The 11+ Exam (or “11-plus”) is an academically selective exam generally taken by 10 year old children at the beginning of Year 6 to gain entry into Year 7 at a selective state Grammar School. There are over 160 Grammar Schools in England. The structure and content of the 11+ Exam varies between different areas of the country. The 11+ Exam is generally based on some, or all, of the following types of questions: English, maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning. The child will sit two or three eleven plus examinations papers in the September of Year 6. The 11+ Exam is increasingly competitive and the passmark for entry into most Grammar Schools is challenging. There are two main exam boards for the 11+ Exam:
(1) GL Assessment (previously known as NFER) administer the 11+ exams for the majority of Grammar Schools in Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton. The GL 11+ exam cover English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning (spatial awareness). Each school can choose any combination of these to best fit their selection criteria.
(2) CEM, developed by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University, administer the 11+ exams for Cumbria, Dorset, Kent, Lancashire, Medway, Northern Ireland and Wiltshire. The CEM 11+ exam covers verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. (The verbal reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL English exam; the numerical reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL maths exam.)
Grammar Schools in Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford and Yorkshire use a mixture of GL and CEM.