11 Plus exam papers

The following free papers have been written by our 11 Plus tutors, all of whom are qualified teachers with experience of preparing students for entrance exams. They are free for anyone to use for non-commercial use. These 11+ practice papers are designed to reflect the various examination styles used and expected levels at 11+.  They can be used alongside past 11 Plus papers for exam preparation. 

Our 11 Plus exam paper authors

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My son only had a few sessions with Ricky prior to entrance exams to build his confidence, but he responded really well to him as a tutor. The little boost was all he needed to plug some gaps and consequently he went on to be offered a Headmasters award at one school and an offer for Brighton which we are all thrilled about.

Parent of 11 Plus student (Brighton College)

What is the 11 plus?

The 11 plus is a selective entrance examination process for children in year 6 who are applying for independent or grammar secondary schools in the UK. The exams are designed to test a range of skills on four main subjects: verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, maths and English. The format, length and style of these exams vary from school to school.

What is the 11 plus exam process?

Depending on school for which you are applying, the selection process will vary with some schools doing a one stage exam format and some doing a two stage format.

The first stage of the 11 plus is the pretest (which is done on a computer). Depending on the school, the pretest will be either an ISEB (Independent Schools Education Board), CEM or UKISET examination. The most popular tests are the ISEB and CEM where the major difference between them is the ISEB is adaptive. These tests are normally sat in October and November. However, this can change, so it is best to check with the schools you are applying to when their assessments are.

Similarly to the first stage, the second stage can take on different forms depending on the school you are applying. Some second stage interviews include a written maths and English paper, as well as an interview, others do a ’creative day’ where children will be asked to work as part of a group to problem solve, create or design something. Again, it is important to check with the school how they structure the assessment so you can fully prepare.

What else do schools consider?

In addition to the stage one and two assessment, all schools will ask for a recommendation and report from the Headteacher of your child’s current school. It is also common for your child’s highest CAT test score to be sent to the school. The CAT test is a four part assessment that tests Verbal, Non-Verbal, Quantitative and Spatial Reasoning. The highest score a student can achieve is 141. Top academic schools expect around 130.

What is the pass rate?

The pass rate differs highly across the UK. For example in London, the top rated independent and grammar schools often have thousands of applicants for only a hundred and two hundred spaces, so competition is fierce and the pass mark is high. However, it is important to note that his is not the case for all the schools.

How can practice papers help?

No matter how prepared, or under prepared, you feel practise papers were such an important part of preparation. Not only does it help familiarise your child with the questions they will be tested on in the real assessments, they also give you a good idea of whether you child can complete the tasks in the given time. Do not underestimate the pressure children feel when they are being timed – and the best way to overcome this is to practise!

Owl Tutor’s practice papers give you a comprehensive assessment of the topics covered in the 11 plus. When using the papers, it is preferable to complete the first few not timed and then introduce the timing element once your child is used to what they have to do.

A great supplement to Owl practice papers are online test platforms such as atomlearning or BOFA. These websites offer multiple choice tests which are great for familiarisation of the computer based tests used in the first stage of the 11 plus assessments.