What is the eleven plus (11+) grammar school exam?

The 11+ exam is a very difficult exam taken by some school pupils in their last year of primary school, Year 6. Most children will still only be ten years old as from 2012 the tests are now in October.  The tests are termed 11 plus because students will enter the school once they are eleven or older.  From these tests the grammar schools will choose which pupils they wish to offer places to for the following year, Year 7.

There are 164 Grammar Schools in England with several thousand applications for the entrance test per school.  In the Calderdale and Kirklees area there are three grammar schools; Heckmondwike, North Halifax and Crossley Heath. On average there are 150 places at each of the schools (exact numbers and criteria here).

Pupils will be assessed on up to four different types of tests – Non-verbal Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Maths and English. The combination of test papers varies considerably around the country.

The Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal reasoning tests are not skills that are taught in school and are believed to test a child’s innate intelligence and potential.  The maths and english skills taught in school will help your child access the questions but specific preparation work will be needed prior to the tests.

Pupils only have one opportunity to sit the test and the pre-test that used to take place in September has now been removed in Calderdale and Kirklees allowing even fewer chances for students to prepare.  The tests are highly competitve and can be very stressful for both children and parents as there is no opportunity to re-sit the tests.

11+ preparation from a trusted, OFSTED registered education provider

At Kip McGrath Huddersfield South we use only fully qualified teachers developing tailored tutoring packages for our grammar school entrance (11+) students.  We offer a full programme of study to prepare your child for the selective grammar school entrance exams.

Our programmes cover verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English and Maths. The two main subjects for success in the 11+ are English and Maths. A wide vocabulary and accurate spelling are essential for Verbal Reasoning papers, and most papers also have mathematical questions on them which require a child to be secure in the basic operations of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR) papers require the child to have an awareness of shapes and to use logical deduction to follow a sequence.

As there are no pre-tests in the Calderdale and Kirklees area we are advising parents that if you and your child are serious about sitting the entrance exam, preparation should really begin in the middle of year 4.  This allows 18 months to get up to the required standard to both pass the test, and also do well in grammar school once you get there.  These exams are extremely hard and nothing like a normal school test.  Grammar school isn’t the right place for a lot of children to go, so if you are considering this route contact us today to book a FREE assessment.