Entrance Exams - Does your child need a tutor?

by Sara

In recent years there have been many debates regarding the standard of British schools. We are seen as a world leader in education by many countries abroad but at home teachers and parents sometimes disagree. By the time children reach the age of 9 many parents are frantically researching which top independent or grammar school their child could obtain a place at.

Once they know which school they would like their child to attend the next task is to evaluate their child's current level at school taking into account their strengths and weaknesses. Most parents have a pretty good idea which subjects their child struggles and excels at but a teacher or private tutor can help identify exactly what kind of help is needed. The school's website often provide past exam papers and indicate what would be seen as a pass mark, this gives parents a good indication of the school's standard and if their child would be able to pass the entrance exam.

Often the child is bright but lacks self confidence or the child excels in one subject but struggles in another. Other children have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and need a tutor that specialises in this area.

Most school teachers will tell parents to encourage their children to practice, practice and practice, however unless a parent has the time and dedication to ensure the child does just that, more often than not the child is left alone to struggle leading to lack of motivation and self confidence.

Self confidence

First Tutors see hundreds of parents asking for help to ensure their child performs best in entrance exams. Below are 3 top tips to consider when thinking of finding a tutor to help your child pass entrance exams.


Perhaps the most important factor is time. Don't rush into looking for a private tutor 3 months before your child is expected to sit the entrance exams. This will only add to the pressure your child is going through. A good year or more before the exam date should provide plenty of time for the tutor and your child to bond.


A good private tutor will work on your child's confidence and boost their potential by providing them with valuable studying techniques. If lessons are face to face and your child is confident using a computer ideally a tutor will back up lessons by providing extra resources or help via email, Skype etc. Here at First Tutors we have some very talented tutors! When searching for tutors via the website take your time to read their profiles but more importantly look for feedback left from previous First Tutor clients. Feel free to contact as many tutors as you wish to discuss all your tuition needs before deciding which tutor to go ahead with.


It's important to have an idea of how your tutor will work with your child. Some important questions to ask your tutor are:

Who provides the learning materials?

Do they set homework?

How do they plan to make lessons engaging?

How often will the tutor provide feedback to the parents regarding your child's progress?

Can the tutor commit to long term tuition (eg. more than 3 months)?


Ask the tutor how you can help reinforce your child's skills. Keep regular contact with your tutor so it makes it easier to communicate if any difficulties arise. After each lesson talk to your child to evaluate if they seem positive about their progress.

It's easy to register with First Tutors and start searching for the best tutor for your child's needs.