11+ Papers

11+ practice papers make ideal practice for children before they face their real 11+ paper. Children only get one chance so make sure they're prepared.

Below are plenty of free 11 plus papers for you to download.

11+ Practice Papers

These 11+ Practice Papers were published by CGP and we thank them for granting us permission to distribute them. They are up to date and extremely useful!

Publisher Exam Board Subject Papers
CGPGL-AssessmentMaths Question Booklet
Answer Sheet
Marking Scheme (Answers)
CGPGL-AssessmentEnglish Question Booklet
Answer Sheet
Marking Scheme (Answers)
CGPGL-AssessmentVerbal Reasoning Question Booklet
Answer Sheet
Marking Scheme (Answers)
CGPGL-AssessmentNon-Verbal Reasoning Question Booklet
Answer Sheet
Marking Scheme (Answers)
CGPCEMMaths Question Booklet
Answer Sheet
Marking Scheme (Answers)
CGPCEMVerbal Reasoning Question Booklet
Answer Sheet
Marking Scheme (Answers)
CGPCEMNon-Verbal Reasoning Question Booklet
Answer Sheet
Marking Scheme (Answers)

Past 11+ Papers

Below you will find the names of all current UK grammar schools together with their websites and a number of past papers or familiarisation papers. Please note that these papers are provided 'as is' and may be out of date, incomplete or not include answers.

Grammar School (Region) Exam Board(s) Links Downloads
Kendrick School (Berkshire)CEMAdmissions
Reading School (Berkshire)CEMAdmissions
Bexley Grammar School (Bexley)CEMAdmissions
Beths Grammar School (Bexley)CEMAdmissions
Chiselhurst & Sidcup Grammar School (Bexley)CEMAdmissions
Townley Grammar School (Bexley)CEMAdmissions
Bishop Vesey's Grammar School (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
King Edward VI Aston School (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
Handsworth Grammar School for Boys (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
King Edward VI Five Ways School (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
King Edward VI Handsworth School (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls (Birmingham & Walsall)CEMAdmissions
St Olave's Grammar School (Bromley)InternalAdmissions
Newstead Wood School (Bromley)GLAdmissions
Aylesbury Grammar School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Aylesbury High School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Beaconsfield High School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Burnham Grammar School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Chesham Grammar School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Dr Challoners Grammar School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Dr Challoners High School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
John Hampden Grammar School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Royal Grammar School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
The Royal Latin School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Sir Williams Borlase's School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Wycombe High School (Buckinhamsire)GLAdmissions
Colyton Grammar (Devon)CEMAdmissions
Churston Ferrers Grammar School (Devon)CEMAdmissions
Torquay Boys Grammar School (Devon)CEMAdmissions
Torquay Girls Grammar School (Devon)CEMAdmissions
The Spires College (Devon)CEMAdmissions
Devonport High School for Boys (Devon)GLAdmissions
Devonport High Scool for Girls (Devon)GLAdmissions
Plymouth High School for Girls (Devon)GLAdmissions
Bournemouth School (Dorset)GLAdmissions
Bournemouth School for Girls (Dorset)GLAdmissions
Poole Grammar School (Dorset)GLAdmissions
Parkstone Grammar School (Dorset)GLAdmissions
Chelmsford County High School (Essex)CEMAdmissions
King Edward VI Grammar School (Essex)CSSEAdmissions
Colchester County High School for Girls (Essex)CSSEAdmissions
Colchester Royal Grammar School (Essex)CSSEAdmissions
Illford County High School (Essex - Redbridge)CEMAdmissions
Woodford County High School (Essex - Redbridge)CEMAdmissions
The Crypt School (Gloucestershire)CEMAdmissions
High School for Girls Gloucester (Gloucestershire)CEMAdmissions
Marling School (Gloucestershire)CEMAdmissions
Pate's Grammar School (Gloucestershire)CEMAdmissions
Ribston Hall High School (Gloucestershire)CEMAdmissions
Sir Thomas Rich's School (Gloucestershire)CEMAdmissions
Stroud High School (Gloucestershire)CEMAdmissions
Bushey Meads School (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEM & GLAdmissions
Parmiter's School (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEM & GLAdmissions
Queens School (Bushey) (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEM & GLAdmissions
Richmansworth School (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEM & GLAdmissions
St Clement Danes School (Chorleywood) (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEM & GLAdmissions
Watford Grammar School for Boys (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEM & GLAdmissions
Watford Grammar School for Girls (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEM & GLAdmissions
Dame Alice Owen's School (Potters Bar) (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)CEMAdmissions
Bishops Stortford High School (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)InternalAdmissions
Chancellors School (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)InternalAdmissions
Hertfordshire and Essex High School (Bishops Stortford) (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)InternalAdmissions
Hockerill Anglo-European College (Bishops Stortford) (Hertfordshire SW Herts Consortium)InternalAdmissions
Henrietta Barnett School (Hertfordshire Barnet & Enfield)CEMAdmissions
Queen Elizabeth's School (Hertfordshire Barnet & Enfield)GLAdmissions
Mill Hill County High School (Hertfordshire Barnet & Enfield)GLAdmissions
St Michaels (Hertfordshire Barnet & Enfield)GLAdmissions
Latymer School (Hertfordshire Barnet & Enfield)GLAdmissions
Berton Court Grammar School (Canterbury) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Borden Grammar School (Sittingbourne) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Chatham & Clarendon Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Cranbrook School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Dane Court Grammar School for Boys (Kent)GLAdmissions
Dartford Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Dartford Grammar School for Girls (Kent)GLAdmissions
Dover Grammar School for Boys (Kent)GLAdmissions
Dover Grammar School for Girls (Kent)GLAdmissions
Gravesend Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Highsted School (Sittingbourne) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Highworth Grammar School (Ashford) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Invicta Grammar School (Maidstone) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Maidstone Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Maidstone Grammar School for Girls (Kent)GLAdmissions
Mayfield Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Oakwood Park Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School (Canterbury) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys (Canterbury) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Sir Roger Manwood's School (Kent)GLAdmissions
The Folkestone School for Girls (Kent)GLAdmissions
The Harvey Grammar School (Folkestone) (Kent)GLAdmissions
The Judd School (Tonbridge) (Kent)GLAdmissions
The Norton Knatchbull School (Ashford) (Kent)GLAdmissions
The Skinners' School (Tunbridge Wells) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Tonbridge Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys (Kent)GLAdmissions
Weald of Kent Grammar School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Wilmington Grammar School for Boys (Kent)GLAdmissions
Wilmington Grammar School for Girls (Kent)GLAdmissions
Archbishop's School (Canterbury) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Homewood School (Kent)GLAdmissions
Westlands School (sittingbourne) (Kent)GLAdmissions
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (Lancashire and Cumbria)CEMAdmissions
Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School (Lancashire and Cumbria)GLAdmissions
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School (Lancashire and Cumbria)GLAdmissions
Lancaster Girls' Grammar School (Lancashire and Cumbria)GLAdmissions
Lancaster Royal Grammar School (Lancashire and Cumbria)GLAdmissions
Boston Grammar School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Boston High School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Bourne Grammar School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Carre's Grammar School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
King Edward VI Grammar School (Louth) (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
King Edward VI Academy (Spilsby) (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (Alford) (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (Horncastle) (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Queen Elizabeth's High School (Gainsborough) (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Skegness Grammar School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Spalding Grammar School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Spalding High School (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
The King's School Grantham (Lincolnshire)GLAdmissions
Caistor Grammar School (Lincolnshire)InternalAdmissions
Holcombe Grammar School for Boys (Medway)GLAdmissions
Chatham Grammar School for Girls (Medway)GLAdmissions
Fort Pitt Grammar School (Medway)GLAdmissions
Rainham Mark Grammar School (Medway)GLAdmissions
Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School (Medway)GLAdmissions
The Howard School (Medway)GLAdmissions
The Rochester Grammar School (Medway)GLAdmissions
Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Assumption Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Ballymena Academy (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Christian Brothers (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Dominican College (Fortwilliam) (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Dominican College (Portstewart) (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Loreto College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Loreto Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Lumen Christi College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Lurgan College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Mount Lourdes Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Our Lady and St Patricks College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Our Lady's Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Portadown College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Portora Royal School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Rainey Endowed (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Rathmore Grammar (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Sacred Heart Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Colman's College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Columb's College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Dominic's High School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Joseph's Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Killian's College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Louis' Grammar School (Ballymena) (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Louis' Grammar School (Kilkeeel) (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Malachy's College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Mary's Christian Brothers Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Mary's Grammar School (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Michael's College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Patrick's Academy (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Patrick's Grammar School (Armagh) (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
St Patrick's Grammar School (Downpatrick) (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Thornhill College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Victoria College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Belfast Royal Academy (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Bloomfield Collegiate Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Campbell College (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Grosevenor Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Hunterhouse College (Northern Ireland)GLAdmissions
Methodist College Belfast (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Royal Belfast Academical Institution (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Strathearn School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Wellington College (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Antrim Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Ballyclare High School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Belfast High School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Cambridge House Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Carrickfergus Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Coleraine Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Dalraida School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Larne Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Bangor Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Down High School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Friend's School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Glenlola Collegiate School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Regent House School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Sullivan Upper School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
The Wallace High School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Foyle and Londonderry College (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Limavady Grammar School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Omagh Academy (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Banbridge Academy (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
The Royal School (Northern Ireland)CEAAdmissions
Tiffin Boys Grammar School (Surrey)PANAdmissions
Tiffin Girls Grammar School (Surrey)PANAdmissions
Greenshaw High School (Surrey)SETAdmissions
Nonsuch High School for Girls (Surrey)InternalAdmissions
Sutton Grammar School (Surrey)SETAdmissions
Wallington County Grammar School (Surrey)SETAdmissions
Wallington High School for Girls (Surrey)InternalAdmissions
Wilson's School (Surrey)SETAdmissions
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls (Trafford)CEMAdmissions
Sale Grammar School (Trafford)CEMAdmissions
Stretford Grammar School (Trafford)CEMAdmissions
Urmston Grammar School (Trafford)CEMAdmissions
Altrincham Grammar School for Boys (Trafford)GLAdmissions
Loreto Grammar School (Trafford)GLAdmissions
St Ambrose College (Trafford)GLAdmissions
Alcester Grammar School (Warwickshire)CEMAdmissions
King Edward VI School (Warwickshire)CEMAdmissions
Stratford Girls' Grammar School (Warwickshire)CEMAdmissions
Ashlawn School (Warwickshire)CEMAdmissions
Lawrence Sheriff School (Warwickshire)CEMAdmissions
Rugby High School (Warwickshire)CEMAdmissions
South Wiltshire Grammar School (Wiltshire)GLAdmissions
Bishop Wordsworth School for Boys (Wiltshire)CEMAdmissions
Calday Grange Grammar School (Wirral inc Liverpool)CEMAdmissions
West Kirby Grammar School (Wirral inc Liverpool)CEMAdmissions
Wirral Grammar School for Girls (Wirral inc Liverpool)CEMAdmissions
Wirral Grammar School for Boys (Wirral inc Liverpool)CEMAdmissions
St Anselm's College (Wirral inc Liverpool)InternalAdmissions
Upton Hall School (Wirral inc Liverpool)GLAdmissions
The Blue Coat School (Wirral inc Liverpool)InternalAdmissions
King David High School (Wirral inc Liverpool)InternalAdmissions
St Hilda's CofE High School (Wirral inc Liverpool)InternalAdmissions
St Margaret's C of E High School (Wirral inc Liverpool)InternalAdmissions
Adams Grammar School (Wolverhampton & Wrekin)CEMAdmissions
Newport Girls' High School (Wolverhampton & Wrekin)CEMAdmissions
Wolverhampton High School for Girls (Wolverhampton & Wrekin)CEMAdmissions
Queen Mary's Grammar School (Wolverhampton & Wrekin)CEMAdmissions
Queen Mary's High School (Wolverhampton & Wrekin)CEMAdmissions
Crossley Heath Grammar School (Yorkshire)GLAdmissions
The North Halifax Grammar School (Yorkshire)GLAdmissions
Heckmondwike Grammar School (Yorkshire)CEMAdmissions
Ermysted's Grammar School (Yorkshire)GLAdmissions
Ripon Grammar School (Yorkshire)GLAdmissions
Skipton Girls' High School (Yorkshire)GLAdmissions

11+ Practice Papers

11+ Papers are used by grammar schools as part of their entry procedure.

The purpose of 11+ papers is to gauge your child's intelligence and academic potential. Test providers try hard to craft exams that children cannot prepare for but it's a tricky task. No matter how 11+ papers are structured, good preparation will always be essential.

11+ papers are not easy. Their purpose is to separate higher ability children so don't expect your child to achieve full marks. However, with 11+ practice papers you will see their performance and confidence improve.

11 plus papers are available in English, Maths, Verbal reasoning and Non-Verbal reasoning. Pay close attention to the subjects and 11+ test provider for your target schools. Some grammar schools test certain subjects and others don't so make sure your preparation is correctly targeted.

Some grammar schools will use two 11+ exam papers whilst others will use three or more. Pay close attention to the number of 11 plus exam papers for your target school.

11+ Paper Test Providers

The 11 plus papers your child will take depends on where you live. Entry to the 11 plus paper will be organised by your local authority,  a group of schools or an individual school.

Most areas use either CEM (University of Durham) or GL Assessment (NFER). Other areas write the 11+ papers themselves or choose not to disclose the source.

The content of these papers can vary significantly. CEM test papers are not comparable to GL Assessment papers. Again, ensure your 11+ preparation is correctly targeted.

11+ Past Papers

As well as 11 plus practice papers, some grammar schools release 11+ past papers. These are extremely valuable for children attempting to gain entry to those schools.

It's rare for children to have a complete 11 plus past papers from a target school. If these are available, use them extensively. The papers will tell you what test styles, subjects and topics come up. This information makes these 11 plus past papers incredibly valuable to your preparation.

GL Assessment have released several 11 plus past papers in recent time. If your target schools use them, download the GL Assessment sample papers free of charge.

Passing 11 plus papers can get children into an excellent grammar school
Passing 11 plus papers can get children into an excellent grammar school

About 11+ Papers

11+ Papers are an IQ test for children that seek to assess your child's potential. Deemed unfair in 1976, 11+ papers were abolished and replaced with the modern comprehensive system.

Many disagreed with this decision and the debate surrounding 11+ test papers continues today.

Several areas in the UK still have grammar schools alongside modern comprehensives. Gaining entry to these grammar schools is ferociously competitive. Using 11+ practice papers is essential.

Getting through 11+ papers and into grammar school can be stressful.
Getting through 11+ papers and into grammar school can be stressful.

There are plenty of 11+ past papers, 11 plus mock exams and 11 plus sample papers available to download. By using these 11+ exam papers, your child will feel more confident approaching their 11+ paper.

Do note that CEM 11 plus have been careful to never release any CEM test papers. Whilst precise preparation for this test provider is speculative, it is firmly recommended.

11 plus test papers are enormously valuable for children hoping to enter a grammar school. With so many grammar school test papers free of charge on our website, we urge you to use them. Grammar schools, for all their faults, offer amazing possibilities to children.

Since 2011 we have offered grammar school test papers free of charge to millions. Thank you for your support!   

11 Plus

What is the 11 Plus?

What's the 11 plus you ask? Well first, a brief bit of history...

After World War 2, the Education Act dictated that state education should be free of charge and fall into two forms - grammar schools and secondary moderns. Grammar schools would focus on academic subjects whilst secondary moderns would teach trades.

The 11 plus (or 11+ exam) was the test to determine whether a child went to a grammar school or a secondary modern.

Children judged to have a higher academic potential would go to a grammar school with the rest going to a secondary modern.

In 1960 there were over 1,200 grammar schools in the UK.

A typical British grammar school photo from the 1960s.
A typical British grammar school photo from the 1960s.

Why did the 11 plus stop?

In the 1950s and 1960s some politicians argued that selective education systems reinforced class division. They also added that middle-class privilege only increased these divisions.

In 1965, the government ordered LEAs to start phasing out grammar schools and replace them with modern comprehensives. Then in 1976, legislation was cast to ban the introduction of any new selective education schools.

However, some areas of England refused, dug in their heels and kept their grammar schools. Today 163 grammar schools remain, run alongside comprehensives.

Wait, so does the 11+ still exists?

Yes...weirdly. The 11 plus is now a collective term for the entrance exams that the remaining grammar schools offer.

Contrary to popular belief (and legislation), the 11+ exam is still alive and extremely popular.
Contrary to popular belief (and legislation), the 11+ exam is still alive and extremely popular.

Should my child to take the 11 plus?

Most grammar schools were dismantled and transformed into secondary comprehensives for political reasons.

The 11 plus offered thousands of children from impoverished backgrounds a genuine opportunity. There's little doubt that the very nature of selective education did reinforce class privilege. However, for those that got the opportunity, they often went on to greater things.

The atmosphere inside today's grammar schools is without doubt a "social bubble". Try as they may to limit it, plenty of pupils come from privileged backgrounds and benefited from 11+ exam training

Catchment areas and Britain's housing market have only reinforced middle-class privilege. This has led to dwindling numbers of children from lower-income backgrounds.

In 1998 the government enacted legislation that strengthened powers to stop new grammar schools from opening. It also allowed for parent ballots on the future of existing grammar schools.

Only one ballot ever took place and the government embarassingly lost it, 67% to 33%. As a result Ripon Grammar remained a grammar school.

But enough negative talk...

Grammar schools offer children a spectacular academic environment. Their facilities, both academic and extra-curricular are almost incomparable to comprehensive schools. Their exam results speak for themselves with the top 40 grammars scoring 100% A*-C at GCSE in 2016.

Frankly, if your child has the opportunity to attend a grammar school, grab it with both hands. You would be mad not to.

167,000 children attend grammar schools in England
167,000 children attend grammar schools in England

So how do I enter them for an 11 plus exam?

Getting your child into a grammar school is not a simple task.

Every grammar school continues to offer an 11 plus paper to determine their intake.

Some local authorities automatically enter children for these tests whilst for others require you to apply. Some grammar schools band together as a consortium and offer a grouped test to whomever applies. Also, some grammar schools offer 11 plus exams to parents and children that only apply directly to them. Sadly, it was probably all a lot easier prior to 1965...

To confuse matters, the 11 plus exams that each of the above scenarios offer can be from different test providers. CEM and GL Assessment are the two main test providers but there are others.

Lastly, to confuse you even more, two grammar schools could have the same test provider but not the same subjects! For example, some use Non-Verbal reasoning whilst others only use English and Maths.

Confusing eh?!

Even that doesn't put off the hundreds of thousands of parents that apply every year. Many schools report over 12 children applying for every single place.

Thankfully, we have a helpful 11 plus entry table to help you with your 11+ exam process.

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

First of all, look at our 11 plus entry table. Check the "Admissions" column.

Area Admissions Test Date Test Content Test Provider
Bexley Apply to LA September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Buckinghamshire Entered Automatically September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Essex (Redbridge) Apply to LA September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Gloucestershire Apply direct to school(s) September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Kent Apply to LA September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Spatial Reasoning, Maths, English and Writing GL Assessment / NFER
Medway Apply to LA September Extended Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Maths Ext Writing — unknown VR & Maths — CEM (University of Durham)
Warwickshire Apply to LA September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Wirral Apply to LA September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Liverpool Apply to LA September Non-Verbal Reasoning, Maths and English Unknown
Yorkshire (Calderdale) Apply to LA October Verbal Reasoning, Maths and English VR — GL Assessment or University of Edinburgh, Maths — the school
Yorkshire (North Yorkshire) Entered Automatically September Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning GL Assessment / NFER
Berkshire Apply direct to school(s) September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Birmingham Apply direct to school(s) September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Essex Apply direct to school(s) September Maths and English Written by the consortium
Hertfordshire (South-West) Apply direct to school(s) September Maths and Verbal Reasoning Maths: GL Assessment / NFER Verbal Reasoning: CEM (University of Durham)
Lincolnshire Apply direct to school(s) September Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning GL Assessment / NFER
Northern Ireland (Post Primary Transfer Consortium) Apply direct to school(s) September Maths and English GL Assessment / NFER
Northern Ireland (Association for Quality Education) Apply direct to school(s) November / December Maths and English CEA (Common Entrance Assessment)
Shropshire, Walsall and Wolverhampton Apply direct to school(s) September Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths CEM (University of Durham)
Sutton Apply direct to school(s) Stage 1: Sept. Stage 2: Sept / Oct English and Maths Unknown

All 11+ areas have a responsibility to be fair with their entries but they do have very strict deadlines. Get informed and be organised.

Contact the admissions provider for the school (or schools) you would like to apply for. This could be the LEA, the school or a body that acts on behalf of the consortium of schools.

Politely request detailed information about:

  • When 11+ exam will take place.
  • Where 11+ exam will take place.
  • What topics are in their 11+ exam.
  • What format the test(s) will take (multiple choice or standard answer).

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

Don't feel nervous contacting them, you won't be the only person asking.

Get organised and plan it. It's not much work and it could well be the best thing you ever do for your child's education.

There doesn't seem to be a grammar school near me.

Sorry, you're going to need a time machine. Blame the politicians that made those decisions back in 1965.

Sorry Marty, it's probably not going to happen
Sorry Marty, it's probably not going to happen

How do I prepare my child for their 11+ exam?

By now you should know:

  • The target grammar school(s).
  • The test provider (CEM, GL Assessment etc).
  • The subjects that will be tested (Maths, English etc).
  • The format of the tests (Cloze, Multiple Choice etc).

Some parents appoint personal tutors for their children to help improve their performance. This can be very confidence boosting and test providers do their best to limit the "exam coaching" effect that it has.

Personal tutors are expensive though and by no means are they essential to passing the 11+ exam. Indeed many pupils obtain places in grammar schools by only practising past 11 plus papers or 11+ practice papers.

11+ Verbal reasoning and 11+ Non-verbal reasoning are both unique tests. They are often used because they gauge aptitude and don't require any previous experience. Having said that, the distinct nature of the tests means a child will benefit from preparation.

The 11 plus is the same as everything else in life: There's no substitute for experience.

11+ Maths and 11+ English tests will seem more familiar to your child. 11+ Maths tests will be of a problem solving nature and get harder as children progress through the paper.

11+ English assessments typically contain a comprehension test or a writing assessment. Often they contain both. They may also have a Cloze test. Again, practice makes perfect.

Most important of all is that your child prepares for the tests that they will be facing. If it's a CEM test in Maths then ensure they're working from examples that clearly state that!

Understanding your local grammar school system isn't necessarily very simple
Understanding your local grammar school system isn't necessarily very simple

CEM? What's the CEM Test?

CEM is a provider of 11+ exams for several grammar schools including Bexley, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. CEM stands for Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring and it's part of the University of Durham. There are several other providers including GL Assessment.

What's different about the CEM Test?

If only everyone knew! CEM have never openly provided their past 11+ papers so it's hard to say.

CEM has grown in popularity over the past 5-10 years because their tests are seen as harder to "coach" for. The feedback from grammar schools supports this. It's unclear whether their tests are appreciably different to anyone else's or if it's simply because they don't release past 11+ papers.

From what we can gather, the CEM 11+ is often two 11+ exams. Each is time limited to 45 minutes and both include English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning.

The English sections of the test include reading comprehension exercises, cloze tests and Verbal reasoning questions.

Non-verbal reasoning questions are well known from other providers of 11 plus exams. These are the questions that often include rotating patterns or shapes.

Numerical reasoning questions test mental arithmetic, pattern recognition and problem solving. Calculators are not allowed.

Both tests are designed such that children are time pressured. Many children don't finish all the questions before the end of the test.

Some areas will allocate a different weighting of marks towards different subject areas. For example, Birmingham awards half of the marks to Verbal Reasoning. Warwickshire meanwhile awards marks equally among all three.

In some areas pupils may take practice 11+ CEM test papers. These will take place before the real CEM 11+ exam (normally in June or July) and the marks will not be formally taken into consideration. They are a practice exercise that's marked internally and whose marks are not recorded externally from the school.

Got any past CEM 11+ Papers?

No.

Past CEM 11 Plus papers are not distributed after their respective assessment day. CEM insist that "by restricting the amount of available preparation material to only what primary schools provide (familiarisation with the format and structure of the tests) it makes the test fairer for all".

However, we do have a number of free 11+ papers for you to download.

How can I prepare my child for the CEM 11 Plus?

CEM say that they devise their tests such that they "reduce any disadvantage between children who are tutored for tests and those who are not." In other words, CEM feel that you can't coach for CEM.

You might not be able to coach, but you can certainly help.

Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning questions are often unfamiliar to children. Hence prior practice, if only as a familiarisation exercise, is highly recommended. The important point being that prior practice does not lead to pupils attempting to guess their answers.

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