What is the 11 Plus Exam and Does My Child Need to Take It?

Some primary school students take the 11 Plus exam in their sixth year in England.  There is an entrance examination, sometimes called the ‘Transfer Test’, to choose students who will enrol in grammar schools or specialised schools for years seven and up.

However, this test does not occur in all parts of the UK. For instance, Wales and Scotland do not have grammar schools, so 11 Plus exams do not take place. 

Similarly, Northern Ireland also does not conduct this test.  But some areas of Northern Ireland take this test under a different name known as Northern Ireland Transfer Test.  The purpose of this test is to select the most academically capable students. Therefore, parents opt for 11 Plus tuition in Aylesbury, Manchester and other parts of the UK where these exams are taken. 

It is an 11 Plus exam guide that will help answer the questions that plague students’  and parents’ minds.

What is Covered in the 11 Plus Exam?

There are four sections in the 11 Plus exam, including Maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.  Except for English, all of them are MCQs based exams.

Verbal Reasoning: This type of question involves answering questions and interpreting information in words and text.  This section tests the grammar and vocabulary skills of the pupils.

Non-verbal Reasoning: Your child will be needed to solve non-verbal reasoning problems involving diagrams and pictures during this part of the exam.  Mathematics will be a part of the test as well.

Maths: The test will cover mental Maths, skills in mathematics, and multiple-stage problems.

English: The English paper tests your child’s creative writing skills, requiring them to plan, structure, and produce a piece of writing.

When To Apply for the 11 Plus Exam?

Parents need to register their children by June, July or August for the 11 Plus exam, while most grammar schools open registration between April and May.  Some regions like Warwickshire start their registration in May.  Please make sure you know your council’s deadlines so that you are not late.

There are grammar schools that organise the 11 Plus exam test in some counties. In other countries, your child needs to register at each school individually. Except in Buckinghamshire, where children are automatically eligible to take the 11 Plus exam.  You can find out about the admission procedures at your local education authority’s website.

When you apply for a secondary school, you must also specify your choice of grammar schools.  You will need to file this with your local school district before November for the next educational year.  You should include your favourite grammar school and state school choices.

If you aim for private institutions, you may need to apply from junior year.  So, while your child is still in year 3 or 4, start thinking about open days and shortlist schools.

11 Plus Exams Cover What Subjects? 

An eleven plus exam consists of four categories: English, Maths, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning.  The latter two categories are more of a test of intellectual ability than academic skills.  One needs to have a good grip on these subjects to pass the 11 Plus exam.  Not every 11 Plus exam has a Maths section.  Generally, the purpose of this exam is to test the students’ cognitive skills. 

What Are 11 Plus Mock Tests?

11 Plus mock exam papers are a great way to prepare the students for the exam.  It tests students’ skills at different levels and points out their shortcomings to have a better chance of success during the entrance exam. 

What Percentage Of Pupils Pass The 11 Plus? 

The passing marks vary with each region, board, school and time to time.  11 Plus test pass rates typically are more than 81%.  The pass rate is likely lower in areas such as Kent and Lincolnshire with more grammar schools than in London with lower numbers of grammar schools. 

The pass mark will typically be higher at more popular schools with a higher level of competition. In some cases, there are up to thirty students competing for just one spot in grammar school.  Most schools publish their pass rates online.  Several studies have shown that tutoring increases the chances of passing the 11 Plus exam.

For the 11 Plus, what is a good score?

A good score will solely depend upon the type of school you are aiming for.  The results for the 11 Plus examinations are standardised, so the overall national score is about 100.  Scores can be better in some regions than the national average.  Scores will usually range from 69 to 70 and 140 to 141 for the highest.

What is the 11 Plus Exams Fee? 

The 11 Plus test is free of charge.  When your child attends a local authority primary school in a county with grammar schools, they will become eligible for the 11 Plus test.  However, this exam is not mandatory for your child. 

Conclusion

11 Plus exams are indeed really an  important test in a student’s academic career. If you take it seriously, then your children can have a bright future. The best thing to ensure success on the 11 Plus exam is to hire a tutor or you can also enrol your children in online tuition to ensure they get the best grade and pass the examination with distinction. 

Thanks For Reading 
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