If your child is approaching the end of Year 5 or embarking on Year 6, chances are you have come across the 11 Plus exam. This exam is a significant part of the selection process for grammar schools in the UK, and it can pose a formidable challenge for both parents and children.
In this comprehensive overview of the 11 Plus exam, we will delve into its content, and structure and provide valuable tips to assist your child’s preparation.
What is the 11 Plus Exam?
The 11 Plus exam is a selective test taken by children in their final year of primary school. The exam is used by some grammar schools as part of their admissions process, with successful candidates gaining entry to these highly sought-after schools.
There are two main types of 11 Plus exams:
- CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring), although since September 2023, CEM will no longer provide paper-based exam papers; and
- GL (Granada Learning).
The CEM exam is used by some regions, including Birmingham and Warwickshire, while other regions, including Kent and Essex, use the GL exam.
What Does the 11 Plus Exam Involve?
The 11 Plus exam typically tests children’s knowledge and skills in four key areas – English, maths, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning.
- English – This section of the exam assesses children’s comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary skills. Children will be expected to demonstrate their ability to read and understand a range of texts and answer questions based on them.
- Maths – This section of the exam assesses children’s understanding of mathematical concepts, including arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Children will be expected to solve problems and apply their mathematical knowledge to real-life situations.
- Verbal Reasoning – This section of the exam assesses children’s ability to reason and problem-solve with words. Children will be presented with a range of verbal puzzles, and they will need to use logic and deduction to solve them.
- Non-Verbal Reasoning – This section of the exam assesses children’s ability to reason and problem-solve with pictures and diagrams. Children will be presented with a range of non-verbal puzzles, and they will need to use logic and deduction to solve them.
How is the 11 Plus Exam Structured?
The structure of the 11 Plus exam varies depending on the region and exam board. However, most exams consist of a combination of multiple-choice questions and written answers. The duration of the exam also varies, but it is typically around two hours long.
It is essential to note that the 11 Plus exam is a highly competitive exam, and many children will be taking it alongside your child. This means that your child needs to be fully prepared to give themselves the best possible chance of success.
How to Help Your Child Prepare for the 11 Plus Exam
Preparing for the 11 Plus exam can be a challenging and stressful experience for both parents and children. However, there are steps you can take to help your child prepare for the exam and boost their chances of success.
Many parents make the mistake of leaving their child’s 11 Plus preparation until the last minute. However, this can be a recipe for disaster, as your child needs time to develop their skills and knowledge. Experts recommend starting 11 Plus preparation at least a year in advance of the exam.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice papers are an excellent way for children to familiarise themselves with the format and style of the exam. Additionally, they will help your child to identify areas where they may need extra help and practice.
Focus on Weaknesses
It’s crucial to identify areas where your child may be struggling and provide targeted support. For example, if your child struggles with maths, then you may need to focus on providing additional maths tuition or resources.
Reading is an essential part of the English section of the 11 Plus exam. Encouraging your child to read a variety of texts, including fiction and non-fiction, can help to improve their comprehension and vocabulary skills.
Find the Right Tutor
The right tutor can significantly impact your child’s 11 Plus preparation. At Geek School Tutoring, specialise in providing personalised support to help your child prepare for the exam. With over a decade of experience, we have a proven track record of success, with 95% of our students gaining entry to their first-choice schools.
Statistics to Consider
According to research from The Sutton Trust, only 3% of children from low-income families attend grammar schools, compared to 20% of children from high-income families. Additionally, research from The Education Policy Institute found that the 11 Plus exam has a significant impact on social mobility, with children from disadvantaged backgrounds less likely to gain entry to grammar schools than their more affluent peers.
These statistics demonstrate the importance of ensuring that all children, regardless of their background, have an equal opportunity to succeed in the 11 Plus exam.
Preparing for the 11 Plus exam can be a daunting prospect, but with the right support and preparation, your child can succeed. Starting early, practising regularly, and finding the right tutor can make a significant difference in your child’s preparation. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your child has the best possible chance of gaining entry to their chosen grammar school and securing their future success.
If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your child prepare for the 11 Plus exam, then be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more information and resources. And remember, by investing in your child’s education and future success, you are investing in the future of our society as a whole.