School Entrance Tests has two main aims: to level the playing field for school entrance exams, as well as offering all the support that parents and pupils need on a single, easily accessible site. So, good luck with your exams!

We answer the key question, which School Entrance tests will my chosen independent school use; and then

  • Provide you and your child with as many resources as possible to assist you in this process.
  • We offer free past year practice papers and premium past papers, skills guides etc

Gaining a selective school place has never been more competitive. Adopting the most effective preparation for private and grammar school entrance is the key.


Free past papers and premium practice exams

  1. All of our past papers are free. Yes, your first ports of call should be sample exams on the publisher website. And to check if there are past papers provided on your selected school website. Although you will find all of these materials here on one easily accessible site! 
  2. We charge for premium test practice from our practice test partners. These mirror as closely a spossible the actual school entrance exam. We believe it’s key to provide the most accurate entry exam preparation for this reason. Also to cover the full range of possible question formats since we know that this reduces children’s exam anxiety.


Here’s an introduction from our Founder, Chartered psychologist Rob Williams:

How best to use our FREE and PREMIUM past papers

Here is our step-by-step guide to encourage the best form of school entrance test practice. This is using the practice materials which are closest to your 9+ school entry exam. This is why we offer the very latest school entrance 9+ past paers. These are the best source for your child to use.





Which reasoning skills do most school entry exams assess?

What are the main types of grammar school 11+ Exam?

The 11+ Exam (or “11-plus”) is a selective entrance exam generally taken at the beginning of Year 6, generally in September.

The content varies between different areas of the country but will generally be based on some or all of the following types of questions: English, maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning. It may involve sitting two or even three eleven plus examinations. Sometimes the tests will be of a different kind, e.g. non-verbal reasoning and a verbal reasoning test and in other cases, the tests will be the same, e.g. two verbal reasoning tests.

There are two main exam boards for the 11+ Exam:

  • GL Assessment (previously known as NFER) administer the 11+ exams for most grammar schools in Berkshire, Bexley, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Kent, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton. The GL 11+ exam cover English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning (spatial awareness). Each school can choose any combination of these to best fit their selection criteria.
  • CEM developed by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University administer the 11+ exams for Birmingham, Cumbria, Dorset, Lancashire, Medway, Northern Ireland and Wiltshire. The CEM 11+ exam covers verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. (The verbal reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL English exam; the numerical reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL maths exam.)
  • Schools in Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford and Yorkshire use a mixture of GL and CEM.

In both GL and CEM exams, there is a strong emphasis on core skills in English and maths; including spelling, punctuation, grammar, comprehension, and vocabulary, including arithmetic skills, problem-solving, and data manipulation. Non-verbal reasoning assesses spatial awareness, pattern-spotting and logical skills.

Our selective school entry advice for parents

The best way to prepare for any independent school entry is to believe that your children should be able to pass. Also though, to manage their own selectie school expectations.



2022 Independent school tutoring

>In our opinion, your child needs to view going to a selective school as one option for them. That way if they don’t get in, a selective education wasn’t quite the right fit for them. CErtainly no failure on their part.

There’s high competition for every selective schoool place. Especially for free grammar school places. You will need to pay £50-60 plus once a week for a specialist tutor. Over one to two years depending upon an individual child’s learning needs.

As any economics student will tell you the price charged for a service depends largely on demand and supply. It has always been expensive – even for a single child.

Reports also show that the number of tutored children has risen sharply. It tempting to think that without the guidance of an experienced tutor your child will not get into a selective school. Yes, although many parents have successfully picked up the tutoring challenge themselves.


Woman tutor for 11 plus tutor cost guide

However, the good news is that prices can vary considerably and it is definitely worth shopping around. A quick look at the Tutorfair website, which acts as a hub for private tutors, shows that the typical price of a tutor per hour outside of London is lower, at around £50.

One important factor is whether the tutor is a qualified teacher. Basically, you will pay much more if they are qualified and have significant experience of tutoring – ie. 10 years or more.

You may also pay more if they have an Oxbridge degree, or if they are a specialist in a certain subject. This is particularly true of Maths tutors.

2022 London tutor costs

Of course in London, you can expect to pay even more, given the generally high demand for grammar schools in the area. Here prices for face-to-face tuition currently average around £60.

That said, certain specialist tutors (and/or in-demand tutors with a strong track record of successful school pacement) can charge over £100 for specialist tutoring. In particular, Maths or languages.

So what can you do to keep the price of tutoring your children to a minimum?

Whilst still ensuring they pass with flying colours?

School Entrance Tests’ top tutor finding tips

Here we give our Top 5 Tips when choosing a tutor.

1. Don’t assume that the most expensive is the best

As with most things, it is possible to bag a bargain. You just need to do your homework.

2. Check for a strong track record of successful school pacement

Many tuition websites provide user ratings for their tutors. Yes, it’s definitely worth reading these before you make a decision. You need a tutor who can deelop a strong relationship. Equally though, as with any collaboratie effort; you are expecting a constructive outcome. And will pay through the nose for it! So, always check for a strong track record of successful school pacement.



Books,pencils and laptop,11 plus tutor cost guide

3. Many of today’s tutors are qualified teachers too

Also don’t necessarily assume that a qualified teacher (ie one with PGCE, QTS certificates) is the best person to tutor your child. Even though qualified teachers generally command much higher prices than non-qualified teachers they aren’t necessarily better.

There are some very good graduates out there with a good track record of getting children through their 11 Plus.

Expect to pay around £30 for an unqualified teacher compared to around £50 per hour for a qualified teacher.

4. Don’t commit to too many sessions!

Every child is different, but generally speaking, you shouldn’t spend more than a few months getting your child tutored for the 11 Plus. According to Anita Moss, Director of First Tutors, the average tuition relationship lasts for 16.5 hours.

Much more than that and fatigue can set in and your child could be burned out even before sitting the entrance exams!

5. Online tutoring offers a wider selection of tutors

This became the norm during the 2021 and 2022 lockdowns. Many school children are therefore already well=versed in the pros and cons of online teaching. The primary attraction, particualrly if you live in a remote, rural location is that you can access quality tutors from the many online tutoring agencies. You are not restricted to local tutors prepared to come to your home addres each week.

Still, in our opinion, sitting alongside your tutor is the best option. But it’s also the most expensive. Increasingly popular is online tutoring. This can save you an awful lot of money.

Some tutors offer their services for nearly half the price of face to face tutoring because they don’t have to travel. With broadband speeds improving all the time, it’s now more practical than ever to use services like Skype. For those in rural locations, it may also be a more practical option.

Group tutoring in a sense splits your tutoring bill

Using a group tutor inevitably brings the costs down. For example, tuition company Explore Learning charges approximately £129 per month for two sessions a week of 1 hour 15 minutes each. These take place with up to six children per tutor. This compares favourably price-wise to one-to-one tuition which currently averages around £40 per hour.

Do it Yourself!

OK, this might not be your preferred option. However, parents with a bit of time and patience can invest in coaching books designed around the 11 Plus exams. You can find a vast selection of various papers on this site.

With links to be found to all from the Home page or have a look at the School Entrance Index to make sure you don’t miss any. Your child can then sit these at home in close to exam conditions. School Entrance Tests Pencils