How much can you achieve in a year of tutoring? Take a look at writing samples from two of my students, taken from over the course of the year, and decide for yourself.
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A reading list organised by age and difficulty, geared to expand students' vocabulary and grammar.
The 11+ has changed! Many schools are now adding in an essay writing task to go alongside the creative writing. Read the blog to see how to score highly on these, and to get practice questions.
The 11+ comprehension can be hard to prepare for, but most papers tend to ask the same types of questions year after year. Here I outline the four most common question types and explain how to answer them.
Grammar is always essential, and in entrance exams it is an crucial thing that examiners look for. Learn how to spot these common mistakes, and complete the given exercises to avoid them completely.
Expanding vocabulary can be challenging, and some students find it hard to sit down and write a whole story on command. This blog post explains a fun way to get students interested in writing, and gets them working hard on their vocabulary too.
A solid vocabulary is essential for English success. Learn how to build a vocabulary bank which is useable, effective and succinct.
This is a quick checklist of things which students should include in their stories if they want to gain top marks in their 11+ stories.
As a parent or a new tutor, it can be hard to know what mark to award the stories that you are presented with. Schools don't typically release mark schemes, and as a parent you usually don't have many other stories to compare to. The blog post explains what to take into account when marking stories, and gives a simple methodology to follow.
A guide to planning your stories - works for both 11+ and 13+ English.
A detailed explanation of how exactly to use the colon. Be warned, after reading this you'll begin to notice its misuse everywhere.
As I've said before, it is very difficult to absorb information passively. Many people try and read philosophy in the same relaxed, switched-off way they would approach a piece of fiction, and it doesn't get them very far. In this blog I explain how get the most out of your reading, and how it can help you craft better essays and exam answers.