11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Preparation – Year 5

A list of schools/areas this advice applies to is at the bottom of the page.

VR Preparation Year 5 11 Plus Guide

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 Verbal Reasoning 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 Vocabulary, English and Verbal Reasoning elements of the complete programme if you do not need coverage of maths and non-verbal reasoning.

If you have less time available before the exam, try the medium length course (approximately 20 weeks) or the short course (approximately 10 weeks).  


2. Using Books for Preparation

Step Zero (see guide) – Vocabulary development throughout the preparation process 

ⓘ Editor’s Pick- Learning Street- Complete Vocabulary Course or Vocabulary Enhance or Vocabulary Boost 


elevenplusexams – 11+ Vocabulary in Context – Level 2

elevenplusexams – 11+ Vocabulary in Context – Level 3

elevenplusexams – 11+ Vocabulary in Context – Level 4

Kit’s Educational Publishing – Complete Graded Spelling lists for years one to six

Step One (see guide) – Introductory phase

Use one of the four following books

IPS – Verbal Reasoning Method and Technique

CGP – Verbal Reasoning Study Book

Bond – How to do Verbal Reasoning

Step Two (see guide) – Familiarisation

Use some of the following books

CGP – Verbal Reasoning 10/11 – The 11 Plus Practice Book

CGP  – 10 Minute Tests

Step Three (see guide) –  Initial testing and exam technique development

Use some of the following books

Bond – 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Assessment Papers 10/11 Book 1, Book 2

Letts – 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Assessment Papers 10/11

Step Four (see guide) – Exam skills development using 11 Plus standard tests

As these tests are actually written by the same people who set the actual GL tests (for Kent and Bucks as examples) they are essential. If you only have time to do a few papers then these two packs are the ones you should be doing. Remember though that working at papers alone isn’t sensible, children also, for example, will not reach their potential unless they also cover extensive vocabulary development work.

GL Assesment- Verbal Reasoning 11 Plus Multiple Choice Pack 1,  Multiple Choice Pack 2 and Multiple Choice Pack 3

Step Five- Do some home based 11 Plus Mock Exams using realistic papers.

Suppliers are now producing realistic mock paper packs. These are very useful because unlike the papers in step four 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.

This link will take you to a listing of the 11 plus mock exam papers available


Schools/areas this advice applies to:

Berkshire Reading – all schools – apart from Reading Grammar School

Buckinghamshire – 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 and Urmiston Grammar Academy

Hertfordshire South West – all schools

Hertfordshire – all schools

Kent Medway – all schools

Kent – all schools

Lancashire – all schools

London Kingston-upon-Thames – all schools

London Redbridge – all schools

South West Hertfordshire – all schools

Wirral-Liverpool – Calday Grange, West Kirby, Wirral Grammar School for Boys and Wirral Grammar School for Girls.

Wiltshire – all schools

Yorkshire Calderdale – all schools

Yorkshire North – all schools

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School – Cumbria

Newstead Wood School – London Bromley