Independent schools tend to test from a wider syllabus than selective state schools. The exams may also be a little longer, at one hour, rather than the 50 minutes commonly found in the 11 plus tests.

The core topics are broadly similar, and are based on the syllabus for Key Stage 2 (KS2) Maths. However the independent sector exams tend to have harder and more taxing questions towards the end of the examination. These questions may be used by the school as indicators of which children are potential scholarship candidates.

Furthermore as a general rule the questions are often “worded problems”, requiring the child to use the written information to come to an answer, whereas in the state sector they will often be straightforward mathematical questions, such as working out the answer to a sum.

A typical independent sector maths exam might expect your child to have mastered:

  1. The 4 basic operations on integers: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  2. BODMAS (or BIDMAS) especially the use of Brackets
  3. Shape Recognition: square, rectangle, parallelogram, rhombus and trapezium
  4. Rounding numbers e.g. to 2 decimal places or 10 or 100 etc
  5. Factors and multiples
  6. Sequences e.g. with common differences
  7. Fractions and common denominators
  8. Decimals as used in money, lengths, time
  9. Rounded Decimals e.g. nearest 10th
  10. Ratios: Solve simple problems involving ratio and direct proportion.
  11. Worded Problems e.g. equally likely, fair, unfair, certain
  12. Summary Statistics e.g. mean, median, mode or range
  13. Percentages & percentages of whole numbers
  14. Linear Symmetry
  15. Rotational Symmetry
  16. Rotations, Reflections & Translations
  17. Prime Numbers up to 100
  18. Square numbers up to 225
  19. Decimal – Fraction conversions & equivalents
  20. Common Units e.g. time, mass, time, perimeter, area, money
  21. Unit Conversions e.g. kg to mg, m to cm
  22. Speed, distance & time problems
  23. Scale reading
  24. Visuals Interpretation e.g. tables, pie charts
  25. Areas of common shapes e.g. squares, rectangles, right angled triangles and circle
  26. Perimeters of common shapes e.g. squares, rectangles, right angled triangles and circle
  27. Basic Algebra
  28. Coordinates of Quadrants
  29. Geometry, Right Angles, Perpendicular, parallel Lines, acute angles
  30. Angles in triangle, straight line, circles