Welcome to popular 11 plus questions, inclduing what the 11 plus is, why you would take it, and other popular 11 plus myths addressed.
Popular 11 plus questions
If you’ve arrived at this blog post, you’ve probably heard that your son or daughter will need to take something called the ‘11+ exams’ in the near future. These exams are shrouded in an aura of mystique, with different parents saying different (and often conflicting) things about them. The purpose of this blog post, therefore, is to give you a brief introduction into what the exams actually are, and to dispel some of the popular myths which have grown up around them.
Beginning with what the 11+ exams are, they represent the general set of exams that pupils in Year 6 (primary school) take to get into grammar schools and many private secondary schools.
Unlike most state schools, these schools are selective in which students they take – not all will be accepted, even if you live in the local area.
The four primary topics evaluated in the 11 Plus exams are:
- Verbal reasoning,
- Non-verbal reasoning,
- and English
The choice of subjects can vary for each school, as does the layout of the papers and the length of the tests. This is an important point to note; whilst schools have no control over national exams such as GCSEs and A-levels, the schools do have control over what exams students do at the 11+ level. Therefore, your preparation will necessarily depend on to which schools you’re applying.
What’s the 11+ timeline for 2021-22?
For 2021-22, the 11+ timeline looks roughly like this:
- September 2021: Most grammar schools’ exams take place in the first two weeks of September. However, it depends on which school you’ve applied for as there are some differences between schools.
- Around mid-October, the 11 plus results are posted for most grammar schools.
- In March each year, grammar schools’ allocations have to be confirmed by 1st March.
- Then in September 2022, the new academic year begins with a new Year 7 intake for that year’s 11 plus exam.
Why take the 11+?
Some students use the 11+ to enter a grammar or private school. The exam is needed since admission to any of these schools is extremely competitive, and it identifies the most academically qualified individuals.
Grammar schools tend to have a better quality of education when compared to state schools. They also have more facilities (bigger campus, multiple sports halls, science labs, equipment etc). Therefore, many parents prefer to send their children to these schools
Popular 11 plus myths busted
- The frst 11 plus myth is that the SATs and the 11+ are basically the same things”
However, SATs and the 11+ are not the same. SATs are set out by the government’s KS2 syllabus. Hence, all SAT exams including KS2 must support the full range of pupils’ abilities. However, for 11+ grammar schools, the 11 plus exam is based upon selecting the “top” pupils. the 11 plus therefore is always tailored towards assessing specific superior learners’ ability. For example, in maths and English.
- Secondly, the 11 plus myth that all grammar schools are better than state schools.
But, not every grammar school in the country is exceptional. Certain could even be worse than some normal state schools. It’s a good idea to do some research before the exam. In particualr, to studt Ofsted ratings. Consider all those grammar schools where your house is in catchment. Then figure out where it’s best to apply.
- Thirdly, the 11 plus myth that my child only needs to pass the exam to get a place.
However, there are always two grammar school entry criteria.
Yes, passing the 11 plus exam with a good mark. The second criteria is that you must also live in the catchment area. This essentially means somewhere in that grammar school’s surrounding area.
- Fourth, that my child has to attend tuition to pass the 11+
Many parents believe that tuition is necessary to pass these exams. However, paying for tuition on its own does not guarantee your child a place at one of these schools. Printing out practice papers is beneficial, but getting them familiar with the test format is one of the most important aspects. You’ll need to set out time to help them with their studies and to advise them when they’re stumped on a particular question. Fortunately, EasyA is a completely free app which gets you maths support from expert tutors within minutes – this is a must-have for anyone taking the 11+.
- Our final 11 plus myth is that the pass mark for the 11 plus exam is the same every year.
But, 11 plus pass marks differ for admission to selective schools.
Each year, the pass mark changes. This makes it difficult to have a set 11 plus pass mark. This depends on that year’s performance – as well as how many pupils sit that year’s 11 plus exam.
Popular SchoolEntranceTests.com 11 plus posts
- You may like to use our guide: 11 Plus Exam By UK Region.
- Our 11 Plus preparation tips.
- For 11 plus parents interested in outer London grammar schools, we have a useful London Grammar school list.
You should establish the type of exam board used by your chosen grammar school. Are the grammar schools of interest CEM 11+ exam Grammar schools. If so focus on School Entrance Tests’ 11 plus practice tests of CEM 11 Plus type. Otherwise it’s likely you are considering Grammars using GL Assessment. Thus you should focus on School Entrance Tests’ 11 plus practice tests of GL 11 Plus type.
Popular 11 plus questions