11plus

Welcome to Eleven Plus Exams

Whilst the UK Government has its own definition of Key Stages, one “Key Stage” that cannot be taken lightly by parents is the decision on whether or not your child should attempt the competitive world of the 11 plus examinations and scholarships. The examinations typically serve as part of the criteria for gaining entrance to both Grammar Schools and Senior Private Schools, often the precursor to elite universities.
These competitive examinations so early in life are in fact one of the most crucial decisions a parent can make, as it could significantly impact your child’s life and career.

We assume that you have already made the decision for your son or daughter to attempt the 11 plus entrance examinations and that you are seeking to give your child the best possible chance of success in whichever school that you have elected.
Just as it is never too soon to start preparing for these examinations it is never too late either. In a situation where a single percentage point can make all the difference between success and failure, it is clear that every minute spent in preparing your child is a minute invested in ensuring his or her future success.

Negotiating 11 plus exams has always been a minefield since there is no real national standard examination, and what your child may be tested on can usually vary from school to school and from one LEA to another. To add to the complexity, schools from one year to another often change the format of their examination by changing the supplier of the examination papers or revising their own. Even once you have narrowed down the school(s) to apply for and the type of paper you are targeting, the process of preparation can be daunting and emotionally draining for both the parent and the child involved.

There are a lot of myths and rumours surrounding the exams and it is important to distil the relevant facts. We have tried as far as possible to make the facts easily accessible.

In relation to exams, teachers advocate practice, practice and practice but in the world of 11 plus examinations where do you start? Where do you get help? Where can you meet other parents experiencing what you are? Where can you find a tutor? What can and should you buy to help your child?

As parents who have been through the process, we have developed this website to ease the burden as far as possible and try and make the preparation lighter by creating something we wished already existed to help us when we were preparing our children for the 11 plus. Our aim is to provide all the information you will need to guide your child confidently to success in the Eleven Plus Exams as well as offering a support forum for parents.

All eleven plus exams for Grammar school entrance and senior school entrance have different selection processes, but the exams for which your child will typically need to prepare for are:

Verbal reasoning (VR – problem solving with sequences of words, or numbers)
Non-verbal reasoning (Non-VR – reasoning with shapes, patterns and numbers)
Mathematics
English

Advanced preparation is key to success in the 11 plus selection process, as familiarisation with the exam papers and styles of question types will help you and your child identify areas of weakness for extra guidance and concentrated practice.

We have carried out an extensive search talking to teachers, authors, publishers and other parents who have successfully negotiated the process, and collated what we would, sometimes with hindsight, consider as useful to have on such a resource. We hope therefore that you find this website to be invaluable in the critical months ahead.

Finally, Good luck!

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