Tutor Icon  Request A Tutor

Chapter 1 : What is the 11+?

The 11+ is usually taken at the beginning of Year 6 or the end of Year 5, for those seeking entrance into selective schools (either state or independent).



The actual content of the 11+ depends on the part of the country, but always focuses on a combination of:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness

Your child will be experienced with English and Maths, as these will generally follow the national curriculum. The verbal/non-verbal reasoning tests, while ostensibly testing innate ability, will be new to your child, and preparation for these parts has been shown to boost marks. Our Tutoring Service is available to provide support for this.


11+ papers use a mixture of standard format and multiple choice.

There are two main exam boards:
• GL Assessment (previously NFER)
• CEM (developed by the Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring at Durham University)

There are some important differences between these exam boards, despite the fact they are testing the same general skills:

      (Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford, and Yorkshire are common to both)
      Dorset, Kent, Lancashire & Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Medway, Northern Ireland, Wiltshire
      Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton
      English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness (schools can choose any combination of these to best suit their selection policy)
      Verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning
      Vocabulary, logic, maths and spelling
      English, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and maths. (CEM verbal reasoning is very different to GL and success is dependent on children having a wide-ranging vocabulary.)


    Contact Us

    The format, number, and date of the 11+ will depend on the area and school. Its important to check with the school of interest about:

    • The date of the test
    • The subjects tested
    • The exam format
    • Who provides the exam


    By phone:

    020 7803 1190

    By post:

    Tavistock Tutors
    174 New Bond Street
    W1S 4RG

    Opening Hours:

    Monday - Friday 7am-8pm

    If you are interested in speaking with someone of our US university consultants contact Tavistock Tutors

    Contact Tavistock Tutors