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What is 11 plus?

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The 11-plus or Eleven plus

The 11-plus or Eleven plus is an examination administered to some

children in England in the final year of primary education. This is at the age

of 11 to 12 years. The term 11 plus is derived from this age band. 11 plus

exams forms the entrance process for Grammar schools and it checks of

children are ready for the academic rigour of a grammar school of some of

the 164 grammar schools in England.

The 11 + test is supposed to check a child’s intelligence through testing,

mathematics, English and a variety of reasoning in a variety of contexts.

These include verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. The reasoning

papers are not taught in schools and do not form part of the National



> Verbal Reasoning eleven plus tests involves thinking about

   vocabulary, text and solving problems, sequences etc.

> Non-verbal Reasoning eleven plus tests involves thinking about

   pictures, diagrams, illustrations and solving problems based on

   these items.

> Mathematics and English eleven plus test requirements are very

   high where these are used.


Many of the 11 plus tests used by grammar schools or local authorities and

were set by GL. Increasingly, CEM – Centre for Evaluation &

Monitoring or the University of Durham is setting the papers. T

his is because they are a non-profit, independent organisation. Unlike the

GL papers who produce example papers for sale CEM 11 + TM (or Durham

11 plus) do not.


The 11 plus papers come in two formats: Traditional format involves

writing the answers in a space on the eleven plus test paper. Multiple

choice format marks their answer on a separate score sheet by putting a

line against the correct answer and computer optical reading machine marks

the paper.

Local authorities and in some case schools administer the eleven plus exam

administration. Visit What areas still have Eleven Plus Exams? for details in

each LA or selective area.