Nature of the 11 Plus in Reading.
At Reading Grammar School the exam is written by FSCE (Future Schools Community Enterprise). The exam covers the following topics:
• Creative Writing
This school uses the CEM 11 Plus exam format. This test consists of two papers each will be 45 minutes long.
Within those two papers pupils will find a mix of individually timed topics.
These will cover Non-Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning (Maths calculation questions and worded problems) and VR (these include a mix of vocabulary, comprehension and traditional VR questions).
The papers tend to be heavily weighted towards literacy and particularly reward students with very good core Maths and English skills, particularly a wide vocabulary.
CEM tests are designed to be less coachable than previous tests because past papers are not made available, questions are not known in advance and while some prediction is possible they can change without notice.
CEM tests generally reward those pupils with a very strong understanding of the KS2 syllabus and who have gone through a long and slow preparation rather than hothousing.
Reading Girls’ School
This school use GL Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning Tests and there is a Maths test.
These three papers are each 50 minutes long.
GL Verbal Reasoning uses the 21 known verbal reasoning question types but these can change at any time and the schools are under no requirement to notify parents. It is our belief that GL will at some stage introduce less publicised question types into their mix without warning. Parents whose children have prepared properly for this and who have a wide vocabulary and have tried different formats of test should not be overly concerned. In the meantime GL continues to use the 21 question types plus variants. If you would like to find out more about this test go our page on GL Verbal Reasoning. The GL Verbal Reasoning test will reward those pupils with an in-depth knowledge of the different questions but most work should be focussed on building a wide vocabulary as it is this aspect which normally separates the good from the excellent.
GL Non-Verbal Reasoning uses 10 known question formats. Like all Non-Verbal Reasoning tests it focuses on asking pupils to find the solution to shape based puzzles and questions using solutions involving patterns, codes, reflection and rotation. Pupils don’t find this difficult but individual pupils may have a ‘block’ with certain question types (such as nets of cubes for instance). Learning what is involved is the easy part. It is the ability to work very quickly and accurately which separates the good from the excellent in these tests. If you would like to find out more about this test go to our page on GL Non-Verbal Reasoning.
GL Maths. These papers are straightforward and use a mix of calculation based shorter questions and longer worded questions or questions about graphs, data or angles. Children will be asked to work quickly and so for this reason there is a real focus on having absolutely rock solid core skills. Children who have forged too far ahead and who are working on topics beyond KS2 risk having done so at the expense of not having the core skills required. There’s absolutely no point in going beyond KS2 during the preparation phase. The difference between the good and the excellent in this test tends to be marked by an ability to work both quickly and accurately, a faultless grasp of tables and the four operations is essential. To find out more about the GL Maths test go to our page covering it in more detail.
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