Although many teachers are unable to provide specialised support for youngsters who want to take the 11 plus, as a parent you can help.  The first step is to understand the kind of questions your child will have to answer.  Take a look at these samples taken from a typical test* – how would YOU do?

Verbal reasoning

Question 1

Find the four letter word which can be added to the letters in capitals to make a new word. The new word will complete the sentence sensibly. Write the four letter word e.g. England is a constitutional MON (Answer) ARCH  Y(monarchy).

  1. He had to CER over the wall
  2. She LOD the blinds
  3. Sam found lots of BARS at the antiques fair
  4. It was not her fault – she was BLESS
  5. The empty crisp packet had been DISED

Question 2

In each question below the boy ALWAYS starts facing SOUTH WEST (SW)

  1. In what direction is he facing if he makes a quarter turn anti-clockwise?
  2. In what direction is he facing if he makes a three quarter turn clockwise?
  3. In what direction is he facing if he makes a quarter turn clockwise and then a half turn anti-clockwise?
  4. In what direction is he facing if he makes a three quarter turn anti-clockwise, a quarter turn clockwise and finally half a turn anti-clockwise?

Non-verbal reasoning

Find the shape or pattern which completes or continues the given series:


Question 1:

Read the questions carefully each time.

  1. There were 325 pies at the banquet. If one dish holds 30 pies, how many dishes do you need to hold all the pies?
  2. A bag holds 47 sweets. How many children can have four sweets each?
  3. A bottle of olive oil holds 250ml. A larger bottle holds two-and-a-half times as much. What is its capacity?
  4. Which has the greater mass, 3kg of onions or 7lb of feathers?
  5. Bridgetown, Barbados is four hours behind GMT. If a plane leaves London at 06:00 GMT, write the local time it lands in Bridgetown if the flight takes six hours.

Question 2:

Mary keeps some animals on her farm. She has 12 sheep, 16 cows, 24 chickens and six pigs. Mary sells eight of her sheep.

What percentage of her remaining animals are sheep?


In the following sentences work out what the plural of the word in brackets would be:

  1. The (shelf) was full of old books
  2. Ten (sheep) were grazing in the field
  3. My brother gave me (half) of his apple
  4. The (potato) is used to make chips
  5. He was a brave (hero) to rescue the dog from drowning

How did you do?  If you struggle with this – how will your child do?  Do you know how well-prepared they are for this exam?

If you are concerned about how your child might do you can find out their current level in maths and English by getting a free assessment.  At least this will give you a good idea of how much work they will need to do in revision well before the exam.


Verbal reasoning

Question 1: LAMB (clamber), WERE (lowered), GAIN (bargains), LAME (blameless), CARD (discarded)

Question 2: south east (S E), south east (S E), south east (S E), south west (S W)

Non-verbal reasoning

Question 1: C


Question 1: 11, 11, 625ml, 7lb of feathers, 8:00

Question 2: 8%


Shelves, sheep, halves, potatoes, heroes

*From The Guardian