11+ FAQS


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photodune-359561-smart-pupil-mWhat is the 11+?

The 11+ is an examination taken by Year 6 pupils who are hoping to achieve a Grammar School place or a place in other selective schools.

There are 164 Grammar Schools in existence in England. Securing a place in one of these state funded schools can be tough and adequate preparation is vital.

The qualification rate for the 11 plus test varies considerably in different parts of the country depending upon the number of applicants and hence the amount of competition for places.

It is important to note that 11+ examination styles can vary by school. Whilst many of the Essex based schools use the CSSE examination, there are exceptions with some schools using their own examinations and other using CEM papers.

See 11+ Examination Types by school

What are the benefits of a Grammar School?

Grammar Schools are highly selective and have a very strong emphasis on academic achievement. Standards and Expectations are high and as a result, Grammar School results tend to be close to those of fee-paying schools.

School League Tables

Grammar Schools are very experienced at securing Oxbridge and Russell Group university places ensuring that your child gets the best possible preparation for the next stage of their educational journey.

In addition to the high academic focus, Grammar Schools foster a good work ethic, in and out of the classroom and generally offer a huge variety of extra curricular activities.

Will my child be eligible to go to any Grammar School?

It is essential to check the criteria that your preferred school work to prior to making your application. Entry criteria often vary by year and in addition to the 11+ examination, many Grammar Schools have restrictions relating to geographical catchment areas and/or religious denomination.

See Entry Criteria for more information

What is typically tested in the 11+?

4 Key areas are included in 11+ Examinations

  • Maths
  • English
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning

Are 11+ Tests Tutor-proof?

Although attempts have been made to ensure that 11+ tests are tutor proof, there is no doubt that having a sound understanding of all 4 learning areas is a benefit. Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning are not generally covered within primary education, despite them being a core part of the 11+ testing process. There is however evidence to prove that practice can vastly improve a pupil’s ability to understand the questions. Furthermore, there are a number of learned techniques that can be used to help pupils approach what can be very challenging questions.

When should I start preparing my child for the 11+?

The simple answer is that the sooner you start preparing your child, the easier and less stressful it will be for everyone! We generally advise that parents come up with a preparation plan in Year 3/4 and start introducing practice materials at that point. We are generally able to come up with work plans for children at any age but the later it is left, the more intense that plan will be. Whichever stage you are at, the key thing is not to panic. You may feel that you are able to manage the preparation process yourself or you may need additional support from group or one-to-one tuition. S6 have a variety of support options available including a no obligation assessment should you wish to get a better understanding of the level that your child is at.

See Book an Assessment
One-to-One tuition
Group Tuition