11+ at Quality Teach

Does your child need to take the 11+ exam?

The eleven plus, also known as the secondary school selection test, is taken in the final year of your child’s primary education in England (Year 6). Most comprehensive schools in the UK are non-selective, therefore your child will not need to sit the test. The results of the tests are used primarily as a means to determine if your child has the academic ability to be successful in the Grammar school system. Consequently, if you are keen for your child to attend a Grammar school, they will have to sit the elven plus.

There are six grammar schools in Warwickshire that are known to require a pass:

Southern Area Grammar Schools

  • Stratford Girls’ Grammar School
  • King Edward VI School (Boys)
  • Alcester Grammar School (Mixed)

Eastern Area Grammar Schools

  • Rugby High School (Girls)
  • Lawrence Sheriff School (Boys)
  • Ashlawn School (Mixed and Bilateral: 90 selective places and 190 non-selective places)

The Grammar schools in Warwickshire also operate a priority catchment area system. Although you still can apply for a place at any Grammar school, you do have more chance of acceptance if you live within the catchment area. You can check if you live within the catchment area of your chosen school at the link below:


If you are still unsure, you can speak to the admissions service or call the school directly.

About the test

In Warwickshire, the paper that will be used is called the CEM 11+ (Centre for Evaluating and Monitoring) and is written by the University of Durham. Each child will sit two papers in one session, each lasting approximately 60 minutes, with around 100 to 125 questions per paper. Weighting is 50% verbal ability, 25% numerical ability and 25% non-verbal ability.

verbal reasoning (50 per cent of the marks)

This is an English based test which involves questions about English Grammar and language. However, it is different to the English Grammar SATs that children will take at the end of year 6 in that it is not necessarily a test of knowledge. They must be able to think creatively and laterally in order to problem solve using words, for example, spotting sequences and breaking word codes. Your child will need a firm grasp of grammatical terminology, be widely read and command an extensive vocabulary, however, they must also have capacity for critical thinking and problem-solving in order to succeed.

Verbal reasoning is not a curriculum-based skill, so your child won’t necessarily have been taught the techniques at school. It is therefore, a good idea to prepare your child for the test with professional private tutoring.

non-verbal reasoning (25 per cent) and numeracy (25 per cent).

This is a mathematical test which involves problem solving through the use of images, shapes and diagrams. Although the skills required are very similar to the problem solving and reasoning SATs papers, it requires more use of critical thinking and powers of deduction. Your child will need to understand all mathematical processes taught in KS2 as well as the ability to follow a logical line of enquiry and sound reasoning to solve mathematical problems at speed. The questions use drawings, shapes or codes, and your child will need to work out sequences, similarities and differences between a set of figures or break the code.

Taking the test

Before sitting the test, you need to register your child with Warwickshire county council (The forms will be available at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/elevenplus . You may be required to send additional documentation to support your application, such as a council tax bill and/or medical information. The deadline for test applications this year is the 30thof June 2021. Once you have completed the registration form, you will be sent a letter of invitation to attend a testing session.

The 11+ test is taken in allocated test centres in Warwickshire, most of which are in secondary schools. Tests are not held at children’s own primary schools. Wherever possible, you’ll be allocated the nearest test centre to your home address.

Preparation for the tests

Early preparation is key to a child’s success in the 11+ exam. Leaving preparations until the last minute can create a multitude of problems, not least of which includes an increase of stress and pressure for your child. There is a lot of material to cover and your child will need adequate time to become familiar with the content, layout, language and symbols used. This can take longer than you think. Unfortunately, it is a regular occurrence for children to leave the exam session in floods of tears having succumbed to the pressure of the test. Starting preparation early and practising over a longer period of time to can help to overcome this problem. Some children begin tuition in year 4 which can be highly beneficial, however, we strongly recommend your child starts tuition at the beginning of year 5 at the latest.

How can Quality teach help?

The most popular option for your child’s exam preparation is to employ a private tutor. Quality Teach are a well establish company based in fully equipped and air conditioned offices in Stratford Upon Avon. We provide subject specific, quality tuition for children in all school years. All tutors are fully qualified teachers with proven experience in coaching students through examination subjects and all are fully DBS checked.

If you wish to engage a tutor to assist your child through the 11+ exam with our help, please fill in our online form to be invited for a registration meeting. 

Together, we will discuss options and formulate a targeted plan for preparing your child to sit the tests. Each child is individually assessed in order to identify and address specific gaps or weaknesses. This will be done through diagnostic testing, teacher assessment and observation. 

At Quality teach, we can offer weekly exclusive 1:1 tuition, or your child can be part of small group sessions of up to 4 children. Groups can be made up of friends or class mates, or your child will be placed within a group of children who are studying the same areas. Alternatively, we also offer intensive holiday courses during Easter and Summer holidays.

In addition to regular tuition, we also deliver Mock weekends throughout the school year. These mocks provide an opportunity to experience 11+ test conditions using up-to-date published materials and in our professional office space. The mocks will be run by one of our experienced tutors who will be able to guide your child through the stages of the test using CEM style materials and even an audio soundtrack which mimics the real 11+ test. Following the test, the tutor will go through the material with the children and produce a detailed report which can be used as a good indicator for success and as a guide to further study. To book the next available mock weekend for your child, please click here.