11+ Papers

What is the 11 Plus?

The 11 Plus was an exam originally introduced in 1944 and its result determined whether a child entered a grammar school, secondary technical college or secondary modern school after they left primary school.

Although officially abolished in 1976 (replaced by a "comprehensive system") some areas of England have kept the system of running grammar schools alongside comprehensive schools.

So does the 11 Plus still exist?

Yes, although the "11 Plus" is now a collective term for the entrance exams that the remaining grammar schools offer.

Around 160 grammar schools remain in England and they each continue to offer an 11 Plus test to determine their intake. To confuse matters, the 11 Plus tests they administer can vary a great deal with some assessing pupils in Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning whilst others only test a candidate's Reasoning ability. It's best to check with a particular school about their 11 Plus exam.

The 11 Plus test remains extremely popular with thousands of parents hoping to get their children into a well performing secondary school.

How can I enter my child for an 11 Plus exam?

In some areas of England the local LEA (Local Education Authority) enter every child to sit an 11 Plus test. However, in other areas the tests are organised by a consortium of schools or individual schools and you will need to formally apply for a place and enter your child for a separate test.

Don't rely on information you read on the internet, it may incorrect or out of date. Instead, contact the school you would like to apply your child for and ask about their examinations and admissions procedure. Ask for detailed information about when and where the test(s) will take place, what topics are included within the test(s) and what format the test(s) will take.

It's also important to ask whether there are any other admissions criteria such as a maximum distance from the school.

How can I prepare my child for their 11 Plus exam?

Once you know exactly what topics they will be assessed on (e.g. whether it will be just Maths, Maths and Verbal Reasoning or just Verbal Reasoning etc) and whether the tests will be written or multiple choice then you have several choices available to you.

Many parents appoint personal one-to-one tutors for their children to help boost their performance and confidence. However, this can be quite expensive and is by no means a requirement to pass an 11 Plus exam. Indeed many pupils obtain places in grammar schools without additional tutoring by simply practising the tests they will be assessed on.

The 11 Plus Reasoning assessments (Non-Verbal and Verbal) are both unique tests that aim to measure potential and aptitude rather than a child's education to date. Having said that, the unique nature of the tests means a child will benefit greatly from prior preparation.

The 11 Plus Maths and English assessments on the other hand will contain content that will seem more familiar to your child as they would have come across it in their previous studies. Again, practice makes perfect and the books below are fantastic for preparing them for what may come up.

The best publishers for 11+ practice papers are Bond, CGP and Letts. All offer a variety of workbooks, study books and practice papers that will help your child pass their 11 Plus exam.

Are sample 11 Plus papers available?

Some of the grammar schools publish sample 11 Plus papers and make them available for download.

Remember, some or all of these papers may not be relevant to your child's 11 Plus exam.

  • St. Olave's offers sample 11 Plus papers in English and Maths.
  • Haberdasher's Askes School offers several sample 11 Plus papers in English and Maths
  • Dulwich College offers sample 11 Plus papers for English and Maths.
  • Emmanuel School offers sample 11 Plus papers for English and Maths.
  • King's School offers sample 11 Plus papers in English and Maths.

CGP offer some fabulous 11 Plus practice papers to buy but they also very kindly offer some that are free to download:

Subject Question Paper Answer Paper Marking Scheme
Verbal Reasoning 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers
Non-Verbal Reasoning 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers
Maths 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers
English 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers

Thank You!

You can now access the free 11+ downloads!

Best wishes,