How to Pass the 11 Plus and Find the Correct Exam Board
Written by Miss Love (Qualified Teacher)
If you’re looking to enter your child into the 11 Plus exam, you’ve probably heard of all the cliché advice such as finding the best tuition centre out there or how you need to ensure your child completes x amount of past exam papers. But none of that matters if you and your child don’t have a clear plan in place to achieve that one goal, which is essentially getting into a Grammar School.

Think of preparing for the 11 Plus like a marathon. You wouldn’t just start sprinting as fast as you can into the distance. You’d be expected to actively prepare months in advance and apply what you’ve learnt in training leading up to your race. The same applies here. If your child breaks up the workload into smaller chunks over a period of time, there’s no doubt about it that progress will be made.

Parents, think back. When was the last time you had to sit an exam like this? For some of you, it may have been recently, for many of you, we’re guessing it’s been a while, and maybe not even since school. So, we challenge you to take a mock paper test yourself, in exam conditions of course. This way, you would really get a feel for how the 11 Plus works and how it is written. But more importantly, it will give you an insight as to what exactly it is your child is expected to achieve and the rollercoaster of emotions they may experience with success and failure, making you better equipped to help with their revision during their 11 Plus learning journey.

Not all of us have the time to sit down and do this of course, so we hope this guide helps you feel more prepared for what lies ahead. Let’s take a peek behind the curtain and discover what you really need to know to ensure that your child passes the 11 Plus.

Before you embark on your child’s 11 Plus learning journey, be sure to know exactly what test your child is taking. There are two main exam boards that administer the test which would be either CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) or GL (Granda Learning). There are alternatives to consider also, such as the CSSE Consortium of Schools and other selective schools administering their own entrance exams.

Below are several areas of the UK that each exam board covers. If you are still unsure about which particular exam your child will be sitting, a good idea would be to get in contact with your Local Education Authority. Whilst every effort is made to ensure this information is updated periodically, it is important for you to do due diligence and research every school's admission, exam board and current policies to ensure you have the most up to date information.

CEM: Birmingham, Cumbria, Dorset, Lancashire Medway, Northern Ireland and Wiltshire.

GL: Berkshire, Bexley, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Kent, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral and Wolverhampton.

GL or CEM: Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford and Yorkshire.
11 Plus Exam Papers
How your child will be tested and the subjects covered will largely depend on which county you live in and which school you apply to because the local authorities or individual schools can decide which subjects to test. Most commonly, the 11 Plus exam will consist of all or some of the tests in English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning with a multiple choice format. A written piece of work is also now common practice for English.

The way the tests are laid out may be slightly different. Exam boards like to make it look like there are huge differences between themselves in order to try and encourage a bigger market, but ultimately, they all end up covering the same content, perhaps with a different title attached to it or a different style or layout.

The CEM exams differ by area as they are produced to each school or local authority’s requirements, but generally the 11 Plus exam covers Verbal Reasoning (English), Non Verbal Reasoning (Spatial Awareness) and Numerical Reasoning (Maths).

The GL exams may differ to fit the selection criteria of each school, but generally the 11 Plus exam will cover English (including comprehension, spelling, punctuation and grammar), Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning.
About Study Hat
Provider of engaging and interactive learning experiences both online and in 1:1 and Group Lessons.

Here to equip your child to pass the 11+ and get into Grammar school, pass SATs and just help them excel at school and reach their full potential.

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How to Pass the 11+ Exam

About Author: Miss Love (Hayley)

A Qualified Teacher and Expert Child Tamer
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