Welcome to 11 Plus Test Prep
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11 Plus Test Prep
ABOUT 11 PLUS TEST
If you’re wondering about whether to send your child to grammar school or an independent school, then you may have already started hearing references to the ’11+ exam’. The 11 Plus (also called the 11+ or Eleven Plus) is an examination administered to some students in England and Northern Ireland in their last year of primary education, which governs admission to grammar schools and other secondary schools which use academic selection. The name derives from the age group for secondary entry: 11–12 years.
The content and structure of the 11+ exam varies between different areas of the country, but it will generally focus on a combination of the following four subjects:
- Verbal reasoning
- Non-verbal reasoning
Although the content of the English and Maths tests tend to follow the National Curriculum, verbal and non-verbal reasoning are not subjects that are taught as part of the curriculum in state primary schools.
All need multiple choice answers, except English, which is a written piece of work.
- Verbal reasoning: These questions are about solving problems and following sequences to do with words and text. Verbal reasoning tests your child’s English grammar and vocabulary.
- Non-verbal reasoning: During the non-verbal reasoning paper, your child will need to solve problems to do with diagrams and pictures. There’s also an element of maths.
- Maths: Your child will be tested on mental maths, maths concepts and skills and problems that have to be solved in multiple stages.
- English: The English paper puts your child’s creative writing skills to the test, as they have to plan, structure and write a piece of work.
Depending on which 11+ Test the student is taking, the test times varies from no time limit to 30 minutes to 50 minutes.
Note that the time limits described above is for each test. There are 4 tests:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Non Verbal Reasoning
If your child goes to a local authority primary school, they’ll sit the 11+ in one of their classrooms. If they go to another type of school, they’ll be asked to take it at a central location like a local grammar school.
Testing day depends on where you live, although it’s often early on in the autumn term in September. There’s usually a chance to take a practice 11+ a few days before at school.
England has 164 grammar schools, 85% of which are academies at liberty to set their own individual admissions criteria including the type of entrance tests they set and what weighting is given to each one.
The actual marks from these tests, referred to as raw marks, are never disclosed, instead parents are given Standard Age Scores (SAS). A standard score shows how well the individual has performed relative to the mean (average) score for the population although the term population is open to interpretation.
If a student scores 65% on a test, what does this tell you? Is this mark good? Bad? Average? If it is deemed to be a good/bad/average mark, against whom is this judgement being made – the other children in a class, in a school, or similar children across the country?
These fairly obvious questions are what led to the development of Standardised Scores; numbers which not only tell you how a child performed in a test, but also give you some information as to where their score sits within the range of scores recorded by other children who have taken the same test.
So, if a child scored 65% on a test in which the average child scored 70%, their score might be reported as a standardised score of ‘95’; if the average child scored 60%, their score might be reported as ‘105’.
If you know that standardised scores are created such that the mean score is allocated a score of 100, that two in three standardised scores are between 85 and 115, and that 95% of scores are between 70 and 130, you can make much more sense of a child’s test score reported as a standardised score than you can from a test result reported as a percentage or a raw score.
You can take the 11+ sample test at any of our centers for FREE to assess your skills or you can also request a text from us by emailing us on [email protected]
With no published curriculum and many schools preferring not to publish the content of their exams, it can sometimes be difficult to find out more information about the 11+.
Good sources of information include:
- Your Local Authority
- The schools you’re applying to