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. They are designed to be used by parents and children to help with 11 Plus preparation for both state grammar and independent school Year 7 entry. Find out more about the 11 Plus exams (and how Owl Tutors can help) below.

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Very conscientious, engaged and committed to teaching - my son enjoys the sessions very much

Parent of 11 Plus student (Alleyn's and Emanuel)

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 within 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 for my child?

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 either a pretest (which is done on a computer) or a paper-based test. If the first stage is a computer pre-test, it will be either an ISEB (Independent Schools Examination Board), CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) or UKISET (for overseas candidates) examination. The most popular tests are the ISEB and CEM. 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.

If paper-based, the test is likely to be run by GL assessment. This will normally take place in the Autumn term of Year 6 (often quite early in the year).

Similarly to the first stage, the second stage can take on different forms depending on the school to which you are applying. Some second stages 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. 

It is important to check with the school how they structure the assessment so you can fully prepare. If we can help, please ask!

What else do schools consider when deciding whether to award my child a place?

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 (Cognitive Ability) test is a four part assessment which 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 for 11 Plus entry?

The pass rate differs across the UK. In London, the top rated independent and grammar schools often have thousands of applicants for only  a couple of 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. Owl Tutors can help you to decide on the right school for your child, taking into account pass rates, sibling policies and catchment areas. 

How can 11 Plus practice papers help?

No matter how prepared or under prepared you feel, practice papers are an important part of preparation. Not only do they 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 Tutors’ 11 Plus practice papers give you a comprehensive assessment of the topics covered in the various exams. 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 the process. 

Good luck, and please let us know if we can help with:

  • Choosing the right school for your child
  • Tailored 11 Plus exam preparation
  • Advice and support around the application process, including the interview.

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