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What Former Students Have to Say

Hello, my name is Karomen.

I am going to tell you about my 11 plus story. I first went to Tess Academy in Year 3 to write a test during the six-week mock tests for older children. I got a very low score, but the test helped me to see where I needed to improve. Since then, I have improved on different parts of my work at Tess Academy, but it was the six-week mock tests and the teaching which led up to them that really helped me. At first, I struggled with written maths and comprehension, but with 121 tutoring and group sessions, I got better. At one point, Shirley created a Challengers group and invited certain people to be in it. I was asked to join the group, which made me feel really proud of myself and what I had achieved. By the end of the six-week mock test, I was strong in written maths and much better at written comprehension.

After the summer holidays, Tess Academy teachers taught us to use practice papers for different grammar school exams such as the Bexley and St Olaves' tests. These enabled me to get a better understanding of what the individual tests would contain and helped me to be better prepared. I wrote three grammar school tests: the Bexley test, the Kent test and the Newstead Wood test (all of which I passed). In the Newstead Wood test, I got 100 percent, in the Kent test, I got 97 percent and I also did very well in the Bexley test. Because of my amazing results, I got my top choice; Dartford Grammar School for Girls. In my private school exams, despite all of my worries, I did very well. I passed all four of them, and got scholarships for some of them.

I am excited to join Eltham College and I am very thankful to the Tess Academy team, the fantastic tutors at Tess Academy and my parents for helping me through my 11-plus journey.


Hello everyone, My name is Tofunmi.

I am in year 6 and this September I will be attending James Allen’s Girls School (Jags for short). My 11 plus journey was definitely a rocky ride. When I started Tess Academy, I found a lot of the work hard, but I listened, annotated and turned in homework. It was a bit difficult because all of this was on Zoom, but I pulled through.

I remember the mock exams. They started off easy, but then got harder and harder.When the mocks started becoming more difficult, I was getting low scores like 40 percent and my essays were 60 percent. My mum started booking me 1-2-1 sessions to help me. I did improve, but I was never at the top of the leader board. As the exams drew nearer, I felt nervous, but I remembered that the mocks were harder than the real exams, so it made me feel a bit better. I tried really hard on all my grammar and my private school tests and I ended up passing every single one. The hard work paid off. Now I will be attending James Allen's Girls' School, all because of the help Tess Academy gave me.


Hello everyone, my name is Zac.

In September 2021, I will be attending St Olave’s Grammar School. I would like to share my testimonial about Shirley and her team. I started Shirley’s lessons during the second term of year 5. I was a late joiner, but with Shirley’s guidance, I quickly caught up to the pace of her program. Once a month, we had tests to measure our progress. I was not great at non-verbal, but I had some 1-2-1 lessons with tutors at Tess Academy, who helped me a lot to improve my technique. I found the six-week summer mock tests intense and hard, but they were useful. After a couple of weeks, I enjoyed it as I wanted to be on the leader board. I was also motivated to win Shirley’s presents and to be in the top 3.

Thank you to Shirley and her wonderful team for helping me achieve what I wanted to achieve. I did the Bexley and Kent tests and received outstanding results. I got offers from all the private schools I applied to, as well as some scholarships. Overall, the 11 plus was not easy, but it taught me that there is no pain, no gain.


Hello, my name is Emily.

I started having lessons with Shirley’s tutors around Easter because I was having problems with my maths and I was worried about my 11 plus in September. My teachers had said that I needed to improve my work to be able to get into the schools I wanted. My mum was worried that we had left it a bit late, but Shirley said not to worry and that I could do anything if I worked hard enough!  
The summer 11 plus course was very hard work, especially as it was the holidays and my brother and sister were playing outside in the sun whilst I worked. I kept asking my mum if I could skip a day, but she always said no.  At the start I was only doing half of the paper in the time, but as the course went on I got better and was completing more of it.  By the end of the 6 weeks, I was much more confident.

I was very nervous before my first 11 plus exam, but in the end it was a lot easier than the work I had been doing with Shirley.  I remembered my exam techniques and did my best. I was very pleased to pass my Bexley and Kent 11 plus exams, as well as the private school exams I took.  I was offered places at Walthamstow Hall, Babbington House and Bromley High, as well as Townley Grammar, and decided to go to Bromley High.  

I am really looking forward to starting secondary school and am so grateful to Shirley and all her team for helping me to get there.


Hello, my name is Edelu.

I am in Year 6 and in September 2022, I will be attending The City of London School for Girls.The 11 plus was definitely not an easy, smooth process it was very stressful, tiring and frustrating and could sometimes be disappointing but all the hard work paid off in the end - I passed all the exams that I took and I also received scholarships. I have been attending the centre since I was in Year 3, and it really helped me.

Mrs Shirley is really passionate about what she does and she pushes us to our full potential. All the lessons were packed with information and the teachers were very helpful. I would like to thank Mrs Shirley and all the teachers for helping me with my 11 plus, thank you very much.


Hello everyone, my name is Chi-Chi.

I would like to tell you about my 11 plus journey. When I first joined Tess Academy,  I wasn't getting very high scores but I kept on working hard to improve. I joined the mock, we would prepare in the morning, have the mock exams in the afternoon and revise in the evening. I had 1-2-1 sessions to brush up on the subjects I was finding difficult. When we started the mock exams my scores were good but not as good as they could be but God helped me and I began to get higher scores than I had ever got. When the 11 plus exams began I was worried at first because so many people were making it seem like it was extremely hard.  However, I used the techniques taught by the tutors at Tess Academy to prepare myself for the 11 plus exams.

When the results came out, I passed Bexley, Medway and Kent exams. I also wrote private school exams,

I passed Eton (this is my greatest achievement so far), Tonbridge School and Christ Hospital. I also got an offer at Aldro School and Orwell Park School which are Independent Prep Schools. I will be going to Orwell Park School in September for my year 7 and 8 so it can prepare me for Eton in year 9. All thanks to Shirley and her wonderful team. I would also like to thank my family for supporting me through this journey.


Hello everyone, it's Kosa. 

I would like to share my success story. It all started when I joined Tess Academy for 11 plus, initially, I found the work very hard and challenging but Shirley believed in me and kept on pushing me, I was getting 40 percent and as I practised more, my grades improved. I remember Shirley organising the masterclasses for me where we would discuss with peers. I went from low grades to getting 80 percent in my exams. I was put into the 13 plus group where I got the opportunity to learn more and I got better. By the mock period, I was getting high scores across the board. And to the glory of God, I passed 5 grammar schools, and I will be going to Wallington County Grammar School for Boys in September.

I am very happy to be a grammar boy, it doesn't just end at 11 plus but Shirley has helped me to be at the top of my class. I find my classwork very easy. According to my teacher at school, I am currently working at greater depth. All thanks to Shirley.


Hello everyone, my name is Ievan.

I would like to tell you about my 11 plus journey. My journey started in year 2 at the centre where I did Maths and English after school. I went to St Vincent’s from reception to year 4 and then moved to St Michael's Prep in Sevenoaks . My 11 plus journey was definitely challenging as we had many subjects to study and master like verbal and non verbal. They were quite challenging as you would have to learn many synonyms and antonyms. The hardest subject I found was English since I struggled on multiple choice. It was tiring but all paid off because now I am going to Beths Grammar School. I also passed exams like: Kent, Bexley and Medway. The schools I got into were Tonbridge School and Eltham College and all the grammar schools I tried.

My mother (Shirley) always encouraged me to do my best and she always pushed me to my limits. When I was in year 4, I did the mock test. I would always get around 50 percent on average. But it improved my speed on all sections. This helped me do papers quicker and accurately. When I did the mock test in year 5,  it was very tiring because I had to attend the morning classes, then the mock and then I would have a 1-2-1 and lessons after that. With my hard work. I had reached the top 10 consistently everyday because of my hard work. 


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