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What is the 11 Plus – what you need to know if you live in Norwood, Lewisham, Thornton Heath, Beckenham or Bromley

Every year, Geek school Tutoring receives numerous calls and emails from parents who want to know more about the 11 Plus. If you’re reading this, you may have come across the Geek School website by searching for a private tutor online, not necessarily knowing what the 11 Plus is and whether your child is eligible. This article is for you. If you live in Norwood, Beckenham, Bromley and the surrounding areas and have heard the 11 Plus being spoken about but don’t know what it is, then this article is for you, too.

What does the 11 Plus test consist of?

The 11 Plus (or 11 +) test for grammar schools varies in content from one local authority to another. Independent schools also decide what they want applicants to be tested on so their tests aren’t one and the same, either. Most 11 Plus tests only have the core subjects (English and maths) tested with one or the other of verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning thrown into the mix. Some schools, such as Newstead Wood School, and local authorities, such as Wandsworth, only test children on verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

For the independent schools, the 11 Plus exams will usually consist of at least two of these subjects (usually the core English and maths), but many schools now include three or all four subjects.

With all of these different options available to schools when testing the children, it can get confusing. It’s therefore helpful to have an 11 Plus tutor who has experience working with the schools or local authorities for which your child will sit their exam. At Geek School Tutoring, we pride ourselves in being able to offer in-depth advice to parents for both the exams and the books and resources children need to work through to be in with a chance of making a success of their exa

Here is a list of the closest grammar schools to our tuition centres in Norwood, Beckenham and Bromley:

  • Wilson’s School (boys)
  • Nonsuch High School for Girls
  • Wallington County Grammar School (boys)
  • Wallington High School for Girls
  • Sutton Grammar School (boys)
  • Greenshaw High School (mixed) – this is a partially selective school
  • Newstead Wood School
  • St Olave’s
  • Chislehurst and Sidcup School
  • Townley Grammar School

Who Determines the Admissions Procedure for Grammar Schools?

Even though most grammar school exams are organised by the local authority the school falls within, each school decides its own admissions procedure, including the style and content of the actual exams; catchment area policies; the pass mark threshold; the procedure for allocating places; etc. There are so many parameters, which parents don’t really need to get too bogged down with. It’s more important to focus on ensuring that your child can score the highest they are able to in the exams themselves, then work through all the red tape later.

Some schools that are in close proximity may group together into a consortium to have a common entrance procedure and/or a common set of 11 Plus exams, which are held on the same day at each school. Examples of this type of consortium exist with the Sutton grammar schools and the North London Collegiate of schools which administer the same exam papers to students, and then use the criteria set out above to choose schools.

Who Sets the 11 Plus Exam Papers?

Many schools use external examining bodies to set their exams – GL Assessment is a very popular provider, especially for verbal and non-verbal reasoning. The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University – known as CEM, is another popular choice for many local authorities, such as Bexley. Many independent schools write their own exams or use a combination of both.

If you live in or near Norwood, Lewisham, Thornton Heath, Beckenham and Bromley and are looking for an experienced private tutor who can help your child get into a good grammar or independent school, call Joycellyn on 02086583239 to discuss your child’s needs today.