Eleven Plus

What is the eleven plus?

The eleven plus is an examination taken by some pupils in the last year of primary school to determine whether they can enter one of the UK`s remaining grammar schools. The eleven plus was introduced in 1944 by the Butler Education Act and was in use nationally until 1976, when the Labour government gave local authorities the option to abolish the grammar schools and switch to fully comprehensive education.

Today, the eleven plus is widely used in Kent and Buckinghamshire, where many of England`s remaining grammar schools can be found. The structure of the eleven plus varies from area to area and there is no standardised set exams across the country. It is therefore important to check what your child will be expected to do with your local authority. Pupils could be required to take up to four different tests, including verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning (both of which are designed to test more innate cognitive ability) as well as the more curriculum based mathematics and English.

Useful books on getting through the eleven plus can be found below. Then, when your child is ready, try to introduce them to revision guides and practice test papers.

We also have dedicated pages for the four tests: maths, English, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

Online Resources:

  • www.elevenplusexams.co.uk: A fully comprehensive site set up by an anxious parent who went through the eleven plus process a few years ago. Here you will find details on how to prepare through to how to appeal and eleven plus result.
  • www.11plusswot.co.uk: Site dedicated to online testing of the eleven plus exams.
  • www.elevenplusadvice.co.uk: General advice on the eleven plus exams.
  • www.nfer.ac.uk: General information on the eleven plus exams from one of the top publishers of eleven plus practice papers.
  • KSOL: Free papers and tutorials (requires registration).