The 11+ writing task is a standardised test of English language proficiency. The writing tasks for grammar and independent schools are designed to measure a child’s ability to effectively use vocabulary knowledge, grammar skills, spelling and punctuation.
The 11+ Reading subtest assesses your understanding of spoken and written information in everyday situations. You will be asked questions about different types of text and you will have to read short passages aloud.
Independent School Essay Writing
Many children often feel that the writing task part of their 11 Plus exam is a monumental task, and parents preparing them for it often feel the same way! After all, unlike the maths, English, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning papers where the answers are found, this part of the exam is based on your child producing the content.
The very fact that your child has creative freedom to produce a piece of writing they have conceived should be seen as a positive. There is no need to memorise mathematical formulas or anything else – they need the practice of writing before the exam to set them on the right track!
The 11 Plus Writing Task: How Long Will Your Child Get?
The 11+ writing task can last for as little as 20 minutes or for as long as 50 minutes. The average timeframe is usually half an hour, but every school decides on the length of time they allow students. Use our creative writing countdown timer to help your child write to this speed.
What is Expected in the 11 Plus Exam Writing Tasks?
Examiners in different schools and different parts of the country have different priorities. So while there will be some crossover of the type of writing tasks schools give, schools can choose the content of their exams, so there can also be quite a range of writing tasks.
In some areas, they will mainly be interested in the content of the work, rather than demanding good spelling or punctuation – especially counties such as Kent, which does not include the creative writing task as part of the mark.
However, in most 11 Plus exams, excellent spelling, punctuation, and grammar are essential – they are expected to demonstrate confidence in their writing. Children are expected to apply the correct techniques for their age (and several years above the national average, in the more competitive schools)!
11+ Essay Writing Task Types
Watch the video below to learn about the different writing tasks your child can expect in their exam papers (for grammar and independent schools):