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The 11+ Exam (or 11-plus) is an academically selective exam generally taken by 10 year old children at the beginning of Year 6 to gain entry into Year 7 at a selective state Grammar School. There are over 160 Grammar Schools in England. The structure and content of the 11+ Exam varies between different areas of the country. The 11+ Exam is generally based on some, or all, of the following types of questions: English, maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning. The child will sit two or three eleven plus examinations papers in the September of Year 6. The 11+ Exam is increasingly competitive and the passmark for entry into most Grammar Schools is challenging. 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, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, 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 Cumbria, Dorset, Kent, 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.)
Grammar Schools in Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford and Yorkshire use a mixture of GL and CEM.
The best time to start preparing your child for the 11+ depends entirely on their current attainment levels and experience. Your son or daughter may only need a few weeks or months of preparation as the 11+ Exam approaches, with a focus on practising exam papers, developing the exam technique and confidence. Most children benefit from a longer period of support, with most families beginning in Year 4 or Year 5. Regular weekly tuition builds rigour and polish across core skills, also providing them with academic stretch and challenge. Any support or tuition focused on preparing for the 11+ Exam also brings a significant and broader benefit to your child, in terms of their general schoolwork and confidence.
Some parents will choose to prepare their child for the 11+ using books or online resources available, such as the series of Bond 11+ books or GL and CEM past papers; other families may choose to send their child to 11+ group tuition, with small goups of children being taught together, outside of school hours; other families may choose to enlist the services of a professional 11+ tutor or 11+ teacher, who has experience in preparing children for the 11+ exam. Teachers To Your Home provides specialist 11+ Examination tutors who have considerable experience in preparing children for entry into Grammar Schools. All our 11+ tutors are qualified and experience teachers, often Primary, Prep or Grammar School teachers, who have considerable experience in preparing Year 4 and Year 5 children for the 11+ exam. They can provide high quality one-to-one 11+ tuition at your home, generally one-hour weekly lessons. Initially, the teacher will provide an assessment, then focus on strengthening the foundation skills across English and maths, before then going on to develop exam technique and confidence.