11 Plus Forum English

English is included in pretty much every 11 Plus Exam around the country. Some exams written by CEM (Buckinghamshire, Birmingham Gloucestershire and other areas) include English but disguise it within its Verbal Reasoning heading. If you think your area doesn’t include English then we’d urge you to double check.

For most grammar schools, English 11 plus exams will include a comprehension exercise and may include some vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar testing. In some cases there is a written section (creative writing) but where there is, it is not normally marked for all students (often it is used to differentiate between the last few students). English exams tend to be multiple-choice because marking them is easier and cheaper for schools.

If we wanted to emphasise the three most important things to focus on through preparation they would be as follows:

  • Do not try to avoid the hard work involved with developing core English skills. Children without strong core English skills (vocabulary, reading/comprehension skills, writing skills) rarely get through an 11 Plus test. Focussing more on Maths and Non-VR very rarely works.
  • Do not try and do much testing early, its really counter-productive. Children need to develop their skills properly before doing 11 Plus standard tests.
  • Vocabulary breadth is essential for the 11 Plus Exam. A wide vocabulary is best developed slowly but surely, learning by rote seldom works by itself.
  • Reading every day and doing paired reading at least a week is essential. Without this core activity most 11 Plus preparation programmes will fall over.

While there is a lot of useful information in our 11 Plus Forum there is much more on the main site. You can for instance read about the advantages and disadvantages of the four main types of 11 Plus preparation or find out how to reduce 11 plus exam pressure and stress or use our free guides to help you understand how to structure a work programme and which resources to use.

11 Plus  English Forum contents

In the Forum you’ll find answers to the following questions. We want to focus on questions which all parents will find useful which is why we don’t include very niche questions. If you have a question that you feel lots of other parents might also have please ask us using the form provided.

When to start preparation

How to tackle comprehension

How to source reading lists

Helping reluctant readers

Importance of reading

When to start reading

Importance of paired reading

English as a second language

If you have questions which we have not addressed in our forum pages, please feel free to submit them via the form provided below.

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Which 11 Plus Exam Preparation Options Are Right For You ?

11 Plus Private Tutors

  • Personalised Work
  • 1-1
  • High feedback levels

but

  • VERY Expensive
  • Lots of work at home
  • Lots of travel

11 Plus Tuition Centres

  • Structured work
  • Third party involvement
  • Some feedback

but

  • Some children don't progress
  • Lots of work at home
  • Lots of travel

11 Plus Guided Courses

  • Structured work provided
  • No wasted time
  • Help and advice on hand

but

  • High parental commitment
  • Cost higher than DIY

11 Plus DIY- Books

  • Parents in full control
  • Work can be totally tailored
  • Lowest cost

but

  • Difficult to plan well
  • Difficult to deliver well
  • Maximum parental effort