Selective School Tutoring Tips | Ace the Selective Test!

With the 2021 selective school exams around the corner, many parents are anxious, wondering what they should do to prepare over the remaining few months. They are wondering whether they should focus on building the fundamentals of practicing exam techniques. Other parents are sceptical about their children’s capability because their marks keep on fluctuating. Others are not sure of the best strategy to use for preparing their kids. In this article, I will outline my top tips for Selective School tutoring and you will get a lot of clarification on building fundamentals and ace the selective exam.

Every child is capable of scoring high marks if they are exposed to the right preparation strategy. Most of you don’t believe that their children can achieve 30 over 30. This is because they lack the right strategy and are also unwilling to do their part in establishing the fundamentals by coaching their kids at home. If you implement the correct approach over the months of preparation, they will definitely score high in the selective exam. Many parents are caught up in trial tests such that they kind of lose track of the long-term goal, which is to pass the selective test.

selective school tutoring

How I tutor for the Selective Schools test?

Selective school exams are not the hardest exams. You just need the right strategy. And when you think about it, at the end of the day, all you really need in terms of the test to score something like 230 is 85% across the board, which is more than enough. Let’s say you scored a little bit low in English and a little bit high in math, you will still easily score 230 plus overall.

You need to avoid confusing the child with many trial tests while also trying different tutoring colleges
This is a complete waste of time. Children are limited in terms of their capacity to concentrate, so you should make sure that you are doing the right thing at the right time. You need to be careful with the random preparation tests from your local book stores and tutoring colleges. Most of them are not updated to the new Cambridge selective exam testing standard. Others are not challenging enough and do not have enough examples for practice. Let’s say you only do two analogy questions or two abstract reasoning questions. What ends up happening is that you don’t learn anything. It is impossible to actually learn something by doing a trial test because you cannot compare your scores with others. Most trial tests are vastly inaccurate, so you shouldn’t base your expectations on them. Instead of just doing trial tests, you should master each question type.

In terms of the exam process, you need to spend about 80% of your time building your fundamentals on your English and math knowledge, then perhaps do one trial test a week. If your child is currently scoring 50% and below, you need to realize that doing more trial tests will not improve their scores. You should focus on conceptual and fundamental understanding instead. Likewise, if your child currently is scoring 80% and above, spend more time doing trial tests because they have already exhausted their fundamentals. Let’s actually talk about how to improve holistically in each of the fundamental sections.


The most important thing that you need to understand is that General ability can be broken down into two main things; nonverbal reasoning and verbal reasoning. Nonverbal reasoning contains pictures and diagrams, while verbal reasoning is all about words. We will focus mainly on verbal reasoning.

The GA section has 20 different question types. At scholarly, we teach our students the question types and not just random questions. For example, we spend one week on antonyms and apply question techniques revolving around antonyms. The other thing that we do is, let’s say, for example, with a question like anagrams which are notorious for tricking kids, we focus on building the vocab to help the kids figure out the questions. Children are not likely to figure out such questions when they are not competent in vocab. That’s why you should encourage your kids to memorize 100 vocabs a week and know their meanings, too, because again, you might be asked to re-arrange a word and then find its synonym or antonym.

It is important to note that the selective tests will contain 10 to 15 verbal reasoning questions per year. Within nine months, you can make significant improvements in terms of verbal and nonverbal reasoning if you work on the fundamentals within the few months of preparation.

Now, that the Selective Schools test has changed we only cover GA in our Scholarship course. Our Selective program involves a similar approach for thinking skills questions.


With English questions, students should be asked to state meanings or main ideas. To understand the meaning of certain words in the passage, they should memorize vocabs and also know how to break down emotions. If you are currently dealing with kids who don’t understand what they are reading, their biggest problem is in the vocab. On determining the main idea in a passage, they should practice using different passages.

With cartoons and poetry, you should be able to understand humor, sarcasm, and symbolism. Your child needs to be able to differentiate between different levels of emotion. And that’s why everything becomes really difficult. You rarely ever have teachers teaching the different levels of emotions because children are not ready for that.

english tutor questions


The math section in the selective test is generally straightforward. To prepare your kid, you need to ensure that they are practicing with many sample questions. It would be best if you worked on the area and perimeter of figures with different shapes, fractions, decimals, additions, divisions, and subtractions. What you need to do is to ensure that your kids can calculate fast. Calculating a 3-4-digit question should take them around 10 seconds to complete. With graphs and tables, you need to read and interpret them well.

There are also many problem-solving questions that you don’t have to worry about. Instead, it would be best to work on the fundamentals because the problem-solving questions usually test your understanding of fundamental mathematics. There are many good math textbooks out there that you can use to practice and improve your math skills.

mathematical reasoning tutoring

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