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As a parent looking for information about how best to prepare your child for the 11 Plus exams, you may have encountered the terms CEM and GL and wondered what on earth they refer to! When it comes to the 11 Plus, these terms refer to the main two assessment manufacturers who develop and provide the 11 Plus tests.

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In light of the Covid-19 school closures we thought it would be helpful to list some of our key recommendations when it comes to making home-schooling a success.

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To assist teachers and students in making online lessons as productive as possible we have put together this infographic on the ground rules that students should follow for online learning.

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Past papers are a great resource for anyone preparing to take an exam, no matter how young.

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The 7+ is sat by students in Year 2 for entry into their new school in Year 3. Students typically take the 7+ in January of Year 2, but it is worth noting that some schools require students to sit them before Christmas. It is important for parents to check the admissions section of their intended schools’ websites to confirm dates.

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Historically boys would sit for the 8+ and girls for the 7+. This was based around the fact that it was traditionally accepted that boys mature a little later than girls at this age. Assessing them later meant that they had more time to develop and show their true potential. However, nowadays many schools offer both 7+ and 8+ entry and as such parents have the option to consider which might be most suitable.

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Getting ready for 11 plus interviews is a difficult but very worthwhile area of preparation for any student hoping to secure a place at the school of their choice. In the article below, Keystone’s tutors have provided a range of good advice and guidance for anyone looking to show their full potential in these challenging interviews.

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If your child is planning to take the 11 plus exam, and is looking for ways to prepare for the English section effectively, the article below is for you! Keystone’s expert tutors have helped students excel at taking this paper, and the guidance below aims to distil their best practice into a simple, practical set of top tips.

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It’s important to plan your preparation for the Maths section of the 11 plus thoroughly – and the guide below will help your child do just that. Keystone’s tutors have enormous breadth and depth of experience in tutoring children for the 11 plus Maths paper, and their best advice is summarized into the brief, practical tips that follow.

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Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning are often amongst the hardest papers to prepare for when tackling the 11 plus exams. Below are some brief tips that will help your child deal with what may be unfamiliar and challenging questions, based on advice from Keystone’s experienced tutors.

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For over 6 years, Jon has been working for Keystone, tutoring over 170 children around the world via online tuition. Jon covers some of the key concerns parents often have when considering online Maths tuition in the article below, bringing his extensive experience as both a tutor and a teacher to bear.

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The way the ISEB Pre-Test is scored, and the way the results are used by different schools, can be confusing for parents. The key questions parents have about these tests are answered below.

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There are three types of reasoning tested within the UKiset: Verbal Reasoning: language questions and problem solving with words  Non-Verbal Reasoning: solving problems using shapes, pictures and logic  Mathematical Reasoning: looking at number, value, quantity and sequence concepts.

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What counts as a good UKiset score depends greatly on the school a candidate is applying to attend, and also varies according to the three sections of the test. The following points can act as a rough guide.

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Michael has been working for Keystone for over 3 years, tutoring students online in English. In this short question and answer article, Michael covers some of the key concerns that parents often have about the effectiveness of online tuition, based on his own extensive experience. He also talks about some of the tools and techniques that can be used by tutors and students to get the most out of online tuition.

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Online tutoring has been a popular option for many years – but how effective is it? What are the key differences between online and in-person tuition? Is it right for your child? In the article below, one of Keystone's most experiened online tutors Alexander, answers parents’ most frequent questions about the advantages of online tutoring.

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It is difficult to recommend one vocabulary list for the UKiset, as it can be taken by students at any age between 9-and-a-half to 18 years old. As a profiling assessment, it measures a student’s level of academic English which is then judged against peers of the same age.

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Past papers are a fantastic way to prepare for any kind of exam - but UKiset do not publish them, sadly!   Fortunately there are a number of ways to prepare for the different sections of the test, and any candidate taking the UKiset would be well advised to practice using the resources and tips below.

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Keystone has today published a report that analyses the education backgrounds of individuals who feature in Who's Who and Who Was Who. Analysing 66,000 datapoints from the Who's Who database we have been able to see some fascinating the trends as to which schools are educating the "nation's elite".

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This webinar, co-hosted by Keystone Tutors and Wild Search, brought together a distinguished panel of experienced educationalists to challenge some of the assumptions which are often made regarding schools.

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What is HSPS at Cambridge? Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) at Cambridge is a three-year BA Hons degree in politics, international relations, social anthropology and sociology. Although students can focus on one of these areas from the start, HSPS is also the broadest and most flexible political and/or social science degree at Oxbridge.

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In recent years, many independent senior schools that have put pre-tests in place have purposefully designed them with as little transparency as possible. It is for this reason that the tests are often computer generated and no past papers are issued. As such, no tutor can claim to have in depth knowledge or experience of the tests themselves, in their current form.

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Harriet Blomefield, Keystone's Head of Consultancy, was joined by Ed Richardson, our Director of Education and Jenny McGowan, our Director in Asia to discuss University Interviews. They also provided some top tips to aid the process.

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What is a gap year? A gap year, sometimes known as a ‘year out’ is typically a year long break taken between completion of Year 13 (Upper Sixth) at school and the start of college/university. In the United Kingdom the practice of taking a gap year became popular in the 1970s. The year out was seen as an opportunity to gain life experience through travel and volunteering.

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Download our guide to Oxford and Cambridge interviews, featuring top tips from those who studied at Oxford and Cambridge.

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Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, was joined by Dee Francken, former Senior Teacher at the North London Collegiate School, and Steph Kitson-Smith, one of Keystone's most experienced tutors, to discuss the 7 and 8+.

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Keystone's Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, delved into new forms of schooling for the 21st Century. Will was joined by guest speakers, Jonathan Noakes, who is Head of Teaching & Learning at Eton College, Sam Rogerson, Co-Founder and Head of Lexicon School and Hugh Dickinson, Founder of Concept Education.

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Keystone’s Director of Education, Ed Richardson are joined by Charlie Bostock, Registrar at Uppingham School and Philip Lough, former Headmaster of Windlesham House School, The Hall, and Westminster Under School to discuss their top tips for school entrance interviews.

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Dear Parent, I hope you, your family and friends are all okay. The start of a new academic year usually brings a 'back-to-normality' vibe for me; I wish it were more so this year. We have all been besieged by articles on 'how x will change post COVID-19'. I am yet to read anything really convincing on what will change in education.

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What is the TSA? The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) is a form of assessment used to measure aptitude in critical thinking and problem solving. The TSA can be a requirement for gaining entry to top universities (including Oxford, Cambridge and UCL), as well as a handful of independent schools, who produce their own modified version of the exam (sometimes called a Critical Thinking test) for 16+. Download our Guide to the Thinking Skills Assessment.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal