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, admissions@birmingham.gov.uk

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 (University of Durham)


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, via this link.


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 admissions@birmingham.gov.uk. 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 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.


We have several 11+ practice papers that can help your child prepare for the Bishop Vesey’s Grammar 11 Plus exam.


We recommend the following resources:



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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