Keystone Tutors Blog

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Keystone Tutor Tom read History at Christ Church College, Oxford, graduating in 2015. In the interview below Tom covers his inside experience of the application process, the best ways to prepare, and some insights into his work as a tutor helping students gain entry to some of the UK’s top academic institutions.

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This video provides an overview of the application process and will be helpful for any students (and their parents) looking ahead to their UK university applications. The blog below provides further detail and there are many links to resources which students should find helpful. Occasionally there are changes to deadlines, admission test requirements etc. and this guide aims to provide a general overview.

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Securing a place to study, or ‘read’ English at Cambridge University is a challenging task. Extremely able candidates from around the world compete for a limited number of places, and it is essential to prepare for this competitive process effectively. In the article below, Keystone Tutors provide an overview of the best approach to take, some top tips, and even an inside view on the application process from a tutor who read English at Cambridge.

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In the article below, Lincoln College Oxford alumni and Keystone Tutor Rory outlines the best approach to take when applying to study English at Oxford, with plenty of hard-won insights from his own successful application process thrown in! .

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We are often asked by parents which League Table is the most trustworthy and how important exam results are. Although we are firmly of the belief that a school cannot be judged on academics alone, we thought it might be helpful to answer some frequent questions regarding league tables. If you would like to know what other factors you should consider when choosing a school, please visit our blog on ‘How to Choose a British Independent School for my Child.

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Parents who are interested in the top independent schools for girls that are part of the London 11 Plus Consortium need to ensure that their child is well prepared for the entrance exam the Consortium uses. In the article below, Keystone’s expert tutors have compiled a list of extensive answers to the key questions most parents ask about the Consortium and the exam itself, as well as their top tips for preparing effectively and achieving the best possible results.

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The 8 Plus – like its cousins the 7 Plus, 11 Plus, and 13 Plus – is an important hurdle to overcome in gaining entry to some of the UK’s best independent schools. In the article below, Keystone Tutors cover the basics of the exam, its format, and the best ways to prepare for and succeed at this competitive assessment.

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In 2020, the UK Government announced a new visa for Hong Kong residents that have British National (Overseas) status in response to the new security laws being introduced by China.

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Over the years Keystone has successfully helped many families in their search for suitable independent schools for their children through our Schools Advisory Service. We have outlined the key points that you should consider when looking for a school for your child and where to find the information in this article.

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Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) is one of the most popular, and best-known, courses that you can read at Oxford. It has been offered since 1921, and it’s rooted in the view that it’s helpful to approach problems in society from the perspectives of several complementary disciplines and frameworks.

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The 13 Plus Common Entrance Exam is a challenging hurdle to cross in securing a place for your child at your chosen independent school. With a rigorous syllabus covering 11 subjects, preparing for the 13 Plus effectively is vital to give your child the best chance of achieving the results they will need in the face of strong competition from other candidates.

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Keystone's Head of Consultancy (Harriet Blomefield) was joined by our Director of Education (Ed Richardson) and Director of Keystone Asia (Jenny McGowan) to discuss what they know so far in relation to summer 2021 exams and what this means for student preparation. They also shared their top tips for setting up effective home schooling.

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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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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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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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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal