What is the 11 Plus (11+)?
Choosing a secondary school for your child is often one of the most difficult elements of a parent’s journey through the school system. There are many different types of schools to choose from including academies, independent schools, grammar schools and indeed, free schools. But which is going to give them the best start academically? Grammar schools and independent schools select their pupils based on their academic ability. So, if your child excels in school, you might want to consider getting them ready to take the 11 Plus (11+) exam, for entrance to grammar or selective independent schools.
What is the 11+?
The 11+ is an exam that your child can sit when they are in Year 6 in order to help them gain a place in either a selective Independent School or a Grammar School. The 11+ exams are not compulsory and are only for children that intend to apply for a place at a selective entrance secondary school. The exams vary between schools but fundamentally the 11+ exam focuses on four main areas:
1. Maths (including arithmetic skills and problem solving)
2. English (including comprehension, grammar and spelling)
3. Verbal Reasoning
4. Non-verbal Reasoning (including logical skills and spatial awareness)
There are two main examiners for the 11+ exams: CEM AND GL Assessment. Both exams cover the four main areas above, but there are many differences in the way these tests are held which will have an impact on the way in which your child prepares for their exam.
For example, GL Assessment has a different exam for each subject area and CEM papers are mixed; so instead of testing only maths, it will test maths and non-verbal reasoning at the same time. CEM do not produce any practice papers and regularly change the format of their exams. GL Assessment on the other hand utilise a ‘question bank’ which will allow children the ability to familiarise themselves with the way in which the tests are carried out.
Why should my child take the 11+ exam?
For the children that sit it, the 11+ exams are often spoken of as being the most important exams they will have taken so far. Doing well in the 11+ can have an immensely positive impact on children, showing them just how much they can achieve.
Whilst there are many brilliant state schools locally, past reports have shown that children who attend grammar schools are academically stretched and challenged more than their counterparts who attend non-selective schools.
Where can I learn more about the 11+?
Well, in the first instance, you can come and talk to us. Our tutors and staff are very knowledgeable on the 11+ and will be able to offer you information and advice specifically related to your child. we have placed children in leading independent and grammar school with some gaining scholarships. There are also a large number of resources on the internet, which will help inform your decision on whether the 11+ is right for your child and how you can prepare them for it.
You might want to start looking into some of the Grammar and Independent Schools that are near you. To help, here is a handy list of some Grammar and Independent Schools in the Dartford, Romford, Southgate, Watford, Greater London and Central London areas:
2. Beth’s Grammar School
3. Bishop’s Stortford College
4. City of London School
5. Dartford Grammar School for Boys
6. Dartford Grammar School for Girls
7. Enfield Grammar School
8. Harrow School
9. North London Grammar School
10. Steephill Independent School
11. The Latymer School
12. Watford Grammar School for Boys
Early preparation for the 11+ is very important. Speak to us today to find out more.