What is the 11 plus?

The 11 plus refers to a series of examinations taken by children before they leave primary school, around the age of 10 or 11. The exams help to determine what kind of secondary school the child will go to and are taken when the child is beginning their final year of primary school. Up until the 1970s all children in England sat the exam before leaving school, but today the test is not compulsory – it’s optional. The 11 plus is now taken by children whose parents wish for them to go to grammar or selective schools, of which there are more than 160 in England.The exams test the child’s academic skills and ability, thus determining which school they can attend next. The schools that are being competed for are known as ‘selective schools’ because they allow entrance based on selective academic criteria. Because there are a small number of spaces available, the outcome of the exams is of the utmost importance. This is why many parents opt to have additional tutoring for their children.The 11 plus is made up of math, English, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, but some schools require additional sections such as creative writing too. The pass rate also varies depending on where you are taking it due to the fact that they are administered by different exam boards. The makeup of the test itself will also vary between schools, areas and exam boards, so the child may do all of these sections or varying combinations of them.
What is the 11 Plus
More selective grammar schools may also have more than one exam to sit, and the majority of 11 plus exams will be comprised of more than one paper. These papers might occur on the same day with a break between each one, or they might happen over the course of a few days. Some grammar schools have multiple exams in a selective process, where the child needs to be successful in the first exam before being able to move on to the next. If you are applying to multiple grammar schools then it’s likely that your child will need to sit multiple exams.
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