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.