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11+ and 13+ Exam preparation

We provide a full 11+ exam preparation programme. The content of the 11+ exam can vary according to school, but usually consists of one or more of these four subjects:

  • 11+ English
  • 11+ Mathematics
  • 11+ Non-verbal Reasoning
  • 11+ Verbal Reasoning

Entry through 11+

As part of the admissions process, Grammar Schools have reintroduced the 11+ exams. It consists of a combination of two or more of the following subjects:

11+ English

In the 11+ English exam there is usually a comprehension. This is a passage followed by a series of questions based on the text. There are frequently questions based on punctuation, parts of speech and English grammar.

11+ Mathematics

In the 11+ Maths papers, all aspects of Maths are assessed, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Other topics that recur are: fractions, percentages, shape, area, graphs, money, measurement and time.

11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning

Non-Verbal Reasoning is another popular way to test a child’s problem solving skills. This test is not language based and is based on the use of pictures, symbols, patterns and shapes. There are three main types of Non-Verbal Reasoning questions but the wording of the questions will differ from school to school.

Similarities: This type will ask the child to find commonalities between pictures, patterns and symbols. They may also have to find the odd-one-out.

Sequences: Here students must find the pattern or link between a series of pictures or symbols. This may be to find the next part of a sequence or to complete a missing part of a pattern.

Analogies: This is usually a two-part question that asks children to discover the link between a pair of pictures and then apply that link to another pair. This is a test of logic.

11+ Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning is probably considered the best way to test a child’s ability to learn or innate intelligence. Many private schools in the area use Verbal Reasoning tests as part of their entrance examinations. For entry into the Grammar school system, Verbal Reasoning forms 50% of the entrance requirements.

Verbal Reasoning is a language based, problem-solving test and therefore relies on the child having a strong vocabulary. Children will be asked to match words, find links and relationships between words and numbers, construct words and look for similar or opposite meanings, as well as make simple calculations.

In the 11+ Verbal Reasoning exams, there are about fifty different types of question that could be asked. These include letter and number sequences, analogies, word endings/beginnings, letter and number codes, odd one out, size order and anagrams.

Often, the school or local education authority will set the exam questions themselves, but this can also be done by the NFER (National Foundation For Educational Research).
There are two formats for these tests: Standard Format and Multiple Choice Format.

There are many question types that could be used in the Verbal Reasoning examination and we aim to teach all of these in our sessions.


13+ Scholarship Exams can be taken as well as or, indeed, instead of 13+ Common Entrance. Typically, scholarship exams fall earlier in the year than Common Entrance, giving a student the opportunity to prepare for both if necessary.


Our tutors have a wide range of Common Entrance past papers, from the most recent, dating back over 10 years. Tutor will carefully incorporate 13+ Common Entrance exam questions into their tutorials in the most relevant way possible for each individual. They will have plenty of opportunity to practise exam style questions. For an overview of the Common Entrance syllabus and to see a select few specimen papers, the ISEB website is useful. Also, to purchase practice Common Entrance exam papers for independent study, Galore Park offers a broad range.