About our 11 Plus (11+) Exam Papers
What is the 11+ Exam?
The 11+ (or 11 Plus) Exam is a test used by schools in the UK to assess candidates for Secondary School entry into Year 7. Students are either 10 or 11 years old when they take the exam.
Who is eligible to take the 11+ exam?
Any child in Year 6, when they are aged 10 or 11, is eligible to take the 11+ exam. Whether they are applying for admission to grammar or independent schools in their local area or beyond, students are formally assessed prior to entry into Year 7.
Some independent schools also offer the option for pupils to take a deferred entry exam at a younger age, but this is becoming increasingly rare.
What is the difference between SATs and 11 plus?
The main difference between SATs and the 11 Plus is that SATs are tests taken by all students in the UK at the end of primary school to assess their academic progress, while the 11 Plus is used as means of selection prior to Year 7 entry to selective grammar and independent schools.
- SATs are not a pass-or-fail exam, they simply aim to indicate your child's current attainment level
- The 11 Plus aims to find the most academic students, therefore, not every child passes the exam.
To find out which of these resources is most suitable for your child's exam preparation, please get in touch and we will be happy to advise.
How long does the 11 plus exam take?
The length of the 11 plus exam can vary depending on the school or region. The shortest test length is 1 hour and the longest 11 plus exam would take around 3 hours.
Some schools also have multiple stages to their tests over different dates and it is common for independent schools to also conduct interviews as part of the assessment process.
What should I bring to the 11+ exam?
If the 11+ exam is paper-based, your child should bring a pencil, an eraser and a pen. If allowed, they should also bring a ruler. In some instances, the school you are applying for may request your child's passport or birth certificate to help complete the necessary identification, as well as a registration form.
If the exam is taken online, your child should have the necessary software and login credentials to access the exam platform. However, this will usually be organised by the testing venue. They should also bring a pencil and an eraser, in case they need to work out any problems on paper.
Is it easy to pass the 11+ exam?
Generally speaking, it is not easy to pass the 11+ Exam. Competition for places can be intense with up to 20 applicants for each place. Some schools are definitely more competitive than others.
Early preparation is highly recommended, and studying little and often is the key to success in this assessment. Note that children have lower concentration levels than adults, so it’s better to have regular, short sessions than infrequent long ones.
We also recommend that you introduce practice papers to your child’s study routine to help them recognise the types of questions they’ll be asked. Designed by assessment experts, Exam Papers Plus resources are designed to reflect the demands of a competitive entrance exam and are successfully used by hundreds of thousands of students every year.
How can I practise and prepare for the 11 Plus?
To practise and prepare for the 11 Plus, you need to make a plan. This will save you a lot of time and stress in as you go through the process. You need to work out:
1) which topics will be covered in your child's 11+ Exam
2) what your child's weaknesses are
3) how to address these weaknesses
Our 11+ Exam Papers are specifically designed to help you with all of these points. We believe preparing smartly and efficiently is the key to not only succeeding in this journey but doing so with the minimum amount of stress for your child as possible.
How many different types of 11 Plus (11+) Exam are there?
There are many different types of 11+ Exam. Some schools use exam boards like GL Assessment to create their 11+ Exam. Other schools create their own exam or band together in a Consortium to use a shared 11 Plus test.
Some examples include the SET in Sutton, the Kent Test, the Secondary Transfer Test in Buckinghamshire and the CSSE Test in Essex.
That's why it's important to make sure you are using the correct practice material to ensure your child is covering the correct topics and not wasting time revising things that will not come up in their 11+ Exam.
You can use our 11+ School Search feature here to work out exactly which 11 Plus Practice Papers to use for a specific school. Alternatively, you can contact us here and will be happy to advise further.
How many 11+ papers are there?
There are a great number of different 11+ papers available depending on the school you are applying for. Each school or region may decide to test unique subjects in specific formats. That's why it's important to understand exactly what format the 11+ Exam will take at the schools you are interested in.
To do this, you can use our School Search function here. Simply type in the name of the school you are targeting and you can immediately learn all the key details about the exam format used and how to prepare for it.
Is the 11+ Exam difficult?
Yes, the 11+ Exam can be difficult. Competition for places is every increasing and outpaces the number of places available. There is no doubt that a bit of preparation can go a long way when it comes to the 11 Plus Exam. However, there is no need to go overboard. The key is to focus on the right topics and prepare efficiently by identifying your child's weaknesses rather than cast a wide net and try to cover every possible topic.
Using relevant 11+ Practice Papers for the schools you are interested in is key. They act as a diagnostic, helping you to quickly identify which areas your child needs to focus on. It's better to spend time improving weaker areas rather than further strengthening your child's understanding of topics they already know well.
How do you pass the 11+ exam easily?
In almost all cases, it's not possible to pass the 11+ exam easily without some form of preparation. The 11 plus is a highly competitive assessment that requires a significant amount of hard work.
The best way to prepare for the exam is to come up with a clear strategy, which should include:
- Starting your preparation early: we advise that you begin at least 12 months prior to exam day.
- Understanding the format of the test: visit the appropriate school page or get in touch with the relevant Admissions Office to view specifics about the actual assessment. You can also use our School Search feature at the top of this page to learn more about the process at the school you are targeting.
- Using practice papers: these will help you identify the areas where your child needs to improve.
If you follow the above steps, your child should be well placed to pass the 11+ exam.
Designed by assessment experts and experienced examiners, our up-to-date resources will remove unnecessary stress from your child’s exam preparation process.
What is a good score for the 11 Plus?
The honest answer to this question is that it depends! Some 11+ Exams are more competitive than others so a good score can vary by region and school. For example, scoring 75%+ might be a good score in the Kent 11+ Test but scoring 75+ in the 11+ Sutton Selective Eligibility Test (SET) might not be enough.
Based on years of experience and a tried and trusted track record, we can provide you with a target score to aim for in our 11+ Exam Papers depending on the school you are aiming for. Just contact us here and let us know.
What is the difference between CEM and GL?
Please note that CEM no longer create written 11+ Exams. Click here to use our School Search feature to see which exam board your target school will be using. CEM and GL are similar in some ways and different in others. It's important to be aware of the specifics of each exam board so your child is familiar with what to expect on exam day. The Centre of Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) is part of Cambridge Assessment. GL Assessment, formerly known as Granada Learning, is often just referred to as GL. The key differences are:
If you're not sure whether the school you are interested in uses GL, CEM or neither of these exam boards, then just type the school name into the School Search box at the top of this page.
- CEM 11+ Exams focus more heavily on vocabulary and are more time pressured. The exam will almost always cover Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning.
- GL Assessment exams could include any of the following depending on the school or region: Mathematics, English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Spatial Reasoning.
- In recent years, GL tests have trended towards the CEM style with a focus on shorter subject sections mixed together rather than separate papers for each subject. This can vary from school to school though.
What is in the 11 Plus Maths syllabus?
The syllabus for the 11 Plus Maths exam can vary depending on the specific school or region you are targeting. Whilst there are some common features, there are also significant differences.
That's why we recommend first learning exactly what type of test your child will be taking so you can prepare specifically for it. This is the most efficient way to prepare for the 11 Plus maths exam.
Just pop the name of the school you are interested in into the 11+ School Search box at the top of this page and you will be able to read a detailed overview of the specific school's examination requirements.
How hard is the 11 Plus Exam?
The 11 Plus Exam can be quite hard as the level of competition and difficulty increases. In the most competitive regions and schools, there can be 15+ candidates vying for each spot.
However, that is not always the case. At certain grammar and independent schools, the competition ratios are lower and the 11+ Exam is not as hard.
That's why it's important to prepare for the 11 Plus Exam with resources that match the level and pass marks of the school you are targeting.
We provide 11+ Practice Papers to match the exams at specific schools, alongside target scores to aim for.
Therefore, you can be confident that you are using your valuable 11+ preparation time in the most efficient way possible.
To learn more, scroll up to the top of this page and type the name of the school you want your child to go to in the School Search box.
How much should I prepare for 11+?
The amount of preparation needed for the 11+ exam can vary depending on your child's level of attainment and the exam format.
It is recommended to begin preparing well in advance of the exam, around 12 months prior to the big day, and to use a variety of study materials, including practice tests. It's also important to balance your child's study schedule with enough time for relaxation and other activities. These are the essential guidelines for successful 11+ exam preparation:
- Identify areas where additional study is needed
- Practice, practice, practice - consistency is key
Every year, hundreds of thousands of students use our practice tests in order to gain an advantage over peers ahead of competitive and highly selective entrance exams.
Consisting of thoroughly researched and up-to-date questions, our resources will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your child’s knowledge base, and thus remove unnecessary stress from the exam preparation process.
Can you pass the 11 Plus without tuition?
It is possible to pass the 11 Plus exam without tuition, as long as your child has access to practice tests and study materials that are specifically designed for this assessment.
As the eleven plus is a competitive exam that tests a student's knowledge and skills in various subjects, preparing for it requires discipline, self-motivation, and most of all, a good study plan.
Once you devise a specific study schedule and a structured approach towards 11+ exam preparation, you will be able to remove unnecessary stress from the preparation process and make it more manageable for your child.
This is where Exam Papers Plus resources can help. Successfully used by hundreds of thousands of students every year, our practice tests will help your child familiarise themselves with the exam format and hence respond to the questions in an efficient and effective manner.
When does the 11+ Exam take place?
The date of the 11+ Exam varies depending on the type of school you apply to.
For grammar schools, the 11 Plus exam usually takes place in September or October of Year 6.
For independent schools, the Eleven Plus exam is usually taken between October and January of Year 6, with each school setting their own exam date.
If you would like to know the exact date of your child's 11+ exam, feel free to email us, letting us know which school/s you are targeting. We will get back to you right away with the exam dates and advice on how to prepare specifically for the school/s you are interested in.
How many papers are in the 11 Plus?
The number of papers in the 11 Plus Exam varies depending on the school you are applying to.
Some schools have just one paper whilst others could have multiple, sometimes split over two stages of examination.
11+ Papers can focus on just one subject or they could contain multiple shorter sections across various subjects.
It's important to understand exactly what the exam format and number of papers will be in your child's 11+ Exam. You can use the School Search tool at the top of this page to get all the key details about the 11 Plus Exam format at the school of your choice.
Which subjects are covered in the 11 Plus Exam?
The core subjects in the 11+ Exam are Mathematics, English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Spatial Reasoning.
However, not all schools test all of these subjects. Furthermore, there can be variations within subjects. For example, a Verbal Reasoning section in one exam could be quite different to the Verbal Reasoning section in another.
The key is to make sure your child is fully prepared for the specific expectations of the school or region you are targeting for Year 7 Entry. You don't want to waste valuable preparation and revision time focusing on subjects and question types that are not going to come up in your child's exam.
Once you use a tool like 11+ School Search at the top of this page, you will have a solid idea of what you need to cover for your child's exam. You can then focus on exactly the right topics, making sure you are being as efficient as possible.
What type of questions are in the 11+ test?
The 11+ test is not standardised so it can vary significantly depending on the region and type of school you are applying to. Generally speaking, grammar school 11+ exams are in multiple-choice format and independent school 11+ exams are in standard format, where students need to write in their own answers. However, there are many exceptions to this general rule.
Depending on the school, the following subjects could be tested: Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Spatial Reasoning, Critical Thinking and Science.
You can use the School Search feature to find out more about the exact format of the test at the school you are targeting.
What percentage do you need to pass the 11+?
The percentage needed to pass the 11+ varies, depending on the type of school you are applying for and their exam format. For instance, a score of 70% might be considered satisfactory for a certain school, however, it might not be sufficient for another.
Typically, the pass rate is based on factors such as the number of correct answers, the difficulty of the exam and the number of students taking the test. To determine the target percentage score to aim for on our practice tests, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to advise further.
How can I be good at 11 Plus?
To be good at the 11 Plus exam, you should give yourself enough time to prepare. This includes regular revision using practice papers, which will allow you to become familiar with the types of questions and the format of the test.
We also advise 11+ candidates to attend our Mock Exams. Delivered by experts in the field of education, these will help you identify any weak areas in your knowledge base and ensure that you get used to the exam environment.
Last but not least: maintain a positive attitude and don't miss out on leisure activities and social events, as that could potentially enhance your anxiety and have a negative impact on your exam performance.
Does the 11+ exam measure IQ?
Even though the 11+ Exam is not an IQ test, it does measure and asses some skills that also appear in IQ tests.
Many schools test Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning skills in order to determine the strongest candidates for 11+ entry. While the Verbal Reasoning paper mainly focuses on assessing pupils’ logical thinking, the Non-Verbal Reasoning exam tests intelligence rather than knowledge, as well as the ability to understand, interpret and problem-solve.
Non-Verbal Reasoning questions include codes, puzzles, odd one out, shapes and other similar skills that measure raw IQ through lateral thinking rather than learned behaviour. To help your child prepare for this often challenging exam, we've produced a variety of resources, including a Masterclass of over 1100 practice questions, each with detailed explanations.
Is 11+ English multiple choice?
The format of the 11+ English exam can vary depending on the school administering the test. Most grammar schools use a multiple-choice exam, while others opt for a combination of multiple-choice and standard-format questions.
Independent schools typically use standard format questions for their 11+ English exams. Standard format means that students need to write in their own answers and usually show their workings too.
Some grammars and the majority of independent schools also incorporate a Creative writing task into their English exams.
We provide a number of resources to help students successfully prepare for the 11+ English exam. Our multiple-choice (GL-Style) English Masterclass consists of 13 hours of high quality content, divided into bitesize lessons consisting of hundreds of sample questions, each with detailed explanations.
For standard-format English comprehension exams, we would highly recommend this pack, which not only includes four complete practice tests that cover the full examination syllabus, but also comes with 60 specific tutorial videos.
For the Creative writing task, we provide a Marking Service, which will help you learn exactly which areas your child needs to focus on to improve their writing. It will also show you the exact level your child needs to be working at to gain entry to your first-choice school.
How do I know which 11+ Practice Papers to use?
It can be confusing working out exactly which resources are most relevant for your child. We recommend first making a list of the schools you are targeting for 11+ entrance.
Then work out which exam format each of these schools uses. You can use the School Search feature at the top of this page to help you do this. There may be some overlaps between different schools.
Once you have a list of subjects and exam boards used at each school, you can select the most relevant resources from the wide range that we have available.
If you would like further advice and recommendations, feel free to contact us here. We are always happy to help!
At what age should my child start preparing for the 11 Plus?
Early preparation, coupled with up-to-date practice tests and other resources, is highly recommended. Ideally, your child should start preparing for the eleven plus around 12 months before the exam, but with moderation and balance. A couple of hours per week could be all it takes to boost their confidence and fill in any knowledge gaps.
Each child is different and that's not to say you cannot be successful starting later but this can lead to a more stressful experience if there is lots of material to cover. We believe regular, gradual preparation leads to the best overall results for your child.
How long does it take to prepare for the 11+ exam?
The amount of time it takes to prepare for the 11+ exam can vary depending on your child's current level of attainment.
The most effective way to establish this level is to use practice tests as they act as a diagnostic, helping you quickly identify your child's strengths alongside the areas that require additional work.
Typically, we advise that students commence their 11+ exam preparation a year or more in advance.
What is the pass rate for the 11+?
For some schools, the pass rate could be 70% and for others, it could be 90%+. Independent schools often do not disclose the required pass rate for their 11+ exams.
Grammar schools provide standardised cutoff scores but it's not clear how that correlates with you child's 'raw' scores in practice tests or mock exams. Based on many years of experience, we are able to provide target scores and pass rates to aim for both grammar and independent schools.
Our School Search feature allows you to access our published articles about specific schools and view the target scores to aim for. If you don't see a target score or pass rate for the schools you are targeting, please get in touch and we will be happy to provide them for you.
What happens if you fail the 11+ exam?
If your child fails the 11+ exam, they will typically not be able to attend the school in question. If this is a grammar school, however, you will have the option to appeal the results of the exam. This should only be done if you firmly believe there has been a mistake or an issue with the testing process.
The appeals process will vary depending on the school and the local authority, including a review of the test scores. It is unlikely to be successful and it is not as common for grammar schools to change the outcome.
Can you retake the 11+ exam?
Students are not allowed to retake the 11+ exam. This is because the 11+ exam is used as a means of determining eligibility for entry into selective schools and is usually administered only once a year per school or region.
However, if your child is ill on the exam day or if there is a clash with another exam date, you may be able to apply for them to take the exam on an alternative date.
What happens if my child passes the 11+ exam?
If your child passes the 11+ exam, they will be eligible for admission into Year 7 at the selective school of their preference. For grammar schools, please note that passing the test simply means that your child has reached the required level. It does not guarantee entry to your first-choice school.
If you applied for entry to an independent school, it is very likely that your child will need to attend an interview and/or group activity before final admission is granted.
Is it worth doing the 11+ exam?
It is absolutely worth doing the 11+ exam as there are many benefits to passing the test, including the opportunity for your child to attend their first-choice school. Given that the assessment aims to identify the most academic students, not every child gets through.
For those that do, however, attending a highly selective school can be very rewarding, as it unlocks new opportunities in their education and future careers.
Accordingly, passing the 11+ exam grants access to a unique education and the chance to study other subjects, which are not always offered at non-selective schools.
Also, there's strong evidence that students who gain admission through the 11+ exam are likely to have successful careers, in part due to the connections they make in secondary school.
How do I know if my child should sit the 11 plus?
Prior to deciding whether or not your child should sit the 11 plus exam, you may want to consider factors such as their academic ability and non-academic interests. It's worth noting that selective schools consistently perform well in league tables and that competition for places can be fierce, so you should also consider whether such an environment is right for your child.
If they are motivated and willing to put in the necessary work to succeed, they may be well-suited for the 11 plus. Additionally, you may want to speak with your child's teacher for guidance, as they should have an understanding of their skills and potential, as well as their aptitude for learning.
What is an 11 Plus mock exam?
An 11 Plus mock exam is a test taken in an exam environment, designed to simulate the real 11 Plus experience by providing students with an understanding of the types of questions and format of the actual assessment. The mock exam is typically taken in the months leading up to the actual 11 Plus and is used as a tool to help students succeed in passing it.
Sitting a mock exam has many benefits. By providing an actual exam experience, it helps develop your child's time management skills. Taking a timed exam alongside peers will significantly improve your child's chances of effectively answering 11 Plus questions under time pressure.
For many years, Exam Papers Plus have delivered top quality Mock Exams that provide you with a detailed report on your child’s performance including pass marks, peer group averages and crucial insights into their strengths and weaknesses, as well as specific advice on how to improve.
We suggest that it is best to book at least two sessions so that your child can implement any advice and feedback received from the first exam. Please click here to learn more.