Holcombe Grammar School for Boys 11 Plus (11+) Exam Information



Established in 1817, Holcombe Grammar School is a grammar school based in Chatham, Kent. Previously known as Chatham Grammar School for Boys, it is now a selective academy. The school is fully co-educational from the end of 2018.


Students aged 11-18 are divided into four houses – Barfleur, Conquest, Guardian and Shannon – all named after ships built at Chatham Dockyard, not too far from the school campus. The houses compete against each other throughout the school year in an effort to secure the House Shield by the end of the summer term.


11 Plus Exam Information for Holcombe Grammar School


Address: Holcombe, Letchworth Avenue, Chatham, Kent, ME4 6JB

County: Kent (Medway)

Admissions Info: office@holcombegrammar.org.uk, 01634 830 083

School Type: Boys’ Grammar, Co-Educational by 2018

Number of pupils: 963 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 7: 120

Open Day Date: October

Exam Date: September

Exam Board Type: Medway 11 Plus (CEM)


Holcombe Grammar School 11 Plus Admissions


There are 120 places available in Year 7 at Holcombe Grammar School, with each place determined by pupil performance in the 11+ exam. Prior to applying for a place, parents are advised to attend the school’s open event to get more information about the admissions process.


Along with the other grammar schools in Medway, Holcombe uses The Medway Test for Year 7 admissions. Children who attend a primary school in the area will take the 11 Plus exam at their current school, while those living outside the area will take the exam in an independent test centre.


In the event of oversubscription, Holcombe Grammar School applies the following criteria, giving priority to:


  1. Looked after, or previously looked after, children
  2. Children who have a sibling attending the school
  3. Children who have a sibling attending any Trust primary school
  4. Children of staff employed by the Trust
  5. Child’s health reasons
  6. Children who live closest to the school


Schools within the Medway local authority (LA) use a different admissions criteria, so parents are advised to double check the exact specifications with the school before completing the Common Application Form (CAF). More details about Holcombe Grammar School’s admissions process is available on the school website.


How to Apply for 11 Plus Entry to Holcombe Grammar School


To apply for a Year 7 place at the school, parents must complete the Common Application Form (CAF), which is administered by the Medway local authority.


All primary schools within the Medway area will receive booklets entitled ‘Admission to Secondary School: A Guide for Parents’ to distribute, which explains more about registration. Alternatively, parents can call the Admissions team at Medway Council on 01634 331110 with any pressing questions about the application process.


Holcombe Grammar School Catchment Area


Does Holcombe Grammar School have a catchment area?


Yes, Holcombe Grammar School has a catchment area with priority based on location and distance from the school.


Holcombe Grammar School 11 Plus Exam Format


The Holcombe Grammar School 11 Plus exam consists of:



Both the verbal reasoning and maths tests are multiple choice and last 50 minutes each. The English test often takes the form of an essay and lasts 50 minutes, which includes 10 minutes of planning time.


In The Medway Test, the 11 plus maths and English sections are double-weighted in comparison to the verbal reasoning section. This means the maths and writing scores are given twice the importance of the verbal reasoning score in the Medway 11 plus.


How to Prepare for the Holcombe Grammar School 11 Plus Exam?


The more preparation students put into the eleven plus, the less intimidating it will seem. We advise that students should plan ahead and make use of relevant practice resources.


Parents should encourage their child to complete 11 Plus practice papers under timed conditions for the Medway Test as this will help them to establish a rhythm of answering questions quickly under time pressure.


Practice Exam Papers for the Holcombe Grammar School 11 Plus Exam


For the Holcombe Grammar School 11+ exam, we would recommend the following resources:


Verbal Reasoning – specific skill development



Maths/Numerical Reasoning – specific skill development



English Writing – specific skill development


Full Practice Tests

(NVR sections not relevant for Medway)




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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in Holcombe Grammar School 11+ past papers. The information provided about Holcombe 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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