Are you hoping to get your child through the 11 plus? Looking to master verbal and non-verbal reasoning? Not got a clue what that means?
Whether you’re well on your way to securing your child an excellent result in the 11 plus exams, or you’ve only just started preparations, we’ve got you you covered with some amazing resources that’ll give you the best possible chance of success for your future genius!
With private schooling getting more expensive and competition hotter than ever for grammar schools places, it’s vital that you do everything you can to give your child a leg up on the competition. Thankfully, we’ve been working with some of our expert admissions tutors to make sure you’ve got the inside track on the best resources available.
Whilst there are growing numbers of state schools that are shifting to academy status and deciding for themselves what they include in their curriculums, grammar schools can offer an unparalleled level of education and are well-known for producing capable and resilient young adults.
There are a variety of 11+ exams that you may have to take, dependent on which part of the UK you are living in. The two main variations in 11 plus admissions exams are the GL and the CEM tests. The GL test has been used in various iterations since before 2007 and generally tends to be the most common. However, the CEM test developed by the University of Durham is becoming increasingly popular amongst schools for its resilience to the “teaching to the test” style of preparation.
To make it even more difficult, some independent schools develop and use their own tests, so make sure you check which your target school uses!
Whichever test your child ends up doing, the common themes that are covered tend to be verbal and non-verbal reasoning and some form of numerical testing. The exams will test your child’s vocabulary and problem-solving skills, as well as their general maths and english capabilities. To get the best possible score, it’s vital that you prepare your child for these tests, as most primary schools won’t cover the skills needed to get the most out of them.
From online 11+ practice papers, to revision guides and games, there’s a wealth of resources out there to help you. So whether you decide to go it alone, or enlist expert 11+ admissions tuition, these resources will provide an excellent basis for preparations.
As luck would have it, we’ve compiled a short list of the best 11+ resources on offer so that you’ve got everything you need to fuel yourself from middle of the pack, to an 11+ master!
RSL Educational's materials are cited by many as the gold standard for independent and grammar school 11-plus preparation. 11 Plus Lifeline, RSL's core service, offers realistic, challenging practice papers in a wide range of styles, for parents to download and print. Every question is accompanied by an example answer and a detailed explanation of the key techniques - showing children exactly how to improve their work and achieve outstanding marks in their exams.
RSL Educational also publishes a range of books for 8+, 11+, 13+ and GCSE, which are a great way to subsidise your child’s learning throughout their education
With an ethos centred around challenging the mind, 11plus.co.uk is fun, flexible and full of handy resources. The site offers Instructional videos for all 11 Plus topics as well as untimed practice questions with feedback and educational games to boost core skills. 11plus.co.uk also offer a great range of the all-important past mock tests and other premium practice papers to print off or do online.
Possibly one of the most sought-after offerings is their professional mock exam service, provided under full exam conditions, with top quality papers, at affordable rates.
With loads of information on what the 11+ entails, a forum for parents preparing their child and a regularly updated resource directory, the site has a wealth of information to help your child achieve the best possible scores. 11Plus.co.uk is an awesome resource that really goes the extra mile when it comes to 11 plus preparation.
11PluseHelp.co.uk is a one-stop shop for 11 Plus preparation. Whether your child is preparing for the CEM, GL Assessment, CSSE or Independent School 11+ Tests, 11Plusehelp tests provide realistic practice to prepare your child for the real thing.
The site offers a range of online test including short and long formats, as well as timed assessments and online mock exams. Each question comes with an explanation of the correct answers as standard, but what makes the service really stand out are the weakness reports generated at the end of each test, as well as useful tips for reinforcing your child’s abilities in these areas.
On top of this, the site offers an excellent array of downloadable revision resources and general 11 Plus guidance, including videos, flash cards, vocabulary and spelling tests and if that wasn’t enough, it even allows you to keep track of all the independent and grammar schools you’re looking to apply for, alongside their deadlines and application guidelines.
A Testing Time is an awesome website built to offer constantly regenerated, completely unique verbal and non-verbal reasoning questions, enabling pupils to do new tests with new questions 24/7, without limit. With 34 different question types, each with 11 levels of difficulty, the tests are marked immediately with the opportunity to analyse and review the answers. Tests can also be retaken, so in a school environment the same test can be given to a number of pupils to compare results. A Testing Time’s standard scoring table provides a very accurate guide as to a pupil’s ability in these tests in comparison to others and so their likelihood of success at different schools.
An 11 Plus resource by a parent, for parents, 11PlusForParents is an awesome little site that was set up by Steve Spooner after he was struggling to find free resources whilst helping his son prepare for the 11 plus test.
"I discovered that there was not much information freely available that actually explained what was required, with methods and practice material. 11plusforparents.co.uk is designed to specifically help parents who wish to help their children to confidently sit the 11Plus or other Common Entry tests.”
The site covers all the Maths, Verbal, Non-verbal and Spatial Reasoning that is required to successfully sit the test with clear explanations and practice worksheets with answers. The site also provides practice papers designed as a learning aid (not just aiming to test), which help to find the gaps in understanding that need to be addressed before moving on to the official practice papers.
Why We Love 11 Plus Pod
11 Plus Pod are an awesome company, which go about things a little differently. As well as providing excellent preparation materials for use at home or with your tutor, 11 Plus Pod also offer advice and guidance through workshops events. One of their headline services are their formal exam days, where children can sit a mock 11+ exam in full test conditions. Be warned though, the tests used aren’t applicable to every grammar school, so make sure you check this is what you’re after before signing up! The site also has lots of information to help parents navigate their way through the process and their customer service is pretty awesome too!
Learning Together offer an excellent selection of books that are generic enough in subject focus to be suitable for preparation of the 11+ exam across both the state and private sector. The range of books covers all four key 11+ subject areas - verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English and maths. The awesome Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning titles are supported by Step by Step Guides that ensure pupils have a thorough understanding of the topic before taking the exam. Learning Together’s English and mathematics books reinforce the work covered in school and help pupils to develop important skill sets in both subjects.
If this wasn’t enough, the company also have an excellent online offering in the form of multiple choice quizzes, covering everything from non-verbal reasoning to grammar and maths. You can also go back through any incorrect answers to read feedback and develop an understanding of how to answer these types of questions.
We couldn’t write an 11+ resources list without including Bond. Part of Oxford University Press they are one of the go-to companies for 11+ resources, offering a variety of books and downloadable resources for the CEM and GL tests. Bond also has a load of great, free, resources including a general 11+ prep guide, How-to videos for individual test types and a load of free test questions to get you started!
The Book People offer a fantastic Primary schools book range, delivering the best in fiction and non-fiction, with books for every topic and area of education. They also aim to support parents of students who’re revising for exams with revision guides and support books. With a huge range of resources available, from University of Buckingham Press’ own 11+ resources, to excellent prices on Letts’ 11+ practice papers and a wide selection of earlier preparation materials for 8-10 years, The Book People have tonnes!
The 11 Plus Website sells an array of different 11+ resources, including work books and exam questions. The A Plus Series of 11 Plus Practice papers are designed to give the student a taste of the types of questions they may well have to face in the actual 11 Plus exam. Having been published for well over twenty years these 11 Plus Practice papers have successfully helped thousands of students to success in the 11 Plus exam. The papers cover the subjects of English, Mathematics, Non-verbal Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning.
If that wasn’t enough, established Oxford alumnus Mark Chatterton has written an excellent, practical, 11+ guide for parents, giving you the downlow on selecting the right school for your child, advice on selecting a tutor and possible alternatives to the entrance exam. With over 20 years experience in education, Mark has some great insights into 11+ preparation.
So there you have it, a selection of some of the best 11+ resources out there today. With a little bit of practice, you could be securing your child’s place at the school of their dreams in no time!
Check out our Ultimate Revision Guide for loads of awesome exam prep tips!