass.


How do you keep track of where my child is in terms of English and Maths in school?

Every piece of information you give us regarding the work they are doing at school will help us move your child on. We try to mirror the national curriculum closely with what they will be doing at school. We do ask the children regularly whether the topic they are working on with us they have covered at school. More often however we get comments like ’I was the only one who knew the answer to that at school because you had taught it to me here.’


Will you keep me informed of my child’s progress?

Every lesson your child will have a feedback sheet with a short series of comments about their progress on particular aspects of the lesson. We encourage the children to reflect on their own learning and evaluate what they have achieved.


How much does it cost?

A 2 hour lesson will cost £45 and you will need to book for a minimum of 2 months. There is a discount for parents who would like to book for the whole year in advance and also a sibling discount on request.


25 High Street
Chesham HP5 1BG
T: 01494 773300
E: penny@penandinktuition.co.uk

Copyright© 2016 Pen and Ink Tuition