The 11 plus is known as the exam taken to get into grammar schools in the UK. Grammar schools have been in existence since the 1870’s and there are 232 grammar schools across the UK at the time of writing. The 11 plus exam is taken when the child is in year 6 ready to start secondary school in year 7.
It is reported that as many as 100,000 children take the 11 plus exam each year. With only 15,000 – 20,000 places on offer each child has roughly a 1 in 6 chance of securing a place. With grammar schools being so highly regarded it is easy to see why there is such a demand for grammar schooling. Grammar schools regularly make up the top schools in the UK.
In order to give your child the best possible chance of being one of the lucky few to secure a place it is common for the child to undergo preparation for the 11 plus exam. This is often done through a private tutor or more recently via online testing. Online testing enables the child to take the test anytime and get them marked instantly. It is a lot easier to see where the child is going wrong.
The 11 plus exam is often made up for four subject areas. Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning. The test often features more heavily on the Verbal and Non Verbal reasoning side as these are a good indication of a child’s natural ability. These skills aren’t taught in schools so a child who attends a poor primary school isn’t disadvantaged.
The Maths paper consists of a range of topics covering simple maths a child should have been taught by the time they are in year 6. These topics include interpreting charts and tables, prime and square numbers, area and perimeters and many other topics, all of which can be found at the link below.
The English paper is based around the core learning’s of the primary literacy framework. These include grammar, punctuation, spelling, comprehension, writing and presentation. In the 11 plus exam the child is expected to be able to apply these learning’s in a series of questions. For example the child should be able to identify mistakes in a list of statements and be able to determine which words will join two sentences together. More examples and guidance can be found via the link at the end of this article.
The Verbal Reasoning 11 plus exam is made up of letter and number sequences, codes and other word based tests. This is designed to test your problem solving ability and is good to see how you approach different scenarios. Lots of practise in this area is key to start to build up the knowledge and techniques required to tackle these problems.
The Non Verbal Reasoning test consists of logic questions based on shapes, patterns number and sequences. It is designed to test how well you are able to think logically about a problem. This is a good test of one’s natural ability and it is hard to teach someone the ability to spot patterns quickly.
To find out more information on the subjects tested in the 11 plus exam or to try some online tests to see how well your child will do in the 11 plus head over to 11 Plus.