To start, here are links to a large number of English 11 plus tips and tests. These will meet all your 11 Plus English exams needs.

Our 11 plus English test practice.

11 plus English Tips

    Verbal Reasoning Synonyms Word Searches;    11-plus-English_Practice-Test;   and     11-Plus-Compound-Word-List.

    VR Families;     Verbal Reasoning Families 2;     Crosswords    and     11 + Verbal Reasoning Question Types.

  • Read Each Verbal Reasoning Question Very Carefully

Note this might sound like obvious advice. However, many verbal items may have one crucial word that’s easy to misinterpret. So, do look for words such as all, some, most.

  • Interpret key word meanings carefully

Also, you must remember that easier verbal reasoning test formats ask test takers to interpret individual word meanings.


Our 11 plus English Comprehension practice

11 Plus English Comprehension tip 1 – Key words

Watch out for certain key words and phrases in either the passage or question (or both!). These key words often act as the link between different pieces of information. In many cases they qualify the information that has been given. When you come across key words in passages and questions you need to focus on their precise meanings. You are being tested on reinterpreting the passage so ask yourself: do exactly the same emphasis in both the passage and question?

Contrast words

Contrast words and phrases (e.g. however, although, but, alternatively, whereas, despite, rather, unless, instead, while and nevertheless). used to highlight differences are these contrast words: yet, at the same time and conversely. These make a transition between two clauses, or parts of a sentence.

11 Plus English Comprehension tip 3 – Propositions

There are certain words and phrases that you need to treat as propositions. Don’t be misled into thinking that they are facts. These include the following: claims, suggests, advocates, recommends, advises, offers, proposes, believe and considers. Treat these words with caution as they indicate a subjective statement based on one person’s opinions rather than absolute evidence.


Be on the look-out for comparative adjectives. These are words that compare two or more things. At the simplest level, these are superlatives such as most, highest, biggest and least. But there are other words for making comparisons, e.g. more, lower and less.


11 Plus English Comprehension tips Part II

Absolutes and generalisations

Adverbs such as never or always compare how frequently something occurs. Be alert for any words that imply something absolute, such as no, never, none, always, every, entire, unique, sole, all, maximum, minimum and only. Don’t confuse them with generalisations, such as many, almost always, some, nearly, usually, seldom, regularly, generally, frequently, typically, ordinarily, as a rule, commonly, and sometimes. These generalisations create something of a grey area where a fact only applies some of the time. This is an important distinction. Just because something usually happens does not mean you can assume it always happens. It is important to recognise these words and interpret them accurately. Some words are relatively low generalisations, such as ‘a few’, ‘a little’, and ‘only some’. Similarly, ‘unlikely’ and ‘infrequent’ tell you that there is still a slight chance, which is not the same as ‘impossible’.

Cause and effect

After doing lots of practice tests you will come to recognise cause and effect words and phrases. These include: since, because, for, so, consequently, as a result, thus, therefore, due to and hence. It is a good idea to focus on these as often a question will ask you to interpret how these words have been used to link different aspects of an issue or argument together. There are subtle differences between these words and phrases, as some signal stronger causal relationships than others. A word like because indicates a direct causal link. The word so also joins facts together but does not necessarily mean that it was the first fact that led to the second.


Look out for words or phrases indicating speculation, such as perhaps, probably, possibly and maybe. Words such as may, might and can also point to the possibility of something happening. You need to tread carefully with such phrases – they do not mean the suggested outcome is guaranteed, only that it is a possibility.

If you are told – The team is almost certain to win the championship – you should not interpret this as meaning that the team will definitely win. It is just speculation, even if there are good reasons for making that prediction.



How to improve your English writing skills

English writing skills are key throughout your education. In Primary school, Secondary school, College and University. While in education, your English writing skills will usually be used in writing essays.

English writing skills. Woman on laptop with dog.

English writing skills.

English writing could not only do well to prepare you for a career in writing or blogging. It is also a great way to stimulate and nurture logical thinking and gives an outlet to many people. Whether it is for journal writing, blogging or your local village newspaper. In our most recent survey, we have a look at whether you might need to refresh your essay writing skills. Is your writing clear and to the point? We also give some great tips on how to improve your essay writing skills if necessary. How do you write a good essay?

  1. Understand the topic
  2. Structure your essay – Introduction, Body, Conclusion and References if needed
  3. Answer the question of the essay

How to structure your essay:

  1. Introduction: Keep it short and to the point. Only one to two paragraphs.
  2. Body: Here you summarise your argument or facts. Keep it clear and to the point with an idea per paragraph.
  3. Conclusion: This should also be short and to the point. Here, you want to summarise your points or argument from your essay.

Your style should always be clear so that you can express your opinion clearly and precisely. Do you need to refresh your essay writing style? Try our quiz and see what might be lacking.

It might just be that you need to practice a bit more. However, taking a look at where you can improve might be just what you need. Getting stuck in a rut might be the problem, so why not freshen up your English writing skills. There is always room for improvement.


Ways to improve your 11 plus vocabulary

Sheena Ager (S. L. Ager) is the author of the Vocabulary Novels Trilogy The Cadwaladr Quests (the Welsh spelling of the surname Cadwallader).

These are a series of fun-adventure novels written specifically for the 11+ tests to help children to learn and understand challenging vocabulary.
I supported both my children through the 11+ process. My son was not a reader, and I worried much about his exposure to vocabulary and his comprehension skills. He read only non-fiction. Reading classic works with my son (and daughter) was such hard work that I wrote my first 11+ Vocabulary Novel for him and with him (my children beta read all my books).

We started with sentences, which grew into paragraphs, then chapters and finally a book. We included the 11+ vocabulary we amassed during our years of study with both children. The Cadwaladr Quests are contemporary stories packed with classic vocabulary boasting a built-in dictionary on every page.
How are my vocabulary novels different? The relevant words in the text appear in bold, which then have a corresponding footnote. The definitions are (crucially) in-context and child-friendly, along with their synonyms, antonyms and relevant parts of speech.

Tangled Time, Race for the Gold, and the last part, Cat’s Eye.

The first novel, Tangled Time, was my debut book, and I aimed to pack in the vocabulary. For books two and three, I listened to my readers focusing more on the story and easing off (a little) on the definitions. The first book, Tangled Time, has 3,000 definitions along with hundreds of synonyms and antonyms. Whereas books two and three have only 2,000 definitions along with hundreds of synonyms and antonyms.

The first two novels now have supporting comprehension and creative writing workbooks, the results of a fruitful collaboration with Education Boutique. There is also a standalone verbal skills workbook based on Tangled Time. This multiple-choice workbook was a collaboration with XLEducation, an incredibly popular tuition company based in Reading, Berkshire (where my teenagers attend state grammar schools). We are currently working on another verbal skills workbook based on the second novel, Race for the Gold.

You can learn more at

  • Listen carefully when your child


  • Set regular reading times with your child to encourage your child to love reading.
  • This will also model the correct reading style with appropriate intonation.
  • Plus, if you klisten carefully you can provide feedback (the most impactful feedback).
  • And also, provide an opportunity to immediately ask about any unclear vocab.
  • Word games exercises

  • Go through the alphabet and providing a word for each letter in turns.
  • Or use the last letter of the word as the first letter of the word you need to think of.
  • Make new sentences of the word to aid understanding how the word can be used.
  • Also if the word has multiple meanings it can help your child understand the subtleties of English.
  • Weekly spelling tests are excellent way of introducing new vocabulary.
  • Weekly journal.

  • Choose topics for your children or simply ask them to write about their day.
  • Review their work and provide feedback to help them improve.
  • Don’t be overly critical about grammar and punctuation.
  • Daily word exercises using letter magnets…

  • …to make new words every day.
  • Use your fridge as the wall or a magnetic white board which is visible from the place at which you eat your breakfast.
  • The word can then become a topic of conversation and can be used in sentences to help understanding.
  • An easy but very effective way to help your child learn new words.

11 Plus English Exams bookcase

  • Argument Interpretation

This might also seem tricky. However, find the different positions making up a written argument. Also, if any assumptions and inferences have been made.

  • Statement Evaluation

Evaluating whether statements are supported, contradicted, or implied by the information in the passage. 

  • Passage summaries

Summarising the main points that the passage makes.


Try our recommended 11 Plus English Study and Practice Book (by our affiliated tutor Charlotte Watson).


11 Plus English Test Type 1

Practice examples of four different types of verbal reasoning tests are provided below. The first type consists of a single sentence containing a word in brackets. Replace this word with the most viable alternative. Select the multiple-choice option closest in meaning to the word in italics.

1) My brother’s complacency has always irritated his friends, neighbours and colleagues.

  1. A) nosiness
  2. B) ostentation
  3. C) neglect
  4. D) cockiness
  5. E) smugness

2)  The ascetic hermit dwelled in a hut on the mountain top.

  1. A) austere
  2. B) religious
  3. C) penitent
  4. D) reclusive
  5. E) indigent

3)   The foreign tourists found the locals to be extremely amiable.

  1. A) gracious
  2. B) friendly
  3. C) curious
  4. D) suspicious
  5. E) polite

4)      Parents of pupils complained because they felt that the teacher was too lenient.

  1. A) demanding
  2. B) strict
  3. C) tolerant
  4. D) negligent
  5. E) informal

Our 11 plus English test practice.

5)   The King filled his Court with sycophants and fops.

  1. A) courtiers
  2. B) flatterers
  3. C) loyalists
  4. D) advisers
  5. E) dandies

6) On the flight to New York, he sat next to a very garrulous woman.

  1. A) sullen
  2. B) attractive
  3. C) convivial
  4. D) loud
  5. E) talkative

7)  The Tutor praised his students’ perspicacious comments.

  1. A) intelligent
  2. B) insightful
  3. C) critical
  4. D) scholarly
  5. E) technical

8)    At the school assembly, the Headmaster sternly declared “Honesty is a tenet of this institution”.

  1. A) rule
  2. B) principle
  3. C) tradition
  4. D) anathema
  5. E) virtue

9)   The initiates participated in esoteric rituals at the midnight ceremony.

  1. A) ancient
  2. B) religious
  3. C) traditional
  4. D) secret
  5. E) solemn

10)   Investing in the nuclear power industry proved to be the entrepreneur’s most astute decision.

  1. A) calculated
  2. B) risky
  3. C) controversial
  4. D) lucrative
  5. E) shrewd

11+ English Test Type 2

Verbal reasoning tests may also take the form of analogies. Here the respondent’s vocabulary and knowledge of simple verbal relationships are being tested. Some examples of this type of verbal reasoning test practice are given below. Therefore, interpret the meaning that connects the word shown in large type on the left-hand side.

Our 11 plus English test practice.

11)     SPIDER          web


  1. water
  2. egg
  3. feathers
  4. burrow
  5. barn

12)      BOOK             library


  1. gallery
  2. frame
  3. easel
  4. canvas
  5. shop

13)    PAPER             ream


  1. tin
  2. brush
  3. tray
  4. litre
  5. acrylic

14)   BOAT                water


  1. petrol
  2. road
  3. convertible
  4. engine
  5. tyres

15)   ANIMALS              hybrid


  1. mixture
  2. alloy
  3. compound
  4. blend
  5. element

16)   ENTER                lathe


  1. forge
  2. metal
  3. iron
  4. anvil
  5. plinth

17)   FATHOMLESS              deep


  1. short
  2. large
  3. small
  4. long
  5. narrow

18)   LETTER                envelope


  1. hilt
  2. sheath
  3. weapon
  4. blade
  5. dagger

19)   DECLINE                ascent


  1. liberate
  2. acquit
  3. innocent
  4. prisoner
  5. release

20)   WORDS                sentence


  1. paragraph
  2. chapter
  3. phrases
  4. letters
  5. book

Our 11 plus English test practice.

21)   INTRODUCTION             conclusion


  1. preface
  2. monologue
  3. epilogue
  4. eulogy
  5. finale

22)   DROUGHT                rain


  1. draw
  2. progress
  3. hindrance
  4. cessation
  5. inequality

23)   WORD                abbreviate


  1. edit
  2. abridge
  3. shorten
  4. amend
  5. compress

24)   PROXY                vote


  1. punishment
  2. blame
  3. trouble
  4. criticism
  5. censure

25)   PEANUT                shell


  1. skin
  2. husk
  3. rind
  4. pith
  5. pod

26)   BICYCLE                tandem


  1. speech
  2. monologue
  3. dialogue
  4. duet
  5. sequel

27)   WAX                wane


  1. diminish
  2. improve
  3. provoke
  4. exacerbate
  5. irritate

28)   CHESS                board


  1. arena
  2. kit
  3. pitch
  4. grass
  5. sport

29)   BIBLIOPHILE                book


  1. coins
  2. wine
  3. stamps
  4. dolls
  5. art

30)   FLAX                linen


  1. grain
  2. cereal
  3. flour
  4. bread
  5. sheaf

Our 11 plus English test practice.

11+ English Test Type 3

Verbal tests may also take the form of antonyms. Some examples of this type of verbal reasoning test practice are given below. Select the multiple-choice option that is the opposite in meaning to the word shown in bold print.

31) mean:                   A                     B                    C                    D                     E

                              generous       average              miser              median            good

32) sincere:                A                     B                    C                     D                     E

                              faithful          hypocritical        genuine         suspicious         unkind

33) evergreen:           A                    B                     C                     D                     E

                                myrtle              flower            deciduous          fern                yellow

34) irresponsible:      A                    B                     C                     D                     E

                              mischievous     independent      diplomatic      dependable      manager

35) nationalisation:   A                    B                     C                     D                     E

                             democracy         oligopoly          coalition         trains            privatisation

36) inauspicious:      A                     B                     C                     D                     E

                                 lucky               auspices         bachelor         mutinous      inarticulate

37) pessimism:          A                     B                     C                     D                     E

                               pesticide         optimism           prototype         positive          socialism

38) innocuous:          A                      B                     C                     D                     E

                               vaccinate         amicable            harmful          ostensible       effusive

39) benevolent:          A                     B                      C                     D                    E

                                   kind             empirical         demagogue     uncharitable      eminent

40) altruistic:              A                      B                      C                     D                   E

                                   bird                 helpful            unhelpful          altitude           selfish


Our 11 plus English test practice.

11+ English Test Type 4

Verbal tests may also take the form of selecting the odd word out from a group of words. Some examples of this type of verbal reasoning test practice are given below. Identify the common connection between four of the five words. Choose the multiple-choice option corresponding to the odd word out.

41)                 magenta          cyan                cerise              turpentine      turquoise

42)                 sole                  haddock          salmon           trout               frog

43)                 damp                wet                  water             moist              saturated

44)                 staff                  personnel        employees     workforce      managers

45)                 jester                comedian        comedy          clown            comedian

46)                 fax                    computer         letter              memo            email

47)                 hexagon           polygon            pentagon      octagon          square

48)                 squid                cockle               mussel         crab                winkle

49)                 trophy               medal               prize             gift                  reward

50)                 cask                  beer                  bottle           can                 barrel

English 11+ Exams Part I

11+English Sample Paper 1 (Alleyn’s School)

11+ English Sample Paper 2 (Alleyn’s School)

11+English Sample Paper (Bancroft’s School)

11+ English Sample Paper 2016 (Bancroft’s School)

11+English Sample Paper 1 2017 (Bancroft’s School)

11+ English Practice Paper (Blackheath High School)

11+English (Bancroft’s School Sample Paper 1)

11+ English (Bancroft’s School Sample Paper 2)

11+English Reading Comprehension – Multiple Choice (CGP 2012)

11+ English (City of London Freemen’s School September 2014)

11+English (City of London Freemen’s School 2014)

11+ English (City of London School)

11+English (City of London School for Girls 2014)

11+ English (City of London School for Girls 2013)

11+English (City of London School for Girls 2012)

11+ English (City of London School for Girls 2010)

11+English (City of London School for Girls 2008)

English 11 plus tips

English 11+ Exams Part II

11+ English (Dulwich College)

11+English (Dulwich College Specimen Paper A)

11+ English (Dulwich College Specimen Paper B)

11+English (Dulwich College Specimen Paper C)

11+ English (Emanuel)

11+English (Emanuel 2012)

11+ English (Emanuel 2011)

11+English (Emanuel 2010)

11+ English (Francis Holland 2017)

11+English – Passage (Francis Holland 2017)

11+ English (Francis Holland 2016)

11+English – Passage (Francis Holland 2016)

11+ English (Francis Holland 2015)

11+English – Passage (Francis Holland 2015)

11+ English (Francis Holland 2014)

11+English – Passage (Francis Holland 2014)

11+ English (Francis Holland 2013)

11+English (Francis Holland 2012)

11+ English – Passage (Francis Holland 2012)

11+English (Francis Holland 2011)

11+ English – Passage (Francis Holland 2011)

11+English (Francis Holland 2010)

11+ English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2016)

11+English Group 2 Reading Passage (Godolphin & Latymer 2016)

11+ English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2015)

11+English Group 2 Reading Passage (Godolphin & Latymer 2015)

11+ English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2014)

11+English Group 2 Reading Passage (Godolphin & Latymer 2014)

11+ English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2013)

11+English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2012)

11+ English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2011)

11+English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2010

11+ English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2009)

11+English Group 2 (Godolphin & Latymer 2008)

Lastly, 11+ English Sample Paper (Godolphin & Latymer)

Our 11 plus English test practice.

English 11+ Exams Part III

Firstly, 11+English – Source (Haberdashers’ Aske’s 2014)

11+ English (Haberdashers’ Aske’s 2016)

11+English (Haberdashers’ Aske’s 2014)

11+ English (Haberdashers’ Aske’s 2013)

11+English (Haberdashers’ Aske’s 2011)

11+ English (Haberdashers’ Aske’s 2010)

11+English (Haberdashers’ Aske’s 2009)

11+ English – Paper 1 (ISEB 2009-10)

11+English – Paper 2 (ISEB 2009-10)

11+ English – Paper 1 (ISEB 2009)

11+English – Paper 2 (ISEB 2009)

11+ English – Paper 1 (ISEB 2008-9)

11+English – Paper 2 (ISEB 2008-9)

11+ English – Paper 1 (ISEB 2008)

11+English – Paper 2 (ISEB 2008)

11+ English – Paper 1 (ISEB 2006)

11+English (Junior King’s 2014)

11+ English (Junior King’s 2013)

11+English (Junior King’s 2012)

11+ English (Junior King’s 2011)

11+English (Kent College 2009)

11+ English – Comprehension (King Edward’s School Birmingham)

11+English – Composition (King Edward’s School Birmingham)

11+ English Section A (King’s College School Wimbledon 2017)

11+English Section B (King’s College School Wimbledon 2017)

11+ English Section C (King’s College School Wimbledon 2017)

11+English – Writing (King’s College School Wimbledon 2015)

11+ English – Reading (King’s College School Wimbledon 2015)

11Plus English (The King’s School Chester)

11+ English (Latymer Upper School 2014)

11Plus English (LIGSC 2009-10)

11+ English (Magdalen College School)

11Plus English – Practice Paper 1 (Merchant Taylors)

11+ English – Practice Paper 2 (Merchant Taylors)

11+English (NLIGSC 20 January 2012)

11+ English (NLIGSC 13 January 2012)

11+English Question Paper (NLIGSC 2011)

11+ English Reading Passage (NLIGSC 2011)

11+English (NLIGSC 2003)

11+ English (North London Collegiate School 2011)

11+English (North London Collegiate School 2010)

11+ English (North London Collegiate School 2009)

Finally, 11+English (North London Collegiate School 2008).

English 11+ Exams Part IV

Firstly, 11+ English Guidance for parents 2(North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2018)

11+English Group 1(North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium  2017)

11+ English Passage (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2016)

11+English (North London Independent Girls’ School’s Consortium 2016)

11+ English Group 1 (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2016)

11+English Group 1 (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2015)

11+ English Group 1 (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2014)

11+English Group 1 (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2013)

11+ English Group 1 (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2012)

11+English (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2011)

11+ English (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2010)

11+English (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2009)

11+ English (North London Independent Girls’ Schools’ Consortium 2008)

11+English (Oundle)

11+ English Specimen Paper 1 (The Perse Upper School Cambridge)

11+English Specimen Paper 2 (The Perse Upper School Cambridge)

11+ English Specimen Paper 3 (The Perse Upper School Cambridge)

11+English Specimen Paper 4 (The Perse Upper School Cambridge)

11+ English (The Queen’s School)

11+English (Reigate Grammar School 2012)

11+ English Sample Paper 2 Writing Paper (Royal Russell)

11+English (Sevenoaks 2017)

11+ English (Sevenoaks 2016)

11+English (Sevenoaks 2015)

11+ English (Sevenoaks 2014)

11+English (Sevenoaks 2013)

11+ English (Sevenoaks 2012)

11+English (Sevenoaks 2011)

Finally, 11+ English (Sevenoaks 2010)

English 11+ Exams Part V

Firstly, 11+English (St George’s College 2012)

Secondly, 11+ English – Paper 1 (St Paul’s Girls’ School)

Thirdly,11+English – Paper 2 (St Paul’s Girls’ School)

Next, 11+ English – Comprehension 3 (St Paul’s Girls’ School)

Followed by, 11+English – Comprehension 2 (St Paul’s Girls’ School)

11+ English Specimen Paper (The Cedars School)

Next, 11+English Specimen Paper 2017 (The Cedars School)

Then, 11+ English Sample Questions and Syllabus (Trinity School)

Finally, 10+ 11+ English Entrance Exam Structure (Whitgift)

English 11 plus tips

School Entrance Exams – Past School Test Papers

11+ Past Papers and 11+ Practice Sites.

School Entrance Exams 7+ and School Entrance Exams 8+.

Entrance Exams 9+ and School Entrance Exams 11+.

KS1 KS2 KS3 Past Papers

Please click on the links below to practice for your KS1, KS2, KS3 exams:

KS1 SAT Past Papers / KS1 Practice Sites

KS2 SAT Past Papers / KS2 Practice Sites

KS3 Practice Sites

english 11 plus exam paper – free 11 plus english – english 11 plus revision – 11 plus mock tests

11 Plus Pass Mark Tips

What score do you need for passing the 11+? /Health tips during exams / Getting high exam results / How to apply for grammar school test / Some last minute 11 Plus Strategies! / How to become an 11 Plus Tests tutor / Top Tips for Successful 11-plus Preparation / Bespoke 11+ Verbal reasoning tests designed for tutors

English 11 plus tips