How to Pass

The little agency that gets BIG results.


Passing the 11 Plus is not an event, it is a journey that requires planning and preparation. The critical point to understand is that there are very few good, second chance options. Entry at 13+ is limited, as are occasional places. There is then a huge variation in average A-Level grade performance by school. In short, it is your best chance of giving your child the sort of start in life which will lead to excellent A-Levels, degree and career prospects.

Every year we help parents who did not get into the school they wanted. Almost always it is because no one told them that they needed to start their journey a year before and then run it like a campaign. If you plan it right, and you give your child enough time, you stand the best chance of ending it with success. Spacing your campaign over a year also minimises the pressure on your child who is, undoubtedly, too young to cram.

10 - 20% of parents tell people that their child is really being tutored alone.


We have taken over 30,000 pupils through their school entrance exams over the last 40 years. Every year we support scores of children to get into top independent schools such as City of London, James Allen’s Girls’ School, Highgate, KCS Wimbledon, Alleyn’s, Emanuel and more. We also support many into the toughest grammar schools such as Tiffin (Girls and Boys), Dame Alice Owen’s, Henrietta Barnett, Sutton Grammar School and more. Our scholarship record is exceptional.

Our tutors are experts in their field, mainly qualified teachers, and all have extensive experience of the demands of school admissions. We have a full time school entrance co-ordinator who will get to know your child and your aspirations and will co-ordinate their journey. We are independently rated as the Number One tutoring agency in London by School Report Magazine and feature in the Good Schools Guide of top tutoring agencies.


The bedrock of most children’s experiences is school. The exam is taken in January of Year Six and pupils are expected to be operating at the level of a Year Seven pupil. Therefore, unless your school is actively preparing your child for it, they will not have covered the syllabus – regardless of how good they are at the syllabus that they do know.


Most parents of children at preparatory schools also find that this is not enough. In our experience, 10 – 20% of parents tell people that their child is really being tutored alone. But 70 – 80% of children are being tutored. As such, if parents assume school preparation is enough, they are likely to find that other parents have stolen a march on them.

10 - 20% of parents tell people that their child is really being tutored alone.


However, what is not appropriate is to push a child for an exam and a school which is wrong for them. We are not a hot house. We believe in finding the right school for pupils. Every school has different academic standards and different value systems. Before setting out on the journey one must first decide what is the right set of target schools for their child.

The initial step is usually an Academic Assessment. At Mentor Education, we are one of the few agencies licenced to use the CEM test, which is the spine for the test used by leading independent schools. The CEM test involves your child sitting a digital, adaptive test, similar to traditional entrance exams, following which you will receive a report which statistically places your child within their cohort and gives you a full educational consultant’s guide to appropriate target schools. It becomes the starting point for you and your tutor’s journey to support your child.


Then starts the tuition. Tutoring must be tailored to filling gaps in the curriculum, gaining speed and gaining certainty around answers. It is not enough to choose a Primary school teacher. The 11+ is a specific test that requires bespoke tutoring. Mentor Education’s tutors are specialised in this test.

There are four elements of the syllabus – English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning. One must ensure that the pupil is well rounded in all four aspects. Often this will require different tutors to manage different elements – this is the strength of using a full service agency rather than one man band tutors.


You may find our guide on how to choose a tutor helpful.

Interested in becoming a Nightingale tutor?

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