The Test Format

The Format of the Test Varies:

The exact format of the 11 plus test differs based on the school or Local Authority you’re applying to as well as on the provider that organises the test.

There are two main test providers for the 11 plus,  G L Assessment and C E M. Although in some instances the test papers will be created by the school or by a consortium of schools in that region.

Wherever you are, there are four core subjects that can be examined:

  1. Verbal Reasoning — problem-solving and logic, using words and letters.
  2. Non-Verbal Reasoning — problem-solving using pictures and symbols.
  3. Maths — often at the same level as the Sats, but it may be more challenging.
  4. English — reading comprehension, grammar and sometimes a writing task.

Tests set by GL Assessment can involve any blend of these four subjects (you won’t necessarily have to take all four). Usually there would be a different test paper for every subject.  Though some GL areas now have mixed papers with two papers that each cover more than one subject. Check the format of the test in your area well in advance of test day.

Papers organised by CEM are normally mixed and will cover Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths. However, CEM Verbal Reasoning does include some of the same components as GL English, such as comprehension.

The tests are normally either multiple choice (MC) or standard answer (SA) format.

  • Multiple choice — there might be a separate answer sheet. There’s normally a choice of four or five options for each answer, and the answers are generally computer-marked.
  • Standard answer — there are spaces on the question paper for the student to write their own answers. There will generally not be any answer choices given for the student to select from.

Make sure you know which provider is responsible for the test in your region and discover as much information as you can about the format of the test before you start.