Preparation for 11+ exams

11+ Exams are a great worry for the majority of parents who would like their child to join a good secondary school.

There are 2 factors that determine whether your child would be given a place in the secondary school of your choice.

Most schools have a catchment area and the closer you live - the higher are the chances your child would be offered a place, if he/she passes entry exams.

Each school is different and might have a selection or all of the following exams:

Non-verbal Reasoning 

Verbal Reasoning 



English and Maths exams cover material for the whole of primary school despite the fact that children sit exams in the beginning of Year 6.

Deadline for application varies from May (when your child is in Year 5) to October (in Year 6 for some private schools). You will need to provide proof of address - a council tax letter, usually issued in the end of March or withing 2 months when you move into the new property.

All schools hold an Open Day - we would highly recommend to visit 4-5 schools you are interested in when your child is in Year 3 or 4, so that you could  start preparing for the relevant exams and plan moving a family home, if you are outside the catchment area. 

Be prepared - schools might change the list of exams with only 6 months to deadlines for application. 

Some councils,e.g. Bexley, hold centralized 11+ exams. Your child would be able to sit an exam only if you apply for it in the end of Year 5.  

All good bookshops have practice Assessment Papers for each of these tests - we would highly recommend to become familiar with what's expected from your child in the beginning of Year 6 the earlier the better and start exam preparation. 

From the age of 5 you need to ensure your child is in Top Set at school and reads every day for 20-30 minutes as a minimum.

From the age of 7-8 we would highly recommend to start targeted exam preparation yourself or contact specialists in exam preparation who would support you and your child all the way to 11+.

To find out more about 11+ courses, contact