For the benefit of the wider forum members and those coming beyond, it is right and proper to point out that tutor companies, no matter how professional, are there to make money, pure and simple. Any nervousness around the 11+ test is fundamentally because, for those children who get in, the parents will advertise their company as being the go to place - this facilitates new business for them year in year out. They can dress it up however they want but that is the business - and parents need to recognise that.
Their tests can be convoluted, easy or somewhere in between but how a child does in them is no guarantee of how they will do on the day. Some people swear by mock tests, just as many don't - for families on low income, I don't think they are essential and too many posts on here imply that if you don't do one, your child has no chance - that simply isn't true.
Good points, well made. We had no external tutor and I'll always remember the kids in DD's class who - in full knowledge that she didn't have a tutor - announced to her in school the day before the TGS exam that it wasn't possible to get into Tiffin without a tutor. Some of those kids had three or four separate tutors for different specialisms (e.g. one for VR, another for maths, etc). I thought it was such a mean-spirited attempt to affect their competition by trying to shake her confidence. Guess who has a place though? Versus a majority of the tutored who didn't get in. I'll be honest, I didn't have a lot of sympathy to spare for the nasties...
As for mocks, I'm certain that they are optional, although we did do a single very inexpensive mock organised by the Sutton PSA [London area] and found it useful because of the experience of sitting a test in a big hall and because it confirmed which area was stronger/weaker. There was no individual feedback, but it wasn't hard to figure out that spending more time covering ground in the weaker area would be wise. And at least the money was going to a school.
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