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: cms@bws.wilts.sch.uk, 01722 333851

School Type: Boys’ Grammar

Number of pupils: 884 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 7: 160

Open Day Dates: June and July

Exam Date: September

Exam Board Type: CEM 11 Plus (University of Durham)


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.


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.


We recommend the following resources:



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.


By Exam Papers Plus


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