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Start Preparing For The 11+ (Eleven-Plus) Exams Now! | Tutorwiz
Start Preparing For The 11+ (Eleven-Plus) Exams Now! | Tutorwiz

Start Preparing For The 11+ (Eleven-Plus) Exams Now!

Start Preparing For The 11+ (Eleven-Plus) Exams Now!

Is your child preparing for their upcoming 11+ exams? Want to make sure that they achieve the best results they can and have access to the very best secondary education? Now is the time to start preparing for the Eleven Plus and get ahead.

The Eleven Plus exam is a test administered to Key Stage 2 pupils in years 6 (usually aged 10 or 11) in schools throughout England and Northern Ireland. The 11Plus is used to govern admissions to grammar schools and other secondary schools, making it an incredibly important examination for many students. The 11+ was first introduced in 1944 and has been used to help students access better education since.

The 11 Plus exam, also sometimes known as a transfer test, gauges a student’s ability to solve problems through verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, in both English and maths. The 11+ tests for taught curriculum skills, evaluating the academic ability a student has developed through their primary education.

In this article we are going to take a deeper look at the Eleven Plus test, what it is made up of and how your child can start preparing for the 11+ now, putting them in the best position possible to succeed in their upcoming test.

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What Is The Eleven Plus Exam?

The 11+ exam is a standardized examination administered to certain students in year 6 (Key Stage Two) throughout the UK. It is a selective entrance exam which can help your child to access the very best secondary education possible. Until the early 1970s, all children sat the 11+ exam. However, it is no longer a compulsory test and is typically only used by those in areas with grammar schools and selective independent schools.

The 11 Plus exam is typically made up of 4 main subjects: Verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, mathematics and English. Examinations will vary from exam board to exam board and school to school. Your child’s 11+ exam may include all 4 subjects, or just a few of them.

The Eleven Plus focuses on core skills including but not limited to: reading, writing, comprehension, spelling, problem solving, calculations, arithmetic, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, percentages and more.

When Was The Eleven Plus Introduced?

The 11+ was first introduced in 1944 and has been used to help students access better secondary education since. The first 11 Plus exam was created by the Butler Education Act 1944. For more than 60 years, the 11+ exam was used to decide who qualified for a place at a grammar school. You as a parent are likely to remember the Eleven Plus exam, and even your parents too.

When Does The Eleven Plus Exam Take Place?

The Eleven Plus exam is typically administered to students towards the end of year 5 or in the beginning of year 6. It is commonly sat in September and results are usually issued in mid-October.

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When To Apply For The Eleven Plus Exam?

Most schools will open their applications for their 11+ exam in April or May for the following academic year, and parents will often need to have registered their child by June or July, around the time schools break up for their summer holidays. Deadlines for 11+ registration will vary from school to school, and can sometimes be as late as October, so make sure to check the specific registration process with your prospective schools.

Before you submit your applications, you will want to have a think about the schools you would like your child to attend, what their application process looks like, as well as checking the catchment area for where you can apply. Grammar schools and secondary schools often put on open days in the run up to their Eleven Plus application process, and we would urge parents to take this as an opportunity for you and your child to look at your options.

Once you have a list of the schools you would like your child to attend and are ready to apply, you will then need to make a start on the application process/paperwork. This will typically involve filling in a supplementary information form (SIF) as well as completing a local authority preference form. The schools you are applying to should be able to provide you with further details about their specific application process.

How Is The Eleven Plus Exam Marked?

Your child’s 11Plus exam will likely use standardised scores when being marked, meaning your child’s score will be compared with a large, nationally representative sample of those who have taken the test, removing any variable elements from test scores and allowing children to be compared equally.

With so many variables contributing to how the 11 Plus score is calculated, using a standardised score helps to keep grading/marking as fair as possible.

Your child’s standardised score will be calculated based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: Age, your child’s raw score (I.e. the actual mark they received e.g. 30 correct answers out of 40), different test papers and difficulty of the test paper.

The score required to pass the 11+ will vary from year to year and from school to school. It is up to each school to decide its pass mark each year and schools will often rank the scores of all students sitting the 11+ from best to worst, with places being awarded starting from the highest scoring student.

In regions with more grammar schools, such as Kent, the pass rate may be lower than in areas with fewer grammar schools like Greater London, due to the number of places on offer.

The national average pass mark for the Eleven Plus is thought to be over 80% of the total score. I.e, if your child’s 11+ standardized score is marked out of a total of 360, your child would need to score atleast 288 to have achieved an 80% pass rate.

With such a large number of students achieving a “pass”, it is important for your child to score as high as possible to have the best chances of getting into their preferred school.

Depending on the exam board your child’s test is administered by (with the CEM and GL assessment being the most common), answer formats will either be multiple choice or a standard format where your child writes their answers on the test paper.

How Is The 11 Plus Score Calculated?

The 11 Plus score is calculated based on a range of factors, including: Age of the student, difficulty of the test paper being sat, your child’s raw score and which test paper they sat. The reason for using a standardized score is to keep the test as fair as possible for all students.

A standardised score will then be calculated using a statistical process to give each test paper equal value, before your child’s total score is calculated based on their age and raw score. In order to calculate a standardised score, the exam board administrating your child’s exam will create a reference table for marking the tests.

The score required to pass the Eleven Plus will change from school to school and will depend on the number of places available as well as the scores achieved by students that year. Past papers and results are not taken into account when grading the Eleven Plus.

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How Long Is The Eleven Plus Exam?

The Eleven Plus exam typically lasts for around 40 – 60 minutes and children should get used to timed mock past papers to make sure that they are comfortable with the time limit.

It is common for children to not complete the paper before the end of the exam, but this isn’t necessarily a problem, thanks to standardised scoring.

By practicing in a timed and controlled environment, your child can go in to their 11+ exam with the confidence needed to pass. There should be a clock in the room your child sits their Eleven Plus test in, and they should be made aware of their start and finish time. Make sure that your child is confident reading a clock and calculating time intervals, so that they can quickly work out how much time is remaining.

Some schools may require your child to sit more than one round of exams and sometimes an interview may be required too.

Is The Eleven Plus Exam Hard/Difficult?

The Eleven+ test is widely considered to be challenging, and most children simply won’t pass. However, with the right support, proper revision and early intervention, your child is capable of passing the test. The 11+ has a reputation for being difficult and passing the test comes with a certain level of kudos, especially historically. By passing the exam, your child will have access to better secondary education opportunities and options.

The 11+ exam is what sets many children up for a successful secondary education and can be the foundations for a really strong performance in their secondary learning. The exam is hard and only the very best students from each year group will pass the paper and have access to their preferred schools.

To give your child the best chances of passing the 11+, start preparing them for their upcoming Eleven Plus exam now!

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How To Pass The Eleven Plus Exam?

If your child is going to be sitting an Eleven Plus exam you may be wondering what you can do to help your child to improve their chances of passing the test?

The most important thing you can do to help your child to succeed in their upcoming 11+ is to start preparing early! Eleven Plus preparation should start at least 12 months before they are due to sit their test, but preparation plans can be put in place as early as year 4.

In order to make sure your child passes their 11+ exam, you should first find out which exam board will administer their test. Once you know which exam board is administering their test, you can then look at that exam board’s individual 11+ syllabus to identify the topics your child should be preparing for. By starting to prepare for the exam as early as possible, you can ensure that your child is in the best position possible to go into their exam with confidence and pass the test.

Minimising any additional pressures and stresses and ensuring that your child remains calm and focused will create the perfect environment for your child’s Eleven Plus prep, and will help them to retain information for longer.

Past papers can be a great way to prepare your child for their upcoming test and gives your child a flavor of what to expect in their 11+. Practice both multiple choice and standard format past papers to make sure that your child is prepared for both type of exam formats.

Seeking support from your child’s teachers and primary school is another great preparation tactic. Many other students in your child’s year group are also likely preparing for the 11+ and your child’s school may even put on specific Eleven Plus tutoring, revision and preparation sessions, lessons or courses. Your child’s teacher may even be able to help you by providing some targeted 11+ homework to help in their preparation.

Getting support from other parents whose child has recently passed their 11+ is another great preparation tactic. There are websites and forums dedicated to 11+ preparation and many parents are happy to give advice and tips. Some parents may be willing to offer 11 Plus coaching to your child or even one-to one (1-2-1) 11 Plus home tuition if they are local.

Finally, and one of the most effective approaches for preparing for the 11+ test and ensuring that your child passes, is to enroll on an online tutoring programme. Online 11+ tutoring programmes such as Tutorwiz are the perfect solution to your child’s Eleven Plus preparation. Not only do you benefit from a huge catalogue of online resources, fun and interactive games, activities, workbooks, quizzes and more. But your child also benefits from taking their exam preparation into their own hands, at home. This helps to reduce the stress and pressures surrounding your child’s Eleven Plus preparation.

With the Tutoriwz programme, your child benefits from a dedicated team of 11 Plus tutors who are always on hand to support your child whenever they get stuck. Our team of tutors have helped numerous children to succeed in their 11+ tests and know exactly what is needed to help your child to pass.

The Eleven+ exam is designed to be challenging. It is a selective entrance exam with only the very best pupils succeeding.

If you would like to find out some more information about the Tutorwiz platform and how it can be used to prepare your child for their upcoming Eleven Plus exams, then please get in touch with us today! You can get in touch with the Tutorwiz team by using our contact form via email at or by calling us on 0800 181 4221. Alternatively, you can request a FREE Education Assessment for your child where we will identify any knowledge gaps your child currently has as well as their individual strengths and weaknesses. We can then put together an effective learning plan for your child to help them to succeed! Find out more today…

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