Group tuition vs one-to-one

Smart 11+ Tuition teacher and children

What’s right for me and my child?


So you know you want your child to go to a grammar school in Birmingham and you’ve decided to find a tutor to help your child in the 11+ exam. How do you know what sort of tutor you should choose; Group tuition or one-to-one?

At Smart 11+ Tuition, we only offer group tuition. However, we are going to try and look at the pros and cons of both group and one-to-one tuition to give you a better idea of what could be best for your child and of course you.


As with almost all group education, classes will run at a specific time. This is likely to be rigid and set by the person who runs the education facility. A one-to-one tutor may be able to offer more flexibility to fit your child in around their schedule. However, due to the nature of schooling in the UK, children will be used to having rigidity in the scheduling of their classes. The classes at Smart 11+ Tuition, for example, are at a time when many parents would be looking for activities to do for their children anyway.

Further to the above, if you have friends with children at the same facility, you can arrange for your children to be dropped off and picked up between you, reducing your travel time. Student-Characters-01

Learning support

This is where there is quite a big difference between group tuition and one-to-one. Due to its nature, one-to-one means that the young learner has someone there all the time to assist them if they get stuck on what they are doing. A good one-to-one tutor will allow a young learner to evaluate problems whilst stepping in where required.

At Smart 11+ Tuition, we have small class ratios of 5 to 1. This allows our tutors to be on the lookout for struggling pupils, offering guidance and support where appropriate. An additional benefit of this set up is that children can work things out for themselves, or even help each other out. There is little more fulfiling as an adult than watching children helping each other learn.


Smart 11+ Tuition teacher and children

Following on from the last point, one positive to group tuition is the socialisation aspect. By the time at which children come to Smart 11+, they are at the age where they are better able to support each other. They are less self-focused and better understand empathy for other’s feelings.

With a one-to-one tutor, they are learning in an alien environment as up to this point, children have only usually learned in groups at school. After a while, they should hopefully become accustomed to this.


Smart 11+ Tuition has a curriculum which has been designed with the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) 11+ examination in mind. We have seen the past papers, we have studied the trends that come up in terms of questioning and we have years of experience in tutoring for this exam. There will be one-to-one tutors who have similar levels of experience, but it is important in our eyes to know that they are specific to teaching with the end goal in mind. If you were looking to get a tutor for GCSE Chemistry, for example, you’d want a science teacher who taught this. Shouldn’t this be the same if you want your child to pass the 11+?

The CEM test is difficult for a reason; ensuring only the best and brightest are selected for grammar school. Make sure that when you go to visit your tutors, you find out how much 11+ specific material they have. Just being generic around subjects, or perhaps being a maths specialist won’t be enough when your child is sat doing verbal and non-verbal reasoning.


This is one area where there is little comparison. An excellent one-to-one tutor could cost you up to 100% more than excellent group tuition. At Smart 11+ Tuition, we pride ourselves on our excellent tutors, offering unparalleled insight into the 11+ exam for our pupils. Group tuition is much more affordable and will hopefully mean that we can help more children achieve their goal of getting into one of Birmingham’s grammar schools.


What do you think?

Gaining a place at one of Birmingham’s grammar schools is always the target with children we work with, and we know that this is what you want for your child too. In the end, what matters is what you think is best for your child. We’re at the end of the phone or on Facebook chat if you want to discuss your options but like you, all we want is to see as many children put into the best position possible to pass the 11+ exam. We hope this article has helped you weigh up your options.

Digital Director