A Guide for 11 Plus Exams
If you want to know whether to send your child to an elementary or private school, you may have already heard about the “11+” test.
What is it?
What is the 11+?
11+ is an optional high school entrance exam used by state-funded grammar schools and many private schools to determine the most suitable children for their studies. The exam is taken at the end of the fifth grade or the beginning of the sixth grade. 11 plus exams are still in use in the following counties with state-funded grammar schools: Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, India, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Medwayshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton, and Yorkshire.
What does it Entail?
The content and structure of the 11+ exam vary from country to country, but it usually focuses on a combination of the following four subjects:
- Linguistic Reasoning
- Nonverbal Reasoning
Although the content of English and math tests tend to follow the national curriculum, verbal and non-verbal reasoning are not part of the public elementary school curriculum.
Learn more about these exams:
11+ is an optional entrance exam for high schools. All children took the 11+ exam until the early 1970s, when the state-sponsored selective elementary school switched to a non-selective comprehensive school. These tests are no longer required but continue to be used in elementary schools and screened independent schools’ fields to identify academic ability and potential.
As these examples show, depending on where your child takes the 11+ test, there can be significant differences between the tests. The 11+ test is designed to assess your child’s talents, and the importance of a well-rounded education cannot be overemphasized. Reading a lot, building vocabulary, and developing math skills are key ways to help your child prepare for the age of 11.
What skills will be tested?
Your child will need strong skills in the following areas:
GL: Vocabulary, Logic, Mathematics, and Spelling
CEM: English, Comprehension, Vocabulary, Spelling, and Mathematics. CEM linguistic reasoning is very different from GL. Success depends on the child having a large vocabulary.
Some regions and schools prefer the CEM 11+ exam because it is more “suitable for tutors” than GL. CEM strongly emphasizes:
It does not produce or approve any published exercises. The test is closer to the national curriculum, and all public-school children follow the curriculum. The increased difficulty is often expected out of these exams. But if the preparation is good, then there is no need to worry.