The Eleven plus test is a test given to pupils 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 pupil 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 admits pupils based on selection by the test known as the Elevenplus exam, usually at age 11. Most of these LAs and some of these schools use 11 plus test papers prepared by NFER. The 11plus exam is used extensively in Bucks, Kent and Essex.
What Sort of Eleven Plus Test Will My Child Have to Take?
This will vary from LA to LA and from grammar school to grammar school. The eleven plus exam papers will be based on some or all of the following types of questions and it may involve sitting two or even three eleven plus examinations. Sometimes the tests will be of a different kind, e.g. a non-verbal reasoning and a verbal reasoning test and in other cases the tests will be the same e.g. two verbal reasoning tests.
■Verbal Reasoning test
■Non-verbal reasoning tests
Verbal Reasoning eleven plus tests
This involves the child thinking about words and text and solving problems, sequences etc. It requires the pupil to have a good grasp of English grammar and a wide vocabulary. Most schools and LAs administer at least one verbal reasoning test.
Non-verbal Reasoning eleven plus tests
Many LAs and independent schools also use non-verbal reasoning tests. This involves the child thinking about pictures and diagrams, and solving problems based on these items, it also makes demands on the child's mathematical capabilities. However it makes less demand on the understanding of written language.
Mathematics and English eleven plus