At the primary school level in the United Kingdom, the seven plus (7+) and eleven
plus (11+) are two entry points that are popular in the Independent and Selective
School assessment of a child’s academic grading.
What is the 7+ Exam?
The 7+ assessment is a competitive selection exam used by an increasing number of top schools in London for entry into Year 3. Children sit the exam in Year 2, mostly between September and February of the year.
What is assessed at the 7+ Level?
The 7+ exam mainly tests Maths and English. An increasing number of independent schools also add a Reasoning paper containing Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning assessments. The tests are usually in a written form but there can be verbal sections testing mental arithmetic, spelling, memory and dictation.
There may be an interview before or after the exam (if successful). The interview process will usually include a one-on-one chat with the Headmaster/Headmistress.
The 11+ is a selective entrance examination for secondary school, used by both state-funded grammar schools and many private schools to identify the most academically-able children. The exam is taken towards the end of Year 5 or beginning of Year 6 of primary school. It is sometimes known as the ‘Transfer Test’ .
There are two main exam boards for the 11+ exam: CEM (Durham University) and GL Assessment. Which exam board will be used usually depends on the location of your chosen grammar school. However, sometimes exam boards can vary between schools in the same area, so it’s important to check with your chosen grammar school what exam board they’re using as it will help determine how you prepare your child:
The 11+ is used in the following counties which have state-funded grammar schools: Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Medway, Shropshire, Trafford, Wiltshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton and Yorkshire.
Northern Irish grammar schools use the Northern Ireland Transfer Test.
The 11+ can include four disciplines: verbal reasoning; non-verbal reasoning,
maths and English. All need multiple choice answers, except English,
which is a written piece of work.
Your child will be tested on mental maths, maths concepts and skills and problems that have to be solved in multiple stages.
The English paper puts your child’s creative writing skills to the test, as they have to plan, structure and write a piece of work.
These questions are about solving problems and following sequences to do with words and text. Verbal reasoning tests your child’s English grammar and vocabulary.
During the non-verbal reasoning paper, your child will need to solve problems to do with diagrams and pictures. There’s also an element of maths.