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11 Plus Entrance Guide For Parents

The 11+ exam is an entrance examination used by grammar schools. Children usually take the exam towards the end of primary school Year 5 or the beginning of Year 6. Exam areas include English, maths, verbal, and non-verbal reasoning.


In this guide to the 11+ entrance exam, we’ll cover some frequently asked questions and share some school entrance tips.


Timeline for the 11 plus Exam

For most schools, the general timeline for the 11+ exams in 2022 will be the following:


April or May 2022 - Exam registration


Your child will need to register if they wish to sit the 11+ exam. Most schools will open their registration in April or May 2022 (to sit the test in September 2022).


June or July 2022 - Registration deadline


The registration period is only a few months long, so don’t forget to register promptly. Most deadlines to register are June to July 2022.


September 2022 - Sit the exam


Children will generally sit the 11+ exam in the first two weeks of September. Ensure you check your specific school entrance exam dates.


October 2022 - Results are released


Most schools will release their 11+ entrance exam results in October 2022.


March 2023 - School allocations


After a pause over the winter period, school allocations will be made in March 2023.


September 2023 - Year 7 starts school


Year 7 students will start their new school year!


What are Grammar Schools and Independent Schools?


While all children are guaranteed a place at a state school, grammar schools are selective. With a strong emphasis on academic life and a competitive number of places, grammar schools use the 11+ entrance exam to determine which pupils they will accept. Just like state schools, grammar schools are state-funded.


Grammar schools and independent schools are often conflated. Unlike state and grammar schools, independent schools charge fees. School names can be misleading, as some schools with ‘grammar’ in the title are actually fee-paying independent schools. Likewise, a school doesn’t necessarily need to have ‘grammar’ in the title to be a grammar school.


If your child is applying to an independent school, they may need to sit a different school entrance exam. These schools often set their own entrance tests, rather than using 11+ results.


When to start revising for 11 plus?


Though the best time to start revising for the 11+ exam will depend on your child’s current attainment level, a few months of preparation is always a sensible idea.


Some families will try to set aside some dedicated 11+ practice time during the summer holidays. This allows children plenty of time to familiarise themselves with the exam, improve on any areas they are struggling with, and benefit from some extra tuition if they would like it.


Does my child need 11 plus tutoring?


This depends on the ability and school preferences of each child. If a child has their heart set on a specific school that requires a top 11+ entrance exam mark but is struggling with past papers, 11+ tutoring could be hugely beneficial for them.


For any child preparing for 11+ exams, however, it is normally very useful to gain familiarity with the necessary exam technique and format of the exams, which would otherwise be new to students of this age.


If you’re particularly concerned about your child’s academic progress, it may be better to start tutoring sooner rather than later (before summer 2022) to give them plenty of time to prepare for the exam in September.


Get support from Threshold Education


At Threshold Education, we offer online or London-based 11 plus tutoring with experienced, highly qualified tutors. Book a tutor for private one-on-one sessions or collaborative group classes, depending on your child’s needs and preferences.


Our tutors are Russell Group or Oxbridge educated and have experience with some of the UK’s leading private and grammar schools. As well as helping with exam preparation, our 11+ tutors can help with interview training.


We have a large portfolio of private tutors who are experienced in helping students achieve entrance to top UK schools at 11+ and 13+ levels in particular. This includes Eton, St. Paul's, Westminster among others.


We also offer educational consultancy services and can offer advice on finding the right school for your child.


Get in touch to arrange 11+ tutoring today.



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