11 Plus Preparation
YTZ provides 11 Plus tuition covering the entire spectrum of English, Math’s, Verbal, Non-Verbal, and Spatial Reasoning required for both the Kent and the Medway 11 Plus Tests. Our experienced specialist teachers use a structured and engaging approach to ensure your child is ready for the test and well equipped for grammar or independent school success.
The 11 Plus exam for a grammar or an independent school can come in a variety of core subject areas. We will tailor your child’s 11 Plus preparation to your chosen school, providing additional study guides at no cost.
Comprehension – students are asked questions on a text of around 500-750 words, varying between a classical text (such as Charles Dickens) or a more factual text (such as a newspaper report).
Vocabulary – students may be asked what various words in a text mean, given a synonyms/antonyms task, or a cloze exercise (missing words from a text) to do.
Spelling/Punctuation/Grammar – questions on these topics may include correcting mistakes in a passage. Spelling areas include homophones (words that sound the same, but are spelt differently and have different meanings, this overlaps with the vocabulary area), words with double letters, and commonly misspelt words.
Literary Devices – your child may be asked to identify literary devices, such as similes, personification, or onomatopoeia.
Literacy Reasoning – used in tests without a dedicated Verbal Reasoning section. Questions can cover rhyming words, anagrams, crosswords, odd words out, or putting jumbled words, sentences, and paragraphs in the correct order.
Creative Writing – often 11 Plus questions for grammar schools will be in multiple choice format as it’s easier to mark. Some areas that include Creative Writing will only grade it for students who are close in marks and are competing for a final place. In independent school tests, Creative Writing is nearly always included and in such cases marked.
Top tip: reading a variety of books every day is the best way to ensure your child develops a broad vocabulary, which is vital for passing the 11 Plus and cannot be made up for solely with exam practice.
The key concepts of the 11 Plus Math’s tests are: Number; Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages; Handling Data; and Shape and Space Measurement.
Top tip: it’s important to remember that that all the Math’s tests stay within the Key Stage 2 syllabus, except a few scholarship questions in the independent school tests. To give your child the best chance at 11 Plus Math’s success, it’s best to stay within the Key Stage 2 syllabus and cover it in depth.
Verbal Reasoning tests a combination of vocabulary knowledge, spelling, logical reasoning, and code deciphering.
Top tip: vocabulary and spelling development are central to preparing for the Verbal Reasoning test. Doing Sudoku puzzles and word searches also helps.
Non-Verbal and Spatial Reasoning
Non-Verbal/Spatial Reasoning tests students’ logic and observation skills by giving them shapes and patterns asking them to find the odd one out, two shapes which are most similar, or a missing shape in a series.
Non-Verbal/Spatial Reasoning is seen as a test of ‘pure intelligence’, asking students to solve visual problems without the need to draw on prerequisite information.
Students need no particular English or Math’s knowledge to answer these questions, although it’s useful to be aware of such concepts as symmetry, rotation, and reflection.
Top tip: doing jigsaw puzzles helps improve your child’s shape and spatial awareness. Doing example questions helps improve speed, accuracy, and an understanding of what’s required.
The 11 Plus Test
The Kent Test is divided into 2 sections and an additional writing exercise.
English and Math’s paper – 1 hour in multiple choice format. Each section will take 25 minutes with 5 minutes for preparation.
The English section consists of a comprehension exercise and some additional questions designed to test literacy skills.
Reasoning paper – about 1 hour in multiple choice format, including practice questions and drill. This contains verbal as well as non-verbal and spatial reasoning sections.
Writing exercise – 40 minutes, including 10 minutes to plan the piece. The exercise isn’t marked, but taken into consideration in borderline cases.
The 11 Plus Test
English – 50 minutes. This involves creative writing of one of the following: story, diary entry, play script, newspaper report, leaflet, or a formal letter.
Maths – 50 minutes in multiple choice format. Topics include fractions, decimals, percentages, area and perimeter, ratios, algebra, shapes and space, and problem solving.
Verbal reasoning – 50 minutes in multiple choice format