11+ Entrance Exams
Find out more about the 11+ Exams that take place when students enter a new school. We offer students on all packages access to our 11+ resources.
What are the 11+ Entrance Exams?
Many parents of children going into Year 6 in England will be preparing to make the transition from Primary Education to Secondary Education. With Independent and Grammar Schools looking to take in new students, the 11 Plus Entrance Exam was put into place to help decide which students are “academically suited” to attend grammar (or selective) school for Year 7. Some places in the UK may not have grammar schools. As of 2020, there are 164 Grammar Schools located around the UK. Areas include Chesire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, London, Manchester, Surrey and the West Midlands. There are none in Wales or Scotland.
Grammar School pupils are of similar high abilities, this makes it common for teachers to stretch and challenge the students to make effective progress, compared to comprehensive schools. Statistics show pupils in grammar schools perform better at KS3 and KS4 and achieve better GCSEs and A-Levels compared to other types of schools. Further studies have suggested students who studied at grammar schools end up earning more than those in comprehensive schools. This is why competition is heavy in the area, with a lot of parents looking for additional support for their children sitting the exam.
It is vital for students to have an all-round understanding of core skills in Maths and English, as well as Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, comprehension and vocabulary. Additionally, arithmetic skills, problem-solving and manipulating data skills is important. The majority of parents choose to revise 11+ content as early as Year 3. There are loads of resources to help, including Bond 11+ books and past papers.
The exams are composed differently depending on where you are located in the country. Students may sit two or three exams and may be based on English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning questions (spatial awareness, spotting patterns and using logic). Sometimes the tests may involve a non-verbal reasoning set and verbal reasoning set of questions whilst others may have 2 sets of verbal reasoning papers. There are also 2 main exam boards:
1. GL Assessment – covers English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. Schools are able to choose a combination.
2. CEM – covers verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. There are a lot of similarities between the GL assessment – the verbal reasoning exam tests knowledge in the GL English exam, the numerical reasoning exam also covers a lot of skills tested in the GL maths exam.