School Entrance Tests‘ wish you all the very best of luck with your 11 plus !
- Firstly, our free verbal reasoning 11 plus papers;
- Secondly, , our 11 plus results day guide;
- Then next our recommended 11 plus Maths papers; and
- Finally an extensive Local Grammar Schools Guide for parents
11 plus practice papersThis is a guide for parents of current Year 5 children looking to prepare them for the 11+ Exam in September 2022 to enter their child into Year 7 at a grammar school in September 2023.
Most of our 11 plus practice papers and 11 plus test papers are free.
2022 11 plus exam timelines
Why go to a Grammar School?Grammar schools are some of the highest performing schools listed in national league tables. Another perceived advantage of attending a grammar school is that of social mobility.
How do I best support my child in preparing for the 11+?
- The best time to start preparing your child for the 11+ depends entirely on their current attainment levels and experience.
- Any support or tuition focused on preparing for the 11+ exam also brings a significant and broader benefit to your child’s, in terms of their general school work and confidence.
- Some parents will choose to prepare their child using resources available, such as the series of Bond 11+ books or GL and CEM past papers; other parents will choose to send their child to 11+ group tuition with classes outside of school hours.
- Other parents may choose to enlist the services of a professional tutor or teacher, who specialises in preparing children for the 11+ exam.
- Teachers To Your Home provides specialist 11+ Examination tutors who have considerable experience in preparing children for entry into grammar schools.
- All of our 11+ tutors are qualified and experienced teachers; a significant number working as teachers within the Primary, Prep and Grammar School Sectors and who have thorough knowledge and experience of the 11+ process.
- Most parents request 11+ tuition from Year 4 or 5. Initially, our 11+ tutors will provide an assessment of the child’s current levels.
What to do if your child does not pass the 11+?If your child doesn’t do as well as you expected, parents can submit an appeal to challenge the decision. You can also consider applying again for a later selection, at 12+ or 13+.
11 plus practice papers and 11 plus test papers
- You need to consider 11 Plus Exam By UK Region.
- If you are considering those grammar schools in Outer London then we have a useful London Grammar school list.
- Otherwise, England’s other grammar schools are accessed from this regional grammar school list.
Our top 11 plus tips
- 11 Plus Maths practice: Firstly, our useful mental Maths practice. You may also find these CAT Practice Tips Intro
- Our 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Practice: In our opinion, these are some of the best 11 plus tips for Verbal Reasoning. Next, the School Entrance Tests 11+ Verbal Reasoning Practice. Here is our book on Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests
- English 11 plus test practice and 11 plus English tips: firstly, to improve your literacy Secondly, practice to improve your spelling and grammar. Thirdly, some general 11 plus English tips.
- 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning tips: We are very proud of our 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning article with the City Kids magazine.
Slough and Reading Exam Format
The Slough and Reading 11 plus exam comprises two separate 11 plus papers; each lasting approximately 60 to 65 minutes. There is a mixture of questions on comprehension, verbal reasoning, mathematical reasoning, and nonverbal reasoning. The papers are categorized into timed sections as well as the instruction we provide it on an audio soundtrack. Most of the questions are multiple-choice and the answers are completed (and then marked) using a separate machine-readable sheet. Next, some more challenging Maths test tips.
11plus Science papers
In our opinion, your child needs to view going to a grammar school as one option for them. That way if they don’t get in, it Is because grammar schools weren’t the best fit. So, be open about the amount of 11 plus prep and 11 plus practice that will be required. Promote a growth mindset by avoiding the belief that your child has failed somehow. 11 plus tutor cost guide With average prices now around £40 an hour, the 11 plus tutor costs can be quite scary. However, there are several ways to keep your spending down. First the bad news. Getting a regular tutor for your child isn’t cheap and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. As any economics student will tell you the price charged for a service depends largely on demand and supply. 11 Plus SchoolEntranceTests poster And with grammar schools performing particularly well in last year’s GCSE and A-Level exams (see the feature on the Parent Power League Table), the demand for getting into them is expected to be even greater in 2019.
How much does a 11+ tutor cost?
Reports also show that the number of tutored children is also rising sharply. According to education and social mobility charity The Sutton Trust, one in four secondary school children now receives private tuition. This compares to less than one in five a decade ago.
However, the good news is that prices can vary considerably and it is definitely worth shopping around. A quick look at the Tutorfair website, which acts as a hub for private tutors, shows that the typical price of a tutor per hour outside of London is between £30 and £50.
11 plus tutor cost guide
One important factor is whether the tutor is a qualified teacher. Basically, you will pay much more if they are qualified and have significant experience of tutoring – ie. 10 years or more. You may also pay more if they have an Oxbridge degree, or if they are a specialist in a certain subject.
This is particularly true of Maths tutors. Of course in London, you can expect to pay even more, given the generally high demand for grammar schools in the area.
Top 11 plus tutor cost tips
- Don’t assume that the most expensive is the best As with most things, it is possible to bag a bargain.
- You just need to do your homework. TV programmes like Shop Well For Less show us you don’t need to spend a fortune on flashy labels to get good quality products. So it is with tutors.
- Many tuition websites provide user ratings for their tutors. And it is definitely worth reading these before you make a decision.
- Also don’t necessarily assume that a qualified teacher (ie one with PGCE, QTS certificates) is the best person to tutor your child.
- Even though qualified teachers generally command much higher prices than non-qualified teachers they aren’t necessarily better.
- There are some very good graduates out there with a good track record of getting children through their 11 Plus. Expect to pay around £30 for an unqualified teacher compared to around £50 per hour for a qualified teacher.
- Don’t commit to too many sessions! Every child is different, but generally speaking, you shouldn’t spend more than a few months getting your child tutored for the 11 Plus.
Splitting the bill
- Using a group tutor inevitably brings the costs down. For example, tuition company Explore Learning charges approximately £129 per month for two sessions a week of 1 hour 15 minutes each.
- These take place with up to six children per tutor. This compares favourably price-wise to one-to-one tuition which currently averages around £40 per hour.
Do it Yourself!
OK, this might not be your preferred option. However, parents with a bit of time and patience can invest in coaching books designed around the 11 Plus exams. You can find a vast selection of various papers on this site.
Who were grammar schools aimed at?
Grammar schools are state secondary schools which select their pupils by means of an examination taken by children at age 10 or 11. This is known as the “11-Plus”.
The first grammar schools, called ‘scolae grammaticales’, such as King’s School in Canterbury, first appeared from the 6th century. They were usually attached to cathedrals and monasteries. They focused on teaching Latin which was the language of the church. However, it wasn’t until the Education Act of 1944 that the first state-funded grammar schools emerged.
They were aimed at the most intellectual 25% of children (as defined by the 11-Plus). They focused mostly on an academic curriculum, including Latin. Initially, children studied for the School Certificate and the Higher School Certificate. However, these were replaced in 1951 with the General Certificate of Education (GCE) at ‘O’ (Ordinary) level and ‘A’ (Advanced) level.
In the 1940s and 1950s, there were over 1200 grammar schools that were fully state funded. There were also a smaller number of direct grammar schools which were partly state-funded but also took money from fee-paying parents (ie. Manchester Grammar School).
When is the 11 Plus taken?
Children generally sit the 11-Plus test for grammar schools during the Autumn term of Year 6, which is the beginning of their last year at primary school. This means that they are likely to be 10 or 11 years old when they take the exam. They will enter secondary school in September of the following year (Year 7) when they are 11 or just turning 12.
Other types of state school
The alternative was secondary modern schools. Aimed at children aged between 11 and 15, secondary modern schools taught some academic subjects, such as arithmetic. However, they usually focused on more ‘practical’ skills including metalwork, woodwork and cookery. Before the advent of the national curriculum in 1988, it was up to the individual school to decide the exact subjects they taught.
Who sets the questions for the 11-Plus?
There are several companies which provide 11-Plus exam papers. However, the main two are the GL Assessment and Durham’s CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring). Although GL Assessment still remains the biggest supplier of 11-Plus papers for schools and local authorities, Durham CEM’s papers are gaining in popularity because they claim to be more ‘tutor-proof’.
CEM 11 plus
According to its website “CEM aims to reduce any disadvantage created between children who are tutored for tests and those who are not.” It continues: “Our assessments are designed to enable all children to demonstrate their academic potential without the need for excessive preparation.”
Both grammar schools and private schools are usually academically selective and require the student to pass an entrance test. Today there are around 163 grammar schools in England and a further 67 in Northern Ireland. Only a handful of local authorities in England have kept selective schools across all of the boroughs. These include Kent, Medway, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire. In other areas, such as Gloucestershire, Trafford and Slough there is a mix. There are also a number of grammar schools in a few of the London boroughs as well as in Birmingham and Bournemouth. Approximately 45% of children in Northern Ireland attend a grammar school compared to just 5% in England.
How do I find grammar schools in my area?
Best grammar school results?
The Telegraph’s top grammar schools list is based on GCSE results. Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston Upon Thames was the number one grammar school. The second was Upton Court Grammar School in Slough (boys and girls) and third was Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet (boys).
grammar school application tips
How do 11+ pass rates vary?
October’s test results come in the form of a standardised score. Parents will then have until the end of October to apply for secondary school places. Place allocation is at the beginning of March.
It varies considerably around the country. Kingston and Sutton’s four grammar schools in Kingston are the most oversubscribed/ The 11+ pass rate is less than 5 percent. In areas where the grammar system has been retained in full, the 11+ pass rate is considerably higher. In Buckinghamshire, it is around 30 percent each year and in Kent, it is about 50 per cent.
Can I appeal my Grammar School application?
It is possible to appeal a decision if you believe that the school has breached its own admission policies, that your child’s future could be harmed by not attending the school, or if there’s absolutely compelling proof that your child underperformed in the exams. The appeal procedure will normally involve submitting evidence, such as a letter from the head of the primary school, as well as attending an interview. However, don’t build your hopes up! Only around one in four appeals are successful. For more information, visit School Appeals Services.
Effective 11 plus tutor tipsTutoring for the 11 Plus requires a strategy. It isn’t something you can do and just hope for the best. However, remember, one size doesn’t fit all. What works for one person might not work for another. In this article, we look at some of the revision techniques your child can use to help you achieve success.
1. Don’t start too earlyWhile every child is different, there is absolutely no point starting revision in Year 4 for an exam that usually takes place at the beginning of Year 6. Typically, most children start revising between Christmas and Easter in Year 5 – in other words between 6 and 9 months before the 11 Plus. Any longer and it could be counter-productive, causing the child too much stress.
2. Decide how long to revise forThe average 10 or 11 year old can only fully concentrate for around 30 minutes at a time. So it’s best to make revision sessions no longer than this. Assuming they are now revising for entrance exams in September 2020 at the earliest, it is probably enough to revise for 30 minutes every other day. However, as exams get closer this should increase to every day. It should also include practising exam papers regularly. See point 9.
3. Work out how your child learns most effectivelyNot everyone learns in the same way. We are all different. Put simply, there are several different types of intelligence. These include linguistic intelligence (words), logical-mathematical intelligence (numbers), spatial intelligence (pictures) and kinesthetic (sensory – ie. touch). Knowing what kind of learner you are is key to deciding which revision techniques work best for you. For example, a visual learner will learn more from mind maps while a linguistic learner will learn more from reading textbooks. For more information on different types of effective learning why not take our quiz here.
4. Put together a revision timetablePart of getting organised is to put together a revision timetable. You need to ensure that revision becomes a normal part of your child’s week. Aim to start with building the core skills, especially around English and Maths. This includes practising mental maths and improving literacy skills. In addition to the revision, it is best if your child is reading regularly as this helps to improve vocabulary. Obviously, the closer you get to the actual 11 Plus exam, the more important it is to practise papers and do mock exams under test conditions.
Effective 11 plus exam revision tips
5. Tailor learning for the actual examIt’s important to bear in mind that not all 11 Plus exams are the same. They vary depending on where you live. Therefore, you need to do your homework early on to find out exactly what subjects are tested. Most include Maths, English and verbal reasoning. Many also include non-verbal reasoning too. Also the format and types of questions may vary depending on which board has set them. There are two main exam boards: CEM (Durham University) and GL Assessment. How you best prepare your child will depend on which exam board the school they want to go to uses.
6. Plug any knowledge gapsInevitably your child will have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to knowledge. These should be identified early on and built into the revision timetable. Often these learning gaps are in subjects that your child may be unfamiliar with, such as verbal and non verbal reasoning. However, many children also struggle with Maths or English, especially if English is a second language in the home. Make sure you address these weaknesses early on and employ a subject-specific tutor if necessary (see below).
7. Hire a tutor if necessaryGetting a tutor for an 11 Plus exam is very common. However, they don’t come cheap. Typically you will pay around £25 to £35 an hour for a one-to-one tutor. However, it could be considerably more for the top London private schools. The advantage of a tutor is that they will be familiar with the school tests in your area. In particular, they will know what is required in terms of subject knowledge to pass the 11 Plus.
8. Create a calm environmentWe can’t stress how important this is. As a parent you need to stay calm and patient during revision sessions. Otherwise the child could associate revision with stress, or even fear. If they get something wrong simply go over it again, don’t shout at them or put them down. Also if possible make sure revision takes place in a quiet room. It should also be free of potential distractions such as TVs and mobile phones!
9. Practise exam papersObviously as it gets closer to the actual 11 Plus Exams your child will need to practise exam papers regularly as part of their revision timetable. These are widely available on our website. It’s important that your child gets used to the format and answering questions under pressure.
10. Sit a mock examOne of the most important revision techniques is to simulate the actual 11 Plus exam as best as possible. Ideally this should take place no more than a couple of weeks before the exam. Although it’s not completely possible to replicate exam conditions, it’s vital your child gets used to managing their time. Even little things such as handling their materials (pens, pencils, maths equipment) and turning the page carefully so they don’t miss questions are important.
Effective 11 plus tutor tips
Becoming an 11 plus tutor tipsAlthough many 11-plus exams claim to be tutor-proof, coaching for secondary school entrance tests is a huge industry. Parents want to give their child any possible advantage over the competition, so there is a high demand for good 11-plus tutors. More than a quarter of state school pupils are estimated to have had some form of private tuition. There are no formal requirements or qualifications for becoming an 11-plus tutor. In theory, anyone can set up as an independent tutor. However, you will need a supply of past papers and other teaching resources. Set up an online profile for your tutoring business and use social media and online 11-plus forums and directories to find clients. Tutors often get referrals by word of mouth. Your business will only thrive if you can successfully coach children to pass grammar school and private school entrance exams!
Tutoring agencies employ 11-plus tutorsSo, many tutoring agencies employ 11-plus tutors on a freelance basis. They will typically take a commission, but provide tutoring resources. Tutoring agencies typically require their tutors to be educated to an undergraduate degree level. Additionally, they expect tutors to have a DBS certificate. Tutors may also consider taking out liability insurance. Yes, it is a very good idea. Even though your child may be capable of getting into grammar school, it is important they familiarise themselves with the types of questions that could be asked, the format of the exam papers and how to perform under exam conditions to give themselves the best chance. There is not a one size fits all solution! However, generally speaking, we advise no more than 12 months of tuition for the Eleven Plus. So, starting at the beginning of Year 5 is probably a good time. At the very latest, January of Year 5 for exams taking place in September of Year 6.
How do you choose the right tutor?Word of mouth is often the best way. Look for tutors who’ve gained positive reviews from other parents and successfully prepared students for the 11-Plus exam in your area. However, don’t take recommendations as gospel. What’s important is that your child gets on with their tutor. Many tutoring services will be happy to offer trial sessions at a lower rate so you can get a feel for the tutor before committing to full-priced lessons.
How much tutoring is needed?Once again there is no precise answer about how much is the right amount. During term time, most tutors will hold a weekly session of between 60 to 90 minutes with additional homework set each week. In the holidays the tutor may also recommend extra sessions. This is especially important in the summer period leading up to the 11 Plus exams in Autumn.
Tutor Training Programme
- Make sure which exam you are preparing for.
- Check what you need to know for the specific exam. Have a look at our GL exams Explained. These are different for the CEM exam.
- Study the content specified.
- Do as many practice exam papers or quizzes you can find. Have a look at our Ten Minute Maths Quiz.
11 plus practice papers – 11 plus mock – 11 plus test