The Eleven plus test is a test given to students in their last year of primary school (year 6 in England and year 7 in Northern Ireland) and is used as a means to determine whether that student is suited to the academic rigours of a grammar school education. In other words will he/she be offered a place in the grammar school of their parent's choice. Since the early 1970s many areas of the United Kingdom have not used the Eleven plus exam and have favoured a comprehensive education system that is non-selective. However, there are still a considerable number of Local Authorities (LAs), Foundation Schools, Independent Schools and Private Schools that still admit students based on selection by the test known as the Eleven plus exam. This site will provide practice for this type of selection test.
Another perceived advantage of attending a grammar school is that of social mobility. Grammar schools have a track record of producing students who go on to have very successful careers and who develop large networks of influential friends. A recent study conducted by the University of Bath, Bristol and the Institute of Education at the University of London concluded that pupils who attend a grammar school end up earning more than those who attend comprehensive schools.
The 11+ Exam (or “11-plus”) is a selective entrance exam generally taken at the beginning Year 6, generally in September. The content varies between different areas of the country but will generally be based on some or all of the following types of questions: English, maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning. It may involve sitting two or even three eleven plus examinations. Sometimes the tests will be of a different kind, e.g. non-verbal reasoning and a verbal reasoning test and in other cases, the tests will be the same, e.g. two verbal reasoning tests. There are two main exam boards for the 11+ Exam:
(1) GL Assessment (previously known as NFER) administer the 11+ exams for the majority of grammar schools in Berkshire, Bexley, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Kent, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton. The GL 11+ exam cover English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning (spatial awareness). Each school can choose any combination of these to best fit their selection criteria.
(2) CEM developed by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University administer the 11+ exams for Birmingham, Cumbria, Dorset, Lancashire, Medway, Northern Ireland and Wiltshire. The CEM 11+ exam covers verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. (The verbal reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL English exam; the numerical reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL maths exam.)
Schools in Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford and Yorkshire use a mixture of GL and CEM.
In both GL and CEM exams, there is a strong emphasis on core skills in English and maths; including spelling, punctuation, grammar, comprehension, and vocabulary; including arithmetic skills, problem-solving, and data manipulation. Non-verbal reasoning assesses spatial awareness, pattern-spotting and logical skills.