Bishop Wordsworth’s School 11 Plus (11+) Exam Information



Bishop Wordsworth’s School, often shortened to BWS, is an all boys’ grammar school for students aged 11 to 18. Located in Salisbury, Wiltshire, the school was founded in 1889. Bishop’s is consistently identified as one of the top-performing schools for exam results in England and in 2010, the school had the best performance in the English Baccalaureate.


In recent years, the school has undergone several redevelopments which have seen the addition of a new classroom block, a drama studio, sports hall, PE facilities, a new sixth form block and a cookery room. The school was granted academy status in 2011 and has been awarded specialisms in Languages and Science.


For a general overview of what it’s like to study at Bishop Wordsworth’s School, check out the promotional video below:



11 Plus Exam Information for Bishop Wordsworth’s School


Address: Bishop Wordsworth’s School, Exeter Street, Salisbury, SP1 2ED

County: Wiltshire

Admissions Info:, 01722 333851

School Type: Boys’ Grammar

Number of pupils: 884 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 7: 160

Open Day Dates: April, June

Exam Date: September

Exam Board Type: CEM 11 Plus (Cambridge Assessment)


Bishop Wordsworth’s School 11 Plus Admissions


Bishop’s is a selective grammar school and sets its own admission requirements. Students who live within a reasonable travelling distance are eligible to apply for entry to the school. For more information on the school’s designated area, please click here.


In order to gain entry to Bishop’s, all boys must take an entrance examination. Admission is based on students attaining the desired grading in the selection process for the relevant year of entry. The entrance test is used to show that pupils have the appropriate academic ability for the school.


If more students pass the 11 Plus exam than there are places available, the school then uses its oversubscription criteria and the waiting list process begins.


How to Apply for 11 Plus Entry to Bishop Wordsworth’s School


In order to apply for 11 Plus entry to BWS, parents need to complete the online registration form. This also provides the school with evidence of the application for its oversubscription criteria. The application form is made available on the school website from May.


Any forms received after July will be considered late registrations and given second priority to registrations made on time. Boys who are registered late will sit the 11 Plus exam around November.


More information about registering your son at the school can be found in the school’s document Information Leaflet One.


Bishop Wordsworth’s School 11 Plus Exam Format


Bishop Wordsworth’s School uses The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) assessment tests for entry to Year 7 and papers are marked by the CEM. Test scores are age-standardised to ensure that no student has an advantage based on his age.


The Bishop’s 11 Plus exam consists of two timed papers, lasting 50 minutes each. Each paper tests verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical ability in multiple choice format. It’s worth noting that the CEM definition of Verbal Reasoning also covers topics such as Comprehension and Cloze. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate skills appropriate to the Key Stage 2 English and Maths curriculum.


Each paper has its own timed sections and questions are contained within a booklet. Students are required to record their answers on a separate answer sheet.


Bishop Wordsworth’s School Catchment Area


Does Bishop Wordsworth’s School have a catchment area?


Yes, there is a catchment area with priority based on location and distance from the school.


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


The best approach to studying for the 11 Plus is to start early. The sooner your child starts revising, the more time they’ll have to focus on any areas that need improving. To begin with, it’s a good idea to create a study timetable with your child to ensure that they cover all the material they’ll need to know.


At Exam Papers Plus, we’re big advocates of using practice exam papers as a way of identifying your child’s strengths and weaknesses. By introducing practice papers early, you’ll be able to adjust the focus of your child’s studying to make sure they’re concentrating on their weak areas.


As their studying progresses, you can re-introduce the practice papers to monitor your child’s progress. Not only do exam practice papers help identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses, but they also help familiarise students with the format of the 11 Plus exam.


As exam day approaches, try doing timed practice papers with your child to help improve their time management skills and get them used to answering questions to a deadline.


We have several 11+ practice tests that can help your child prepare for the Bishop Wordsworth’s 11 Plus exam:


Practice Papers for the Bishop Wordsworth’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 Wordsworth’s School:


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 Wordsworth’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 Wordsworth’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 Wordsworth’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 Wordsworth’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 Wordsworth’s School 11+ past papers. The information provided about Bishop Wordsworth’s 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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