Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 Plus (11+) Exam Information



Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, or BVGS was founded in 1527 and is one of the oldest schools in Britain. A state grammar school with academy status, BVGS is located in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. Although no longer under local authority control, the school continues to cooperate closely with Birmingham local authorities in regards to admissions.


Until the 1880s, the school offered both day and boarding but now only offers day places. With approximately 945 pupils, the school is known for having good rugby union and hockey teams.


The school became a Language College in 2004 and in 2011, it gained Training School status and now provides in-service and work experience training for teachers. BVGS is also a Sixth Form College.


For an overview of what it’s like to study at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar, take a look at this promotional video:




11 Plus Exam Information for Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School


Address: Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2NH

County: Birmingham

Admissions Info: 0121 250 5400,

School Type: Boys’ Grammar

Number of pupils: 945 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 7: 125

Open Day Dates: July and September

Exam Date: September

Exam Board Type: CEM 11 Plus (Cambridge Assessment)


Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 Plus Admissions


Bishop Vesey’s is part of ‘The Grammar Schools of Birmingham Consortium’ and follows a set admission criteria which is based on pupils’ academic performance in the entrance exam and only boys who attain the required standard will be considered for entry.


The consortium arrangements require that students are selected for admission based on their combined, age-standardised score in the 11 Plus exam. In order to be eligible for admission, pupils need to attain the minimum ‘qualifying score’ in the exam. However, attainment of the qualifying score doesn’t guarantee students a place at the school.


Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School no longer offers boarding and pupils are admitted purely on the basis of their 11 Plus test results. All candidates who achieve the qualifying minimum score are then ranked in order with priority given to students who fall within the following criteria:


  1. Looked after children, or children who have previously been classified so.
  2. Those who live closest to the school.
  3. Students who are registered for Pupil Premium and are registered for free school meals.


Parents can also opt for their child to sit an additional entry test, the scores of which, may be used in appeals cases.


More information about the admission policy of Bishop Vesey’s can be found on the school website.


How to Apply for 11 Plus Entry to Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School


In order to apply for admission to the school in Year 7, parents need to register their child by completing the online application form, which can be accessed here. A Change of School application form also needs to be completed and can be obtained by contacting the school directly on 0121 250 5400, or by emailing Additionally, a Test Registration form and a Local Authority Preference form needs to be completed and returned to the school.


In order to complete the full application, parents also need to provide a recent passport sized-photograph of their child, which can be emailed alongside the required forms.


Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School Catchment Area


Does Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School have a catchment area?


Yes, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School has a catchment area with priority based on location and distance from the school.


Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 Plus Exam Format


The Bishop Vesey’s 11 Plus exam consists of two test papers, each lasting approximately 45 minutes. The papers are separated into individually timed sections that cover:


  • Verbal reasoning
  • Non-verbal reasoning
  • Mathematics
  • Reading comprehension/literacy skills


Most questions will be multiple choice and scores are age-standardised to ensure that no students have an advantage based on their age. The school also sends out sample questions once they’ve received the student’s application form.


More information about the exam format can be found in the Birmingham Familiarisation Booklet.


How to Prepare for the Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 Plus Exam?


The sooner your child starts preparing for the 11 Plus exam, the more time they’ll have to hone their skills. In addition to knowing the material, it’s important that they have the exam skills they’ll need on the day.


At Exam Papers Plus, we believe that using practice exam papers in addition to a study schedule can really help your child improve their chances of doing well. By introducing exam practice papers early, you’ll be able to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses. You can then adjust their study schedule accordingly.


Not only do practice papers help familiarise your child with the exam format, but they help them get used to the type of questions that they may be asked on the day.


As the exam approaches, it’s a good idea to encourage your child to do timed practice papers so they get used to answering the questions under pressure. The more timed papers they do, the more their time management skills will improve.


Practice Papers for the Bishop Vesey’s 11 Plus Exam


The practice papers that we produce come complete with answers, enabling you to accurately measure your child’s performance and track their improvements. We have several 11 plus practice papers that can help your child prepare for entry to Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School.


We especially recommend the following:


Mathematics (Numerical Reasoning) Section


11+ Short Numerical Reasoning (CEM)

This pack contains 10 tests, each consisting of 20 questions. It focuses on time-pressured problem solving with question styles that are known to have been previously used by CEM.


11+ Long Numerical Reasoning (CEM)

This pack contains 10 tests, each consisting of 5 sections, with 5 questions in each section. It focuses on a specific type of question that comes up in CEM exams. These questions are based on some form of chart or diagram that the student must use to work out the answers. The answers must be recorded on a separate sheet in a specific manner. This pack includes separate answer sheets so students can get used to recording their responses in this way, just like they will need to do in the 11+ Bishop Vesey’s exam.


11+ MC Numerical Reasoning (CEM)

This pack contains 20 tests, each with 10 questions. It focuses on a different CEM question type in which there are multiple possible answer choices provided and the student must pick the correct one for each question. Separate answer sheets are provided so students can get used to recording their responses in this manner.


11+ Mental Arithmetic

This pack contains 15 tests, each with 15 questions. It focuses on fundamental arithmetic skills, developing a strong basis that allows students to work through maths questions efficiently and with confidence.


Verbal Reasoning Section


Verbal Reasoning, as defined by CEM, is quite different to how it may be traditionally understood. It includes a number of question types that focus on vocabulary and comprehension as well as some more unusual formats. Each of the packs below focuses on a different skill that is assessed in the Verbal Reasoning section of the CEM 11+ Bishop Vesey’s exam.


11+ Verbal Reasoning (CEM)

This pack contains plenty of practice for various question types that crop up frequently in CEM exams. These include questions  that assess a student’s grasp of synonyms and antonyms as well as other formats such as shuffled sentences and contextual cloze.


11+ Verbal Reasoning – Synonyms and Antonyms (CEM) Pack 1

11+ Verbal Reasoning – Synonyms and Antonyms (CEM) Pack 2

These packs contains plenty of vocabulary practice, specifically designed to match the style used in CEM exams in the ‘Word Choice’ section. There are 24 practice tests in each pack, each with 29 questions. We recommend beginning with Pack 1. Pack 2 is designed to be more challenging.


11+ Verbal Reasoning – Shuffled Sentences (CEM) Pack 1

This pack focuses on a specific CEM Verbal Reasoning question type that comes up frequently. It’s relatively unusual and, in our experience, students can find it difficult to get to grips with. There are 20 tests included, all designed to match the exact format and style used in the actual exam. Answer sheets and answers are included.


11+ Verbal Reasoning – Word Associations (CEM)

This pack focuses on another common CEM Verbal Reasoning question type. It doesn’t feature in that many 11+ resources so your child may not be too familiar with the format. It assesses the depth of a student’s vocabulary, as well as their understanding of phrases and idioms. There are 24 timed tests included, all designed to match the exact format and style used in the actual exam. Answer sheets and answers are included.


11+ Verbal Reasoning – Adjectives (CEM)

This pack focuses on a CEM question type that targets a student’s knowledge and understanding of adjectives. To do well in this question type, students need to have a broad vocabulary as well as a solid understanding of common phrases and idioms. Furthermore, when there are two or more seemingly possible answers, they need to be able to discern which is the ‘best’, given the context. There are 24 timed tests included, all designed to match the exact format and style used in the actual exam. Answer sheets and answers are included.


11+ Verbal Reasoning – Word Definitions (CEM)

This pack focuses on a CEM question type that tests the depth of a student’s vocabulary. These questions can be quite tricky. For example, the superfluous definitions are designed to pose challenges, perhaps defining a homophone of one of the target words. To do well in this question type, students must be confident in their choice of words and their meanings. There are 24 timed tests included, all designed to match the exact format and style used in the actual exam. Answer sheets and answers are included.


11+ Comprehension (CEM) Pack 1 – Fiction

11+ Comprehension (CEM) Pack 2 – Non-Fiction

11+ Comprehension (CEM) Pack 3 – Poetry

These packs focus on multiple-choice comprehension, which will feature in the CEM 11+ Bishop Vesey’s exam. There are 15 comprehension tests included in each pack. Pack 1 focuses on classical fiction, Pack 2 focuses on non-fiction and Pack 3 focuses on poetry.


11+ Inference Skills

This pack focuses on improving inference skills via a series of creative and unusual exercises. Inference skills will be tested in the comprehension section of the CEM 11+ exam.


11+ Cloze (CEM) Pack 1 – Words

11+ Cloze (CEM) Pack 2 – Sentences

These packs focus on cloze questions that are used in almost all CEM 11+ exams. Pack 1 focuses on missing words and Pack 2 focuses on missing sentences.


11+ Spelling Pack 1 (CEM)

11+ Spelling Pack 2 (CEM)

CEM 11+ exams, such as the 11 plus Bishop Vesey’s test, focus heavily on assessing a child’s vocabulary. These packs each introduce 200 words within context, helping students to improve both their vocabulary and spelling. This will prove useful for the Verbal Reasoning section of the exam. Pack 2 is designed to be more challenging than Pack 1.


Non-Verbal Reasoning Section


11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning (CEM) Pack 1

11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning (CEM) Pack 2

11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning (CEM) Pack 3

11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning (CEM) Pack 4

These packs cover the key question types that could come up in CEM 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning sections. Each pack contains 180 questions split across 12 practice tests, using the format, layout and timings of the actual exam. These packs represent the most effective way to prepare for 11 Plus CEM Non-Verbal Reasoning.


Full Practice Tests


11+ CEM Practice Test 1

11+ CEM Practice Test 2

11+ CEM Practice Test 3

11+ CEM Practice Test 4

11+ CEM Practice Test 5

11+ CEM Practice Test 6

11+ CEM Practice Test 7

11+ CEM Practice Test 8

These packs each contain two test papers covering all three topics: Verbal, Non-Verbal and Numerical Reasoning. Using the official familiarisation material and our deep knowledge of CEM question styles and formats, we’ve created accurate and up to date CEM practice papers that pay attention to all elements including question types, timings, structure, format, question wordings, fonts and design. Answers and Answer Sheets are included so your child can get used to marking their answers as they will need to do in the actual exam.



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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11+ past papers. The information provided about Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School was believed to be correct at the time of publishing. However, please be aware of future changes. We advise you to contact the school directly if you are unsure of anything. School contact details are provided within the post.


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