Every year, top London prep schools hold entrance exams to gain entry to year 3. This exam is commonly referred to as the 7+ exam. Our specialists have tried to answer a few of the FAQs we receive to give you some information and help you decide whether or not you should hire a tutor to prepare your child for the 7+ exam.
What does the 7+ exam test?
The exam primarily tests Maths and English, but now most schools include a Reasoning paper containing Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The tests are usually in a written form but there can be verbal sections testing mental arithmetic, spelling, memory and dictation.
What does the tutor do to prepare the student for the 7+?
Veronique Fox-Baret (7+ Tutor): "The 7+ preparation is a combination of comprehensions, creative compositions, verbal and non verbal reasoning and sometimes maths too. These subjects are rotated weekly so the student gains exposure to everything. Interview preparation is also involved".
For the English part or the test, the tutor will focus on comprehension and story writing. Comprehension usually involves simply recalling facts, but at more competitive schools the tests can be more abstract, so vocabulary building is important to impress the examiners.
Danielle Sinclair Davies, tutor: "For the writing part of the test, the tutor will focus on structure, hand writing and spelling. Vocabulary is again important, so the tutor will get the student to write lines on things that interest them and start to improve their descriptive writing using adjectives and adverbs etc".
As the process will be new for the student, the tutor will also focus on time management and concentration building. As the exam approaches, practice with past papers under exam conditions is a good way of slowly getting the child used to the pressure and managing their time. This is also a good way of measuring their development.
Should I hire a tutor for the 7+?
The process of entry to the top London prep schools is highly competitive. State schools do not prepare children for the 7+, so a home tutor with experience in preparing students for these entrance exams can be extremely beneficial preparation as a considerable amount of study is required to pass the 7+ at the most competitive prep schools. In some cases only the top 10% of applicants will attain their desired place.
Pre-prep schools do gear students towards the 7+, but how much you can depend on these schools varies. An additional tutor brought in for even an hour a week, could just be the edge the student needs to prepare.
How many hours a week should I hire a tutor for?
David Wright, Wright Tutors: "This depends on the level of the student and the preparation time for the exam. In general, we recommend that the student starts with a light assessment and around 1-2 hours per week at first, building up gradually, and then becoming slightly more intensive as the exam approaches. It can be a good idea to hire a tutor early in the year prior to the exam, so the tutor has time to work on all areas of weakness without putting pressure on the student".
How much does it cost to hire a tutor?
The hourly rate of a tutor varies depending on experience, and cost anywhere between £25-£50 per hour. At Wright Tutors we do not take commission from the tutor’s salary, instead we charge a fixed placement fee depending on hours and length of tuition required. Most other tuition agencies will charge a registration fee and the tutor’s hourly rate will be considerably higher than average. In the long run, this can prove costly, so we try to make it affordable for all of our clients.
David Wright (Director)
Danielle Sinclair Davies (Tutor)
Veronique Fox-Baret (7+ Tutor)
For help and advice on hiring a tutor, please feel free to comment below or call our dedicated team on 0203 086 8767. Read more about our 7 + tutors here.