Friday 1st December 2023

City Of London Boys Stage 1

-227
days

Wednesday 13th December 2023

City Of London Boys Stage 2

-215
days

Saturday 18th November 2023

City Of London Girls Stage 1

-240
days

Friday 5th January 2024

City Of London Girls Stage 2

-192
days

Friday 1st December 2023

Emanuel

-227
days

Sunday 19th November 2023

Guildford High

-239
days

Saturday 25th November 2023

Hampton

-233
days

Monday 4th September 2023

Henrietta Barnet

-315
days

Tuesday 5th December 2023

Highgate

-223
days

Friday 17th November 2023

Ibstock

-241
days

Saturday 2nd December 2023

King's College

-226
days

Friday 10th November 2023

Kingston Grammar

-248
days

Friday 1st September 2023

Latymer Grmmar

-318
days

Wednesday 6th December 2023

Latymer Upper

-222
days

Sunday 3rd December 2023

LEH

-225
days

Thursday 30th November 2023

London Consortium (1)

-228
days

Monday 4th December 2023

London Consortium (2)

-224
days

Wednesday 6th December 2023

London Consortium (3)

-222
days

Wednesday 17th January 2024

Manchester Grammar

-180
days

Tuesday 12th September 2023

Nonsuch

-307
days

Friday 24th November 2023

Putney High

-234
days

Wednesday 20th September 2023

Queen Elizabeth's

-299
days

Saturday 14th October 2023

Sevenoaks

-275
days

Saturday 18th November 2023

St Paul's

-240
days

Monday 20th November 2023

St Paul's Girls Stage 1

-238
days

Monday 8th January 2024

St Paul's Girls Stage 2

-189
days

Tuesday 9th January 2024

St Paul's Juniors

-188
days

Saturday 2nd December 2023

Streatham & Clapham

-226
days

Saturday 25th November 2023

Surbiton High

-233
days

Tuesday 12th September 2023

Sutton Grammar

-307
days

Tuesday 12th September 2023

Sutton Grammar

-307
days

Wednesday 1st November 2023

Sutton High

-257
days

Thursday 5th October 2023

Tiffin Boys Stage 1

-284
days

Thursday 9th November 2023

Tiffin Boys Stage 2

-249
days

Thursday 5th October 2023

Tiffin Girls Stage 1

-284
days

Saturday 11th November 2023

Tiffin Girls Stage 2

-247
days

Tuesday 12th September 2023

Wilson's Grammar

-307
days

Wednesday 15th November 2023

Wimbledon High

-243
days

KS2 / 11+ / UKMT

Past Papers


Free 11+ Maths past papers and written solutions for all the top UK independent (known as private schools) and grammar schools in the UK such as St Paul's Girls', Godolphin and LatymerCity Of London Girls, Latymer UpperQueen Elizabeth'sLatymer Grammar and King's College Wimbledon.

13+ papers are also available below for top schools that require the entry process to start in year 6 such as Eton and Harrow.

Most schools that use an 11+ entry assessment work with an exam provider or body to administer the exam.  There are several exam providers for the 11+ in England.  Exam boards change from school to school not just region to region.  The four main 11+ Maths exam providers/boards are:

  • Durham CEM select - see the Durham CEM and CGP folders below for Durham CEM papers
  • ISEB Common Pre-Test - see the ISEB folder for Pre-Test style papers
  • GL Assessment - see the GL Assessment folder for Pre-Test style papers
  • London Consortium 

Durham CEM and GL assessment are the most prominant 11+ exam boards in the UK.  

There are three less common exam providers:

  • SET
  • CSSE
  • CAT4 (also written by GL)

A calculator is not allowed for any of the exams, regardless of exam board. 

See Schools Via Exam Type for a complete list of schools for each of the four main exam providers/boards.

CEM, ISEB, GL Assessment, SET, CSSE and CAT4 are computerised online tests which top schools use as an extra step of elimination (see the relevant sections below for detailed explanations on all of these boards and the differences between them).  It a student does well in this test then they will usually sit a bespoke paper written by their target school as very few schools rely solely on the computerised online test.  Some schools only have a written bespoke paper and do not bother with the computersied online tests at all (see the 'Schools With Bespoke Papers' section below).

There is also almost always an interview involved afterwards which is a very important part of the admissions process and key to getting into a school.  Whilst students must meet a high academic standard, they must also demonstrate an ability to engage and respond during discussion.  Interviews often test critical thinking and the ability to articulate clearly one's point of view.  They prefer not to have students appear over practised and look for bright, engaged, confident students who are eager to learn and able ot express themselves in conversation.  See my 11+ Interview Advice

When preparing for the 11+ exams it is important to know which exam board a school will use.  The 11+ syllabus differs slightly depending on the grammar or independent school you are applying for.  Although all exam boards cover the same four 11+ topics - English Comprehension, Maths, Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning/Spatial Awareness, different exam boards assess children in different ways therefore preparations will differ accordingly:

  • The format of the papers
  • The types of question posed
  • The time given to answer questions

It is up to each school which subjects they test and how.  As mentioned, the content of the 11+ does not vary much overall.  All 11+ exams focus on the same subjects, recycling the same types of questions and content. Once you know this, you can use 11+ preparation resources for any exam board to help your child/student prepare for their 11+ exams. 

While content and topics remain similar, there are some bigger differences between the 11+ exam style for grammar schools (as detailed above) and the 11+ exams sat by independent schools.

Firstly, most independent schools tend to write their own 11+ entrance exams. Therefore, there is a greater variety in topics covered and question styles. While most grammar school exams tend to consist of multiple-choice questions, independent schools often use standard answer (also known as written answer) questions. This is because grammar school exam boards use optical readers to mark exam papers, whereas independent school papers are marked by people (often teachers at the school).

Again, a major difference here is the use of standard answer questions. 11+ maths exams for independent schools including longer, detailed questions, often with multiple parts. Marks are given for clear workings as well as the correct answer for most questions.

Overall, independent school maths exams tend to include fewer, but more difficult, questions. The majority of the questions in these exams will align with the KS2 curriculum (up to and including Year 6). However, some schools are known to include a few tricker questions at the end of the paper. These will often include content that students have not been taught at school, requiring them to use their existing maths knowledge and logic to find the answer. This is done in order to single out the very best and most gifted young mathematicians.

 

Durham CEM

ln late 2022, Durham CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) announced they were switching to online exams and no longer providing standard 11+ papers (CEM regularly change their style of exams).  An increasing number of independent and grammar schools in the UK are now using the online CEM select test.  The questions consist of the following types of questions:

  • Multiple Choice  - these make up the vast majority of the CEM Select test. Pupils will need to use their mouse or trackpad to select the correct answer from a group of options shown on the screen. The option selected will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Drag and Drop - pupils will need to use their mouse or trackpad to drag one of several options and drop it into the correct place on the screen.
  • Auto Complete -  pupils will need to type the correct letters into each answer to auto-complete the word. If they type the incorrect letters, it will not auto-complete.

CEM Select is a highly time-pressured exam with six sections that have a combined time limit of one hour. The test asseses Verbal, Non Verbal and Maths skills:

  • Comprehension (verbal reasoning)
  • Anagrams (verbal reasoning)
  • Missing words (verbal reasoning)
  • Shuffled sentences (verbal reasoning)
  • General Mathematics (there are 30 questions each mapped to the KS2 curriculum)
  • Pictures (non verbal reasoning)

The test is designed to make the selection process fair for candidates. It allows pupils to show their academic potential and ability and demonstrate their real understanding of the content, rather than what they have learnt through repetition.  

Unlike other online assessments such as the ISEB Common Pre-Test and the London 11+ Consortium, CEM Select is non-adaptive. This means the questions don't get harder as you answer them correctly and there is no negative marking. This also means that the questions are pre-selected - students will see the exact same questions throughout the test. Students can skip questions and come back to them later or double check their answers.

The Durham CEM select test is used within a wide range of schools and each school has their own pass threshold which varies based on how many pupils the school can admit into the year group. This means there is no universal pass mark as scoring cut-offs will depend on the admissions criteria of the school.  All marks from each paper are combined to give a total score.  The score is usually age standardised to remove any disadvantage for children who were born later in the year. This is done to take into account how well they have performed and their date of birth at the time of the exam (see scoring section below).  

Top schools will have their own exam (stage 2) in additon to the CEM (stage 1).  Stage 2 usually involves a written paper.  Students must do well enough in order in stage 1 to advance to stage 2 which then involves an interview afterwards.

School Stage 1 Stage 2 Dates
St Paul's Girls Durham CEM
Yes Nov & Jan
City Of London Girls Durham CEM
Yes Nov & Jan
Guildford High Durham CEM No Nov
Haberdashers Boys Durham CEM Yes Dec & Jan
Ibstock Durham CEM Yes Nov & Dec

Stage 1 Practice Papers

CEM was developed because some schools and Local Authorities were concerned that pupils were being too heavily tutored for the CEM 11+ exam and that many of the questions were easily available to both tutors and parents. They felt that they needed a “tutor-proof” exam and the CEM 11+ exam was created in response to these concerns. CEM do not publish or endorse practice materials for this reason. For this reason, CEM is perceived to be more difficult than ISEB Pre Test. It should be noted that CEM say that their 11+ exam is “tutor proof”, however many would say that a "tutor proof" exam does not exist. An experienced tutor will always know how to prepare a student well and give them an advantage.

There are no actual past papers and CEM is ofen changing year to year.  However, The CEM exam has been around for some years now and many of the questions and question types are in the public domain meaning that the exam is now no longer “tutor-proof”. Similar Durham CEM 11+ Maths Papers are still great practice and can be found by clicking here. CGP Maths Papers and First Past the Post (FPP) are also good practice for the CEM Paper.  

Stage 2 Practice Papers 

Stage 2 style papers are internally written by the school and it varies from school to school depending on how they prefer to select their pupils. For stage 2 style practice papers see the relevant school's folder or Independent School Papers or the missing papers section below.

Independent schools often expect students to be well above KS2, more KS3.  Usually the end questions are above KS2 and require some knowledge of KS3.

The St Paul's Girls' Maths paper is designed to identify potential and features three 25-minute sections. The first section features questions that are fairly straightforward sums, while the second section covers problem-solving questions. The third section often has multi-part questions based on material that the girls may not have encountered before. Throughout the paper, it is essential that they show their working out. Girls who perform well in the written exams will be shortlisted for interview, which form the third and final stage of the admissions process.  Your daughter will be provided with stimulus material to generate an informal conversation. The interviewer will be looking for evidence of your child’s creativity, engagement, independent thought, and overall academic potential. The admissions process is designed to identify potential, but it’s worth noting that if there is a tie-break between two or more children, preference might be given to a girl who has a particular talent or special aptitude.

Ibstock and Guildford High do not provide sample papers, but very similar shadow papers can be provided upon request.

 

ISEB Common Pre Test

ISEB (Independent Schools Examination Board) is known for producing the Common pre-Test and Common Entrance examinaitons. The ISEB Pre Test  is also online and consists of four adaptive, multiple choice (with five answer options), online tests in Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal reasoning, English and Maths.  All four tests take approximately 2.25 hours to complete.  Adaptive means that when a pupil is correct the level of difficulty increases and, if they are finding a level too hard it will become simpler, thus each child will be challenged to achieve at the highest level they are able.  The ISEB is produced by GL and follows it own unique ISEB curriculum. The four subject components to the Common Pre-Tetss are as follows:

  • Maths (40 minutes)

  • English (40 minutes)

  • Verbal Reasoning (25 minutes)

  • Non-Verbal Reasoning (30 minutes)

The four tests can be taken together or separately, but once a section is started it must be completed in one go. The tests can be completed in any order. Each test has a timer which counts down the time remaining for that section.

Unlike many CEM exams, the ISEB Pre-Tests are not time-pressured. For many students, this is incredibly beneficial, as it can prevent minor errors and mistakes from happening through rushing. As an adaptive, computerised test, with multiple choice answers, it is crucial to work through the test accurately & carefully, as they will not be able to go back and change their choices once submitted. The reason for this is that the test itself will adjust in difficulty as your child answers, so you will see the test get more difficult, or easier in response to their answers so far. It is therefore incredibly important that children aim to get their first few answers correct, to allow them to access the most difficult questions and achieve the highest result.  Some students find the adaptive tests tricky as some find it hard to gauge how well they are doing.

Children are assessed using an age-standardised score just like with CEM.

11+ ISEB Common Entrance maths past papers can also be found in the same folder as ISEB Pre Test Papers, but these papers are used within schools, not for the 11+ tests. 

Like CEM, top schools will have their own exam (stage 2) in additon to the ISEB Common Pre Test (stage 1).  

School Stage 1 Stage 2 Dates
LEH ISEB Pre Test
Yes
Nov & Dec
JAGS ISEB Pre Test
No Jan
Streatham & Clapham ISEB Pre Test + Essay
No Dec
Wellington College ISEB Pre Test
No Oct/Nov
St Paul's Juniors ISEB Pre Test
Yes Dec & Jan
St Paul's  ISEB Pre Test Yes Oct/Nov & Jan-July
Eton
ISEB Pre Test
Yes - similar online test and also in year 8 (13+)

Oct/Nov & Spring/Summer Term

& year 8

Westminster
ISEB Pre Test
Yes Oct/Nov & Jan
Harrow
ISEB Pre Test
Yes - online Autumn Term
Bradfield College ISEB Pre Test
Yes in year 8 only (13+) Nov-March & Jan/Feb Year 8
Tonbridge ISEB Pre Test
Yes in year 7 only
Autumn Term & Year 7
Charterhouse ISEB Pre Test
No Autumn

For stage 2 style practice papers see the relevant school's folder below or Independent School

The LEH stage 2 is a problem solving paper. The problem solving paper does not demand specific knowledge. It tests linguistic and logical problem solving covering elements of Maths, Critical Thinking and English. It also includes a writing task of 2 paragraphs to asses writing skills, including punctuation and spelling. 

Note:

  • These schools do not provide stage 2 sample papers, but very simiilar shadow papers can be provided upon request.
  • Eton, St. Paul's Winchester, Wellington College, Harrow, Bradfield College, Tonbridge and Charterhouse only offer entrance at 13+, but the ISEB exams and some stage 2 exams will need to be taken in year 6. Eton requires another paper to be taken in year 8 called the King's Scholarship Common Entrance paper.  Contact me for sample papers. 

Since the ISEB Common Pre-Test is created by GL Assessment, the questions and questions types found in this exam are very similar to those which appear in the 11+ GL exams.

 

GL Assessment

GL Assessment (Granada Learning, which was previously known as NFER before being purchased by GL) is the main provider of admissions testing for UK grammar schools (for the last 20 years). However, in recent years GL Assessment has gained a reputation for being too predictable and too easy to prepare for, partly owing to the amount of time it’s been around. It is considered too transparent and that children can be hardwired to be able to answer questions in the GL Assessment style, undermining the selection process.  Assessment made a come-back in recent years though.  They made some changes to some of the question styles and the format of the exam, so it more closely resembles the Durham CEM exam, and will not be as predictable as it has been in the past. Instead of children just reciting answer and memorising methods, children can now better evidence their rational thinking, logic and intellgience.

This exam is online and is usually multiple choice.  The GL assessment papers cover four subjects:

  • English - 49 to 56 questions in 50 minutes
  • Maths - 50 questions in 50 minutes
  • Verbal reasoning - 80 questions in 60 minutes
  • Non -Verbal Reasoning/Spacial Awareness - 80 questions in 60 minutes. 

Most GL papers are multiple choice with five answer choices.  Some schools can follow the standard format where answer choices are not provided, and students are expected to work out the answer on their own. Some schools has a mix of multiple choice and standard format.  Aside from the school-specific variation, the standard GL formats are:

Not all regions choose to use all four subjects.  Most schools require 2 papers.  Schools can choose a combination of the four subjects for their entrance exam depending on their selection criteria. The number of questions and the timings are decided by school itself.  Some schools also combine multiple subjects into a single paper, so be sure to check the format being used for each school as the papers and their duration vary. 

Children are assessed using an age-standardised score like with CEM and ISEB Pre-Test. Grammar school entry is more competitive in some regions than others. The difficulty of the GL papers differs between schools. The practice papers may not be exactly the same difficulty level as the real tests as the difficulty level varies between school. GL choose their questions from a very large question bank for each school. The actual GL exams for top schools are harder than the practice papers produced by GL, so the more practice you can get on a wide range of materials the better! Using practice papers is very helpful. 

School Stage 1 Stage 2 Dates
Queen Elizabeth's (Boys) GL Assessment (Maths and English)
No September
Henrietta Barnett (Girls)
GL Assessment (English, VR, NVR)
Yes (English + Maths) Sept & Oct
Dr Challoner (Girls) GL Assessment (English, Maths, VR, NVR)  
Transfer Test September
Latymer GL Assessment  (Maths & VR)   Yes (English) September 
City of London Boys GL Assessment (English & Maths)  GL (NVR & VR) Both in Dec
Altrincham School (Boys and Girls) GL Assessment (Maths, VR & NVR)
No  September
St Michaels GL Assessment (English, Maths, VR, NVR)   No  September 
Kendrick  GL Assessment (English, Maths, VR, NVR) 
No September 

The top grammar schools are tough to get into (such as Queen Elizabeth's, Henrietta Barnett and Latymer). It is possible to get into an ultra-competitive top 10 independent school and not one of these listed above. 

Note: Not all grammar schools use GL Assessment for stage 1.  Sometimes they are written by the school, SET or CSSE exam board.  GL assessment used to provide tests for Tiffin School and Tiffin Girls' School, but do not anymore.  Tiffin and Tiffin Girls' school now have their own 11+ admission criteria and tests (see the schools with bespoke papers section). 

Stage 1 Practice Papers

Firstly, be sure to know all of year 6 maths (KS2) very well.  The top 3 textbooks are:

  • Target Your Maths Year 6 (work your way to section C)
  • KS2 David Rayne
  • ISEB Mathematics Year 6 by Galore Park

See GL AssessmentCGP (GL assessment version is the most important section here. 10 minute tests, and practice sets are also good extra practice), Schofield and Sims (S&S)First Past the Post (FPTP) and AE practice Tests for practice papers (GL, CGP and FPP are the closest - make sure you can do these papers fast and accurately).  The GL familiarisation papers are the hardest out of all the GL released practice papers (the second pack is harder than the first) and are the best practice for the Maths exam. Bond material is too easy. Primary Maths Challenge Papers byThe Mathematical Association are great practice to stretch students (don't confuse these papers with the UKMT Primary Challenge!).

If you have done all mentioned above and still want more practice you can move onto Durham CEM papers. Longer style questions are also an option (see the missing papers section below).

Queen Elizabeth's School (QE) is the top grammar school in the UK therefore super selective. QE only accepts 180 out of approximately 2000 applicants. Many are managed out or told to leave by the time they each A Levels (roughly140 go through). Students are given 2-3 hours of homework per day for this school and there are lots of extracurricular activities on top. Many students take the exam as a free 'mock' for other school entrance exams and have no intention of applying to the school. Many also apply to multiple schools including independent ones and even if they score highly on the exam, take up a place elsewhere.

A pupil will need to get very high marks in the exam to get within the top 180.  The actual exam is quite a lot harder than the practice papers, but it is still not that difficult. Yes, you do have to be very good at Maths & English to do well in the exam, but it is more about being able to work accurately and with speed, which is more important as many boys do not finish the papers and still get in.  Saying this, students prepare for a long time for this exam and therefore some are able to get full marks or only drop a few marks. 

 Even mathematically strong students miss out on a place though due to high bar and vast number of applicants.  As already mentioned, speed and accuracy are key for maths. One needs to be getting well above 90 in the GL Assessment papers with time to spare. Focus is essential.  A student will do well if they concentrate on speed and accuracy with medium level of questions. Aim for 65 questions in 45 minutes and then 50 quesitons in 50 minutes will seem easy.  Schofield and Sims Mental arithmetic books 1-6 are good (especially books 5-6) to build up speed and accuracy. The comprehension books 1- 4 are also very good.  For English, knowledge of grammar and punctuation (proper use of colons, semicolons, hyphens and dashes etc) and spelling is essential.

Pupils are not expected to go above KS2, just be very fast and accurate at KS2.  However I think that students who learn KS3 topics have an advantage in this test.  It helps to be really well read. Learning KS3 topics will make KS2 seem much easier and give a student more confidence which is essential with accuracy under pressure. 

QE only has English and Maths papers (no NVR or VR papers. There are two 50 minute multiple choice papers, one English and one Maths. QE used to have a first round of VR and NVR (a total of 4 exams), but now just have Maths and English which means they have doubled in importance. There is no internal stage 2 written exam like most of the other grammar schools and entrance all hinges on the GL paper.  All of the questions on GL assessment's 11+ papers are taken from a Question Bank (a secure collection of 13,000 questions that is continually being expanded with new questions and question types). This can mean that, through a lot of practice and preparation a child can become quite familiar with the type of questions posed in the GL 11+ exam. 

Be careful as the multiple choice seems simple, but there are traps everywhere. Common mistakes are considered are given as answer options.  Every mistake will cost dearly at a school as competiive as this. The maths apper have some non verbal style questions related to consepts like dice, reflection, rotation and symmetry. 

Henrietta Barnett and Latymer both have verbal reasoning papers, unlike QE. The best resources for these are AFN, The Tutors full tests by IPS, Madeleine Guyon Learning Labs GL Assessment books 1 and 2 (pack 2 is harder than pack 1), Susan Daughtry (Bright Sparks) and Barbara Walsh. These are listed in order of difficulty.

If you live in Buckinghamshire, students will take the Transfer Test to decide which type of secondary school they'll go to. There are 13 grammar schools in the area (part of the Birmingham consortium). 

Admission to Buckinghamshire grammar schools in Year 7 is determined by student performance in the 11 plus Secondary Transfer Test, which aims to select students based on academic ability.Achieving the Secondary Transfer Test Score (STTS) does not guarantee a place at the school. Each grammar school in Buckinghamshire sets its own additional admissions criteria. Before taking the Secondary Transfer Test, students will have the opportunity to take a practice test, two days before the actual exam. The practice test aims to give students the experience of taking a test under exam conditions and to help familiarise them with the layout of the 11+ STT.

The Transfer Test is set by GL Assessment. It is split into two papers that test:

  1. Comprehension, technical English and Verbal Reasoning
  2. Non-Verbal Reasoning, Spatial Reasoning and Mathematics

Each test paper lasts for approximately 45 minutes and all questions are multiple-choice. The 11+ Secondary Transfer Test is weighted as follows:

  • Verbal Ability – 50%
  • Non-Verbal Ability – 25%
  • Numerical Ability – 25%

The verbal reasoning papers mentioned above are good practice.  CGP also have a good book with Transfer Test practice papers.

There are currently eight grammar schools in the Birmingham Grammar School Consortium.The Birmingham 11 Plus exam consists of two test papers, each lasting approximately 60 minutes. The papers are separated into individually timed sections that cover:

  • English Comprehension
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Mathematics
  • Non-Verbal + Spatial Reasoning

All five schools within the Warwickshire Consortium use the same test papers, which test children’s skills in:

  • English Comprehension
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Mathematics
  • Non-Verbal + Spatial Reasoning

There are currently seven grammar schools in the Gloucestershire Grammar School Consortium:

All grammar schools in the region use the same 11+ exam from GL Assessment. The test consists of two multiple-choice papers covering:

  • English Comprehension, Vocabulary and Verbal Reasoning
  • Mathematics and Non-Verbal Reasoning (including Spatial Reasoning)

There are currently seven grammar schools in the South West Hertfordshire Consortium. The South West Herts 11 Plus exam consists of two tests:

  • A Mathematics paper lasting approximately 50 minutes
  • A Verbal Reasoning paperlasting approximately 50 minutes.

See the CSSE section for the Essex consortium exams. 

 

Stage 2 Practice Papers

Some schools use their own internally written tests in conjunciton with the GL tests. This varies from school to school depending on how they prefer to select their pupils.  See Independent School for practice papers or the missing papers section below.

 

Differences between Durham CEM and GL Assessment

CEM was created because there was a growing concern from a number of grammar schools that existing assessment has become too transparent and that the exam question format meant that children could be taught the skills needed to respond to the test.  Recently, more and more schools have chosen to use the CEM assessment as opposited to the GL assessment. 

There are 3 main differences between CEM and GL:

  • GL publishes practice materials, whereas CEM does not and therefore CEM is seen as harder to prepare for. CEM is seen a more 'tutor proof' and does not produce nor endorse any published practice papers. CEM believe that children should not be tutored for their tests and attempts to reduce the disadvantage created between children who are tutored. Because of this the questions that appear in the real CEM exam are more unpredictable - work hard on develping a deep and rich understanding of maths! GL also advise against tutoring and do not publish actual past papers (only practice papers).  They say tuition will have no real impact on performance. They vary the questions on each test to eliminate any advantage that pupils could gain through tutoring (see preparation and tution section for more details).  Familiarisation is essential though and GL produce practice materials because of this. 
  • CEM continually change the format of their tests and the perceived increase in difficulty
  • GL papers are separated by subject, whereas CEM integrates (mixes) all subjects in shorter times sections and is very time pressured.  GL has four exam papers and either two or three are chosen by schools. The CEM has one exam paper (it used to have two papers).  Children are given a certain time to answer questions within a specific section.  Once the time has elapsed in a section, they must then move on to the next section of the exam paper.  This is not the case with GL assessments, where children can manage their own time across the entire paper. CEM also provide more questons per papers than are likely to be answered, so a child rarely feels as if he has "finished" the exam.
  • The CEM assessement aligns much more closely to the content of the KS2 national curriculum. GL content is less cosely mapped to the national curriculum and places more emphasis on logical reasoning, verbal reasoning, English and spelling. Both providers assess similar strengths overall though. 
  • GL requires strong vocabulary, logic, maths and spelling skills.  CEM requires strong English, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and maths skills. CEM verbal reasoning is veyr different to GL and success is dependent on children having a much more wide-ranging vocabulary. 

 

London Consortium

The London Consortium of schools have just changed their London Consortium 11+ exam format and no longer use the ISEB Pretest nor bespoke lengthy papers as part of their 11+ Entrance Exam. Instead, from 2022 onwards, the Consortium introduced a new bespoke assessment process, for entry in September 2023 onwards, which goes beyond testing cognitive ability alone and seeks to discover a child’s potential in creative and critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and problem-solving. This test is online and 100 minutes in total and taken in the candidate’s current school, but where this is not possible, provision is made in all Consortium schools for candidates to sit the test there.

The London consortium wanted to make the assessment process as simple as possible as they were concerned about the pressure that the current 11+ application system places on young children and for the damage to learning which relentless ‘teaching to the test’ produces.  They have simplified the process by reducing the number of examinations sat. 

The exam can only be taken on three selected dates – 30th November, 4th December or 6th December 2023. 

Part 1 London Consortium Test
  • Maths test 11+ section (20 mins)
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning 11+ section (10 mins)
  • English Comprehension 11+ and Verbal Reasoning 11+ sections (30 mins)

These first four parts will be adaptive.  This means that the computer will select the next question for each candidate based on their previous answers. The adaptive nature ensures that every child can have a good experience compleitng the assessment as the questions will be tailored to their performance. 

The questions will be based on the National Curriculum for Year 5 and we will not test anything on the Year 6 curriculum. This is to make things fair as different schools will teach the Year 6 curriculum in different orders. Since there are many very able candidates taking the Consortium exam, the exam provides stretch and challenge through the style and depth of the questions asked.

Part 2 London Consortium Test
  • Problem Solving 11+ section (15 mins)
  • Creative and Analytical 11+ section (25 mins)

These final two sections of the examination (problem-solving and analysis) will be nonadaptive, meaning all candidates will see exactly the same questions. Since the exam has an option of 3 exam dates this part changes the non-adaptive parts for each of the three exam days to ensure the security of the test.

This section tests the ability of candidates to use words and numbers to solve multi-step problems. The section is non-adaptive and candidates are likely to complete different numbers of questions in the time available.

Channing School Queen's Gate
Francis Holland School South Hamstead High School
Godolphin & Latymer St Augustine's Priory
More House St Helen's School
Northwood College St James Senior Girls' School
Queen's Colllege
St Margaret's School

The London 11+ Consortium have eliminated lengthy English and Math papers, focusing on cognitive ability assessment. This means that the paper in London Consortium Group 1 and London Consortium Group 2 are from the older syllabus and a much more lengthy paper.  

 

Kent Grammar Consortium

Kent is the largest grammar school area in the UK and as a result, it runs its own 11+ test. This test is also provided by GL Assessment. So (as you can probably thought) the Kent Test and GL Assessment exams are very similar. Like GL, the Kent Test’s questions are multiple-choice with five answer options for each question.

There are currently 32 grammar schools in the Kent Grammar Schools Consortium.

The Kent Test consists of two multiple choice tests:

  1. An hour-long exam divided into two sections that cover English and Mathematics. Each section has a 5-minute practice exercise and a 25-minute test.
  2. An hour-long test that focuses on Reasoning. This paper is divided into three sections:
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • Spatial Reasoning

The Kent Test also offers a 40 minues creative writing exercise. This is not marked unless it is needed by a school panel as part of the headteacher assessment stage of the process (borderline or appeal cases).

 

SET

The test consists of two multiple-choice papers, testing Maths and English. Each paper is about 45 minutes long. The Selective Eligibility Test (SET) is used by a number of schools in the Surrey area (Sutton). This test takes place in September. 

School Stage 1 Stage 2 Dates
Nonsuch High SET
Yes Sept
Sutton Grammar SET
Yes Sept
Wallington Country Grammar SET Yes Sept
Wallington High School SET Yes Sept
Wilson's Grammar SET Yes Sept

Greenshaw High School
SET
No Sept
St Olave's Grammar SET
Yes Sept

Students who pass the SET will be invited back for a second round (stage 2) test in October. This will assess Maths and English in a standard format, not multiple-choice. All schools sit the same paper. For stage 2 style practice papers see Independent School Papers . 

 

CSSE

The CSSE (Consortium of Selective Schools) is taken by a collaborative group of 10 grammar schools in Essex.  The online exam consits of 2 papers that cover English and Maths. 

  • The English paper lasts 60 minutes with 10 additional miniutes of reading time
  • The Maths paper also lasts 60 minutes
Shoeburyness High Southend High for Girls
St. Thomas More Southend High for Boys
Westcliff High for Girls St Bernard's High
Westcliff High for Boys Colchester Royal Grammar
King Edward VI Grammar (Chelmsford) 
Colchester Country High

 

Schools With Bespoke Papers

Some schools use neither of the examining bodies above.   The following is a list of the how the maths papers are:

School Stage 1 Stage 2 Dates
Dulwich College Bespoke Online Test
No Dec 
King's College Bespoke Paper No Dec
Sevenoaks Bespoke Paper No Jan
Latymer Upper Bespoke Paper No Dec
Highgate Bespoke Paper No Dec
Putney High Bespoke Paper No Nov & Jan
Wimbledon High Verbal & Non Verbal Only Creative Assessment Day Nov & Jan
Tiffin Boys Bespoke Multiple Choice Yes Sept
Tiffin Girls Bespoke Multiple Choice
Yes Sept
Surbiton High Bespoke Paper No Jan
Kingston Grammar Bespoke Paper
No
Nov
Hampton Boys  Bespoke Paper  No Nov 
Whitgift Bespoke Paper
No Jan
King Edward's Birmingham (Girls) Bespoke Paper
No Oct
Notting Hill & Ealing Bespoke Online No Dec
Solihull Bespoke Paper
No Nov
Emanuel Bespoke Paper
No Dec
Sutton High Bespoke Online Similar To CEM
No Nov
North London Collegiate Bespoke Paper 
No Dec
Manchester Grammar Bespoke Paper 
No
Jan
Magdalen College Bespoke Paper 
No Jan
Perse Upper Bespoke Paper 
No Jan
Brighton College Bespoke Paper (online apart from English, VR and NVR)
No Dec

Please note: Putney High, Wimbledon High, Tiffin and Ibstock do not provide sample papers, but very similiar shadow papers can be provided upon request.  See the relevant school's folder or see Independent School Papers.

Independent schools often expect students to be well above KS2, more KS3.  Usually the end questions are above KS2 and require some knowledge of KS3.

Stage 2 is normally just an interview for the schools that provide their own papers.

 

CAT4

The Cat4 test (Cognitive ability test) is a computer based test that consists of different types of multiple-choice questions. It is created by GL Assessment. 

All questions are multiple-choice with five answer options for each question. CAT4 can be taken either online or on paper, but most schools prefer to use it online. The CAT4 test for the 11+ “provides you with an accurate analysis of potential student achievement”. It is similar to an IQ test, providing the school with a profile of each student’s ability in four areas: Verbal, Non-Verbal, Quantitative and Spatial Reasoning skills.

School Stage 1 Stage 2 Dates
Wycombe Abbey Cat 4
Yes November
Dame Alice Owen Cat 4
Yes September

 

Exam Board Via Region

Generally speaking, schools in the same region use the same 11+ exam board. However, this is not always the case and in recent years schools within the same geographical region use different exam boards.  It is very important to check with individual schools as to which exam body they are currently using as changes can take place at any time. 

GL: Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Kent, Lancashire & Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Medway, Northern Ireland, Warwickshire

CEM: Berkshire, Bexley, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton

GL and CEM: Devon, Exssex, Hertfordshire, Trafford, Wiltshire, Wirral, Yorkshire

London and Surrey exam boards are very mixed. 

 

Exam Dates

Exams are taken in either September, October, November, December or January in year 6 (the majority are in Nov, Dec and Jan).  See the countdown timers at the top of the page.  Contact me if you would like your target school added. 

NB: Please note that all lists on this page were correct at the time of publication. Exam boards used by schools or regions can and do change, so please check with each grammar school that you are applying to in order to confirm what exam board it uses.

 

Missing Papers

If your school has a bespoke written exam and is not appearing in the folder list below, it most likely means that particular school don't release sample or actual past papers.  See the Independent School Papers as these cover all schools and are similar to the bespoke papers written. 

The sample papers for your specific school are not the only papers you can do.  Schools with difficult  papers can be found in the folders below:

  • St Paul's Girls
  • Haberdashers Boys
  • City Of London
  • Highgate
  • London Consortium Group 2
  • Latymer Upper
  • King's College
  • Sevenoaks
  • The Perse Schoool
  • Magdalen College

Schools with easier papers can be found in the folders below:

  • The Queens School
  • Stephen Perse
  • Surbiton
  • Kingston Grammar
  • Emmanuel
  • Royal Russell
  • Sydenham
  • Hampton Court House

If your paper is not appearing below, contact me and I can try to source it for you or point you in the right direction of relevant papers for that particular school. 

Challenge Papers 

The Primary Maths Challenge by The Mathematical Association are the best if you want a further challenge and can be found by clicking this pink link.

 

Preparation & Tuition

Recently the 11+ has aimed to narrow the gap between those children that can afford tutors and those who can’t and to make the 11+ more accessible and fair.  In other words, to reduce any disadvantage created between children who are tutored for tests and those who are not. Schools say that children should not be tutored and that the 11+ is resistant to tutoring, but this certainly isn’t true.  Experienced tutors will be able to give children a massive advantage and make a huge difference. 

Parents are still naturally geared toward helping their children with tutoring and other resources from as early as age 5 to give them the best possible chance and this does make a big difference for weaker students. I think this is too early and can lead to burn out.  I recommend beginning light preparations whilst pupils are in year 4 or the summer term of year 4. Leaving preparations until the last minute can be easily avoided by giving pupils adequate time. Work consistenly! It is much better to do a little bit each day. Be balanced and measured in approach - slow, steady and supportive.  However, having said this, the start of year 5 is defintely not too late to start if a student is already doing well at school. I have started as late at the beginning of year 6 (and even a month before!) with some students! 

It is best to ensure that your child is confident with everything on the KS2 Maths syllabus. Reports from your child’s school should give an indication of whether your child has any major gaps in his/her knowledge. Use Key Stage 2 maths revision resources to fill any of these gaps, and be sure to revisit material that your child struggles on regularly. The best textboks are:

  • Target Your Maths Year 6
  • ISEB Mathematics Year 6 by Galore Park
  • KS2 David Rayner

Wherever a child shows weaknesses, dig deeper to imporve on those specific areas by referring back to textbooks and worksheets by topic. 

Schools often take a modular approach to maths, which means that, if they cover fractions in September of Year 4, they may not cover them again until September of Year 5, by which time they’ve completely forgotten how to do them! Percentages, ratio and algebra might not be taught until year 6 and may only be covered very briefly.  Knowing algebra well can also help simplify lots of questions.  Also make sure yotu child has been shown how to solve more complex multi-step word problems. 

Try to resist the temptation to ‘overrule’ your child when examining different methods with which to tackle the basic operations in maths; they will have been taught differently in their primary school and it is better to try and understand how they arrive at their answers, rather than try to impose the method that you were taught!

Always have a good back up option that you're comfortable with, so if your child doesn't get into a super selective school, they you are still happy with the school that they go to.

The most important thing is to ensure that your child is confident with the basics in the following areas and then move up to more complex worded problems in each area.

  • Basic Arithmetic
  • Place value and estimation
  • Square and cube numbers and roots
  • Prime numbers, factors and multiples
  • Fractions – finding fractions of amounts, equivalent fractions, simplifying fractions, proper fractions, improper fractions, mixed numbers, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions
  • Time - analogue, digital, 12 hour, 24 hour, world time zones, clock angles
  • Decimals, fractions and percentages
  • Rounding to a given number of decimal places.
  • Money, our coinage system, currency conversion.
  • Measurement, metric units of length, mass and capacity
  • Area and perimeter including compound shapes
  • Surface area and volume
  • Mean, median, mode and range
  • Data Handling - Pictograms, line charts, bar charts and pie charts
  • Percentages
  • Measurements and conversions
  • Ratio
  • Probability and scale
  • Venn diagrams
  • Angles and degrees
  • Algebra
  • BODMAS
  • Position and direction
  • Speed, distance and time
  • Shape properties
  • Sequences
  • Reflections, rotations and symmetry
  • Word problems

Lastly and most importantly, 8 years down the line many state educated kids will be in the same unis as their friends who went private. Not getting into your school of choice is not the end! 

 

Scoring

Pupils are assessed using a Standardised Age Score (SAS) which is calculated based on a child's attainment, the difficulty of the questions and their age respective to their peers. Parents won't see these results as they are sent directly to the school. Each school has their own secure account through which they access the assessment and results, which are made available to them within 72 hours of when the pupils take the test. 

Standardisation removes variables from test scores to give a fair comparison of results. The process takes into account your child's age in years and months at the time of taking the exam (e.g. 10 years and 9 months).  In an average school year group, children's ages will vary by almost 12 months and the oldest children will typcially achieve higher scores than their younger counterparts. The best and fairest wayto deal with this issue is to age-standardise the test results.  This means they can account for the exact age of a pupil and every child is on a level playing field. This means that younger pupils have to score fewer marks to achieve the same result.

The raw score (the total number of marks) is converted into a standardised age score (SAS) to indicate how a child has performed against a representative sample of children of the same age. As every school will have its own Planned Admission Number (PAN), the ‘pass mark’ or ‘required standard’ will vary depending on how many pupils the school can admit into the year group. This means there is no universal pass mark.

Standardised age scores normally range from 60 at the lowest end, to 142 at the highest end. Each child's result is mapped onto a normal distribution curve:

  • 80 or below represents the bottom 10% of the year group

  • 100 represents the average score for the child's year group

  • 120 or above represents the top 10% of children in that year group

The highest standardised age score a child can achieve is usually 142. This score would place them within the top 1% of children taking the test.

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