The 11 Plus Syllabus Explained: An In-depth Guide for Parents All Parents Need to Know

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The 11 Plus exam can seem like a labyrinth of subjects and topics, especially if it is your first child sitting the exams. If you are trying to understand the differences between grammar and independent school exams and the uniqueness of each exam and each school, it can get quite confusing.

With more than a decade’s experience in helping parents navigate this process and help our students get into their dream grammar and independent schools, we know just what many of your worries and concerns may be, and this is why we will be hosting an 11 Plus Exam Conference in November.

At Geek School Tutoring, we are 11 Plus exam specialists with more than a decade’s experience helping children gain admission into their dream grammar and independent school. In this guide, we will demystify the 11 Plus exam syllabus, ensuring you’re well-equipped to support your child’s journey. Here are the topics we will cover with the quick links for each section:

Core Component of 11 Plus Exams

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The term 11 Plus exams was initially used to describe the exam children sat in year 6 to determine if they would attend a grammar school, state school or technical college. These days, the term is synonymous with both grammar school selection tests and independent school entrance exams.

Interestingly, the content of both exams is similar and has many areas of overlap where the subjects are concerned:

1. English

Reading Comprehension: Extracts from classic to contemporary literature are used to test comprehension, vocabulary, and inference skills.

Writing: Topics can range from story writing to more formal essays or letters. The focus is on grammar, punctuation, and creative expression. Not all grammar school exams include a writing task, so you will need to look into this to be sure. Independent school exams generally have a writing task as part of their English papers, which can cover around 12 different types of writing tasks.

2. Mathematics

Arithmetic: Basic operations, fractions, decimals, and percentages.

Problem-solving: Real-world problems that require mathematical reasoning.

Geometry and Measurement: Concepts like shapes, angles, area, and perimeter.

3. Verbal Reasoning

• These papers are designed to test a child’s ability to think and solve problems using words. Topics include synonyms, antonyms, cloze passages, and code questions. Some exams have significant sections that test vocabulary knowledge, too.

4. Non-verbal Reasoning

• These are visual problem-solving tasks such as identifying patterns, sequences, and relationships between shapes and figures.

Geek School Tutoring’s Approach

Our tailored approach to covering the 11 Plus exam ensures that our students are given balanced coverage of each topic. With structured lessons, regular assessments and feedback sessions, we ensure that our students not only understand the topics within the core subject areas but master that they master each area.

Our students usually have two to three hours of tuition with us each week, so we can cover the content they need to know in an effective manner. We don’t try to squash all four topic areas into an hour, as it is an ineffective way to teach students for these competitive exams.

The 11 Plus Exam Conference

The 11 Plus exam may be increasingly competitive, but with the proper guidance and understanding, success is within reach. That’s why we will be running 11 Plus exam conferences in person and online in November 2023.

11 Plus Guide: the Conference
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