11 Plus English Exam – Year 5
A list of schools/areas this advice applies to is at the bottom of the page.
Skills development and exam preparation – Year 5
If preparing at home you have a choice between:
1. Using a structured course
2. Using books
In summary, if you choose a structured course all the planning is done for you, everything is included and you just have to print it out and do it. On the other hand, if you choose to buy books you would need to do the planning yourself and decide what to do when.
Please download our FREE 11 Plus English preparation guide which gives detailed explanations of how to structure a preparation programme at home and how to use the resources we have recommended below.
1. Using Structured Courses for Preparation
ⓘ Editor’s Pick – Learning Street’s Complete 11 Plus Programme offers excellent coverage of all elements needed for the 11 Plus exam. They also provide a version covering just the literacy elements of the complete programme if you do not need coverage of maths and non-verbal reasoning.
2. Using Books for Preparation
Step One (see guide) – Skills development and practice
English tests contain many different elements so we recommend a variety of materials to suit. Where books come without answers this is noted.
General English skills books
Bond – No Nonsense English 9 – 10 (answers included)
Bond – No Nonsense English 10 – 11 (answers included)
Use both books
Schofield and Sims – Springboard 8 (excellent books but no answers available)
Grammar and Punctuation
Letts – Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (answers included)
Vocabulary and Spellingⓘ Editor’s Pick – Learning Street- Complete Vocabulary Course or Vocabulary Enhance or Vocabulary Boost
ⓘ Editor’s Pick- Learning Street’s 11 Plus Comprehension Course is perfect for children preparing for independent school exams as, unlike books, it covers written comprehension questions, not just multiple choice.
OR use books
Step Two (see guide) – Exam technique development and practice
Use both or one depending on time you have available.
Step Three (see guide) – Exam skills development using 11 Plus standard tests
Use a selection of these to help your child apply their skills flexibly.
Where you are studying for a GL written exam (in Kent or Buckinghamshire for example) then these two packs of English papers are more important than the others. They are not in exactly the same format as the exam will be but they are written by the supplier of the actual exam papers.
If you only have time to do a few papers then do these.
Step four- Do some realistic Mock Exam Papers at home
Suppliers are now producing realistic mock paper packs. These are very useful because unlike the papers in step three they are structured in the same or similar way to the exam itself. Not all schools and areas are covered as of yet but most are. There are two main suppliers of these and we recommend the one below as they offer much better value. These papers are more expensive than mass produced /one size fits all but they are also about 80% cheaper than doing a hall based mock.
We’d recommend doing perhaps 4 of these ( one every weekend) as you near the exam to really sharpen up that exam technique. You can also do them in advance of doing a hall based mock so you get best value from that larger investment.
Schools/areas this advice applies to:
Buckinghamshire – all schools
Devon – all schools
Dorset – all schools
Essex – all schools – apart from Chelmsford County High School for Girls
Gloucestershire – all schools
Greater Manchester – all schools – apart from Sale Grammar School
Kent Medway – all schools
Kent – all schools
Lancashire – all schools
London Barnet – all schools
London Sutton – all schools
South West Hertfordshire- all schools
Wiltshire – all schools
Wirral-Liverpool – Calday Grange, West Kirby, Wirral Grammar School for Boys and Wirral Grammar School for Girls.
Dame Alice Owen’s School – Hertfordshire
Tiffin Girls’ School – London Kingston-upon-Thames
St Olaves Grammar School – London Bromley
Skipton Girls’ High School – North Yorkshire