11 Plus Subjects

In this area of the site you can find out all about what’s covered in the various 11 Plus subject areas.

Remember grammar school area can be different and the meaning of subjects (particularly Verbal Reasoning) varies from area to area.

Here you’ll find a useful introduction to the core subject areas: Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and to the two main publishers (GL and CEM). We will also give an overview of Independent School 11 Plus Exams.

If you want to have a more in-depth look at a particular grammar school area to see what type of test a particular school you might be considering has then please use our regional guide.

You will also be able to find information on what materials we recommend you use for each individual area (remember that it is very important to use suitable materials for the exam your child may sit and with so many publishers out there the picture can be quite confusing which is why we have decided to try and offer some guidance and help on what to use).

Finally one word of caution on moving too far beyond the KS2 Syllabus

Increasingly we come across parents who are pushing their children ever further forwards. All we can do is to caution you against doing this. 11 Plus exams typically will not go beyond the primary school syllabus in Maths or English (only some Independent scholarship exams may do so in Maths- see our page on Independent Scholarship Exams for guidance).

So if your child is sitting an 11 Plus entry test for a grammar school they are going to be expected to work very quickly and accurately on questions which fall within the syllabus. Those parents who push their children beyond the syllabus (and hearing parents boasting about their children doing GCSE Maths is not unusual) are really not helping them. Typically children who are working on topics beyond the KS2 syllabus find that while their Maths knowledge might be broad , it is not deep enough to be successful. It is not unusual to find parents who simply cannot understand how their own child who is doing some GCSE level questions has done worse in the 11 plus Maths test than another child they know who didn’t stray beyond the KS2 syllabus and focussed on working quickly and accurately and using their skills creatively in different types of question format.

There really is no advantage to be had in moving beyond the KS2 syllabus.

Advice on individual subjects can be found below:

11 Plus Maths

11 Plus English

11 Plus Verbal Reasoning

11 Plus Non-verbal Reasoning

11 Plus Spelling

11 Plus Creative Writing

11+ Revision Advice

Using books or structured courses for preparation

We try to help parents preparing at home as much as possible. In our exam papers and books section we include lots of Free Preparation Guides for each subject and recommend the right books for you to use from the thousands available. We also help you to see if using a structured course at home might be even better for you than using books alone.