What is the 11+ exam?

The 11+ exam is a test given to pupils in their last year of primary school (year 6 in England and year 7 in Northern Ireland) and is used as a means to determine whether that pupil is suited to the academic rigours of a grammar school education. In other words, will s/he be offered a place in the grammar school or a selective private school of their parent’s choice?

Since the early 1970s, many areas of the United Kingdom have not used the selective 11+ exam and have favoured a comprehensive education system that is non-selective. However, there are still a considerable number of Local Authorities, Foundation Schools, independent schools and private schools that still admit pupils based on selection by the test known as the 11+ (or Eleven Plus).

What sort of 11+ test will my child have to take?

The requirements will vary from Local Authority to Local Authority and from grammar school to grammar school. The eleven plus exam papers will be based on some or all of the following types of questions and it may involve sitting two or even three eleven plus examinations. Sometimes the tests will be of a different kind, e.g. a non-verbal reasoning and a verbal reasoning test and in other cases, the tests may be the same e.g. two verbal reasoning tests.

What is Verbal Reasoning?

Verbal Reasoning involves children thinking about words and text and solving problems, sequences, series (in both numbers and letters), synonyms and antonyms, compound words and logical deduction to name but a few question types. There are 21 common question types that have been used in the past and are likely to be used in some format in the future. Verbal Reasoning requires your child to have a good grasp of English grammar and a wide vocabulary. Most schools and Local Authorities administer at least one verbal reasoning test.

What is Non-verbal Reasoning?

This test type covers a wide range of subject areas such as which shape is next in the series, odd one out, reflections and spatial awareness of 2-D and 3-D shapes. Your child may also be required to understand rotation and symmetry.

A common and difficult question type is working out which cube is made from a net – in other words, can your child understand the connections between a 2-d shape folded into a 3-d shape.

Similar to this:

Your child needs to be able to quickly spot differences and similarities between shapes. Sometimes a smaller shape will be hidden in a larger shape. Will your child be able to see the hidden shape? Non-Verbal Reasoning also makes demands on the child’s mathematical capabilities perhaps being asked to calculate how much of a shape is shaded. Understanding simple concepts such as right and left or up and down will help your child deal with more complex and demanding aspects of Non-Verbal Reasoning.

Many Local Authorities and independent schools use non-verbal reasoning tests. The non-verbal reasoning makes demands on the child’s mathematical capabilities; however, it makes less demand on the understanding of written language.

Is Mathematics or English test similar to the school work?

English and Maths tests are similar to school work however you can expect the levels of work to be quite high.

Who administers the 11+ exams?

The Local Authorities or the schools themselves usually carry out all 11+ exam administration. Many schools are now forming consortiums that deal with all administration. Contact the school directly or the Local Authority for exact details as these can vary from area to area and school to school.

Should I target only one grammar school exam for my child?

As Express Tuition, we highly recommend that you take every opportunity to register and make sure your child sits in several 11+ exams in different schools. As long as you are in the catchment area of the school, you are eligible to make multiple applications which is a common practice for many parents.

If you will prepare for multiple schools, you have to teach all four disciplines to your child:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non Verbal reasoning
  • English
  • Mathematics

as well as creative writing and spelling for some schools.

How many Grammar schools are there in England?

There are at least 164 grammar schools throughout England excluding the selective independent schools.

Why should I care about the 11+ exam?

The 11+ exams are an important milestone in your child’s education and with the ever-increasing fees for private education, many parents are turning towards the 11+ exam as a means to a first-class education. If you ignore it when it is the right time you might regret your decision later.

Who prepares your mock test questions?

Our 11+ mock test questions have been compiled by experienced 11+ tutors. Questions of each test are similar in format and standard either to GL Assessment or CEM Learning which supply 11+ papers for some grammar schools.

Are the mock tests the same for every child?

No, they are different. Depending on the grammar school you are preparing for we offer you a GL type or CEM type test which can be selected at the booking stage. Please notify us that you have attended one previously so that you will be given a different set of papers each time.

If you believe the number of papers is too intense for your child at one sitting, you may book differing subjects on different test dates. Simply let us know each time.

What is your difference from other mock exam providers?

Our exams are dedicated to the grammar schools in North London area whereas other providers try to include different sets of papers which might be irrelevant for some children.

Also, we provide a review session, which takes places the following day. The review session is conducted by our experienced in-house teachers who teach on our year-long courses. Our specialist teachers will review the hardest questions in the test papers, with step by step solutions. This is a unique and valuable part of the mock exam service we provide as it enables children to learn as well as ask questions of an experienced teacher, whilst the exam content is fresh in their minds.

How many mocks should my child sit?

From experience of running courses, we know that no amount of tuition and home practice can prepare your child for real exam conditions, and therefore, we recommend most children will benefit from sitting three or more mock exams.

We recommend that your child’s first mock exam is not left until July and August, because of the risk of causing worry and distress, shortly before the real exam, if the child does not perform well.

We recommend booking one early mock exam, just so give you an idea of how well your child is performing against the competition so that it enables you to plan for the months ahead and leaves more time to address weak spots that have been identified in the feedback report. Some parents worry that their child is not ready for their first mock. We find that this is not a problem provided you manage your child’s expectations and re-assure them that high scores are not expected and that there is plenty of time for improvement. At the end of the day, it is important for you to gauge whether your child is ahead of the competition or needs to do some extra work to catch up with their peers.

Which Mock Exam should I book?

The mock exam you need to book will depend on the school your child is sitting for. Details of the relevant schools are mentioned for each mock type on the relevant pages of our website.

When will we get the results?

We endeavour to send the mock exam results within 5 days after the mock exam is held. An Exam Report will be sent by email providing you with the score, percentile ranking and feedback on the question types your child got incorrect or skipped to enable you to identify weak areas.

Do you charge extra for the Exam Report?

All mocks include a detailed Exam Report and we do not charge extra for this service.

What is included in the Exam Report?

Although we do not provide the whole paper, for copyright reasons, our reports are very comprehensive. The report will contain:

  • Your child’s raw score for each paper.
  • Your child’s percentile score for each paper.
  • Your child’s ranking in the session for each paper.
  • Your child’s ranking in the overall cohort for each paper (after 2nd and 3rd test).
  • Your child’s raw score for the combined papers in the mock.
  • Your child’s ranking in the session for the combined papers in the mock.
  • Your child’s ranking in the overall cohort for the combined papers in the mock (after 2nd and 3rd test).
  • Your child’s percentile score in the session cohort for the combined papers in the mock.
  • Your child’s percentile score in the overall cohort for the combined papers in the mock (after 2nd and 3rd test).
  • Total number of students sitting in the session.
  • The total number of students in the overall cohort.
  • High, Low and Average scores of the session cohort.
  • High, Low and Average scores of the overall cohort (after 2nd and 3rd test).
  • Access to all skipped or incorrect question types.

Will I get a copy of the mock paper?

For reasons of copyright, the papers are not released. However, the feedback report will contain sufficient information for you to identify your child’s weak spots and you will be able to learn the question types your child got incorrect or skipped.
What are the cancellation terms?

Please see our Terms and Conditions for Booking. We operate a ‘no refund’ policy due to several reasons such as hiring charges of the venue changing per student, test booklet produced for the candidate and reserving an irreplaceable place for your child. Therefore, we won’t be able to refund if you cancel your scheduled mock exam.

Can I change the mock exam date booked?

Subject to availability and an administration charge of £10 you will be able to change the date of the mock exam. You should request any change at least 7 or more days before the exam session you have booked.

Will I get a refund if my child is ill on the day?

We regret that we are not able to offer refunds due to any reason including illness as we are not able to sell your child’s mock exam place.

What time should I arrive and collect my child?

A detailed schedule will be emailed to you approximately one week before each exam date. Usually, we request that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the mock exam to allow time for a visit to the toilet and for children to be settled in the exam room before the exam commences. Children are handed over to our staff at the point of registration. The collection time will usually be no more than 5 to 15 minutes after the scheduled finish time of the exam session.
The advertised times on our website are approximate timings.

What should my child bring?

Children should bring a pencil case with two sharpened pencils and an eraser. Although we can provide water, we still recommend that your child brings a small bottle of water, as some children are often too shy to ask for water. No snacks are allowed during the toilet break between test papers. Children who are registered for a review of the paper immediately following the exam will stay much longer so they should have a snack to eat at the break before the review session.

Can I accompany and settle my child in the exam room?

No. As with the real exam, in most cases, parents do not accompany their children to the exam room. Children are handed over at the point of registration.

Is there a break between test papers?

Yes, usually this will be 10-15 minutes similar to the real exam in most areas. Children can stretch their legs and attend the toilet, but they are not permitted to eat snacks.

Can I see my child during the break?

No, the exam centre will be closed for the duration of the mock exam. Parents should not return to the centre earlier than 5 minutes before the exam is due to finish.

What happens if we are late?

There is no need for you to telephone us if you are running late because the mock exam will commence promptly at the advertised time in any case. Any child arriving late may be allowed to enter the exam room but will not normally be given extra time to finish the paper due to the tight schedule.

What is the venue of the mock exam?

Details of the venue will be contained in your booking. You will find a map and a link to the venue. Many of the exams take place in Ashmole Academy, Cecil Road, London N14 5RJ.

Do you have parking?

The school has a car park which will be open to drop-off and pick-up your children.

Instructions on arrival

We are located inside the refectory at Ashmole Academy (Secondary School).

Ashmole Academy - Refectory

Please make a note of the finish time to be on time for pick up by using the same gates.

We shall endeavour to adhere to the given timings but with such a large volume of candidates taking the tests, we would ask for your patience.

Do you have a parents waiting area?

Unfortunately, we do not have this facility for parents to wait. We are within 5 minutes’ walk of Southgate’s main streets where there are plenty of coffee shops and eateries.

Please note that on our mock exam days, we will be selling our own 11+ vocabulary flashcards, Verbal Reasoning and Mathematics books and materials 20 minutes before and for another 20 minutes after the exam.

Do you have Health and Safety procedures?

The mock exam will take place at a school premise, or another suitable venue, in a safe and controlled environment that complies with all health, safety and fire regulations. We usually have CCTV in operation throughout all premises as well as security staff for the building. All our staff have DBS clearance and there will usually be at least one or more staff member on duty with first aid training. Children will remain at all times under the supervision of staff.