Everything you need to know about 11+ in one place

If you are looking for information about assessment at 11+ then you are in the right place! We have categorised and simplified all of the information you need to know for English, Maths and Science at 11 + below.

Click on a subject below to found out everything you need to know and how you can prepare for each subject. If you have specific circumstances and want to ask us a specific question about the 11+, Get in Contact and we will schedule a time to have a chat.

If you have any other questions which this section doesn't answer, please Get in Touch and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have about the 11+, success at this level or anything else related to school life at this age.

If you're interested in booking a tutorial but want to have a look at the different options available, go to our Cost of Tuition page

Or check out our blog for more ideas on how to prepare for the 11 +

What to expect at 11+ English

The English paper at 11+ is split into two papers:

  • Paper 1 - Comprehension

    • This is a 45 minute paper which is out of 25 marks

    • Students are given a passage followed by a series of questions. They will have 5 minutes of reading time and 40 minutes to answer the questions

  • Paper 2 Composition

    • This is another 45 minute paper out of 25 marks

    • Students are be given a number of different writing stimuli. They will be asked to produce one piece of original writing. A number of options will be given (eg. a letter, a short story, a piece of descriptive writing)

Read below to get a better idea of what to expect in each of these papers. Or head to the cost of tuition page if you are interested in trying out some tuition but want to price it out. If you have a specific question or want to talk to someone in our team about your specific situation get in contact.

Check out the 11+ English syllabus to see what skills are assessed at this level. This document will give you a full breakdown of what student's should be revising and practicing in preparation for these assessments.


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COMPREHENSION

Being a regular reader will get students a long way when it comes to taking the 11+ reading comprehension. We would certainly recommend not overdoing it when it comes to practicing comprehension style tests.

Though practicing is useful when learning how to answer questions (in full sentences, using quotations, explaining what you can gather from quotes), ploughing through pages of reading comprehensions from practice books is a sure fire way of turning students away from reading for enjoyment, which to our minds is the ultimate goal of English: creating independent readers! 

Despite this, it is worth knowing which skills are being tested at this level, and practicing these skills in a fun way can really help students read for meaning when it comes to tackling any reading comprehension. These are:

  • retrieving information from close reading of the passage

  • say why the author has written something in a certain way (linking language to purpose)

  • summarising parts of a text

  • showing awareness of language by continuing the text in a similar style

  • make predictions based on the text and from personal experiences

  • explaining vocabulary in context

  • show knowledge of different parts of speech, punctuation and syntax

Thankfully there are ways of introducing these skills to students that doesn't involve the boring routine of 'let's do a past paper'. A way that I have often found extremely effective is to use the reading book that the student is already reading and fan out from here with activities, games and exercises. Invest in the student's love of the book and get to know the world of that author. It's not about the number of books that a student reads, but going as far into the world the author has created as possible.  Get in touch to speak to someone about getting some ideas for developing reading and comprehension.


Understanding feelings can be hard when you can't see them...

Understanding feelings can be hard when you can't see them...

COPMPOSITION

When its comes to preparing for the composition paper, naturally we advise that students get as much practice writing as possible. The best scenario is that students will be writing for their own benefit. Whether it be a book diary, a holiday journal, postcards, letters, or short stories - putting pen to paper in a non-school setting can allow students to take risks with their writing. That's where the magic lies!

The types of writing stimulus on the paper itself will be limited to a few things:

  • short story / descriptive writing

  • factual description 

  • personal account of a memory

  • a book review

  • a letter

  • picture stimulus

Students will expect to know the conventions of whatever piece of writing they choose. For regular readers, a lot of this will come naturally, though some practice can always help. For example:

  • Dialogue with speech marks and correct punctuation for a story

  • Use of longer sentences, adjectives and sensory language for description

  • Use of shorter sentences to build suspense of tension in a story.

  • Use of 1st person (for diary or memory) or 3rd person (story or imaginative writing)

  • Using a variety of punctuation marks suitable for purpose of writing. (eg. question marks in a letter)

  • Adding clauses into sentences to turn simple sentences into complex ones

  • Use of formal language in a letter

  • Use of structure in all pieces (beginning, middle and end)

The most important thing is that students should write without feeling constrained, so whatever form of writing they feel most comfortable with is the one they should go with. Above all this is a chance for students to show off their creative abilities. There is no set formula! 

That said students will be universally marked on spelling, punctuation and grammar and an additional 10 marks will be available for all students in this area, so brushing up on some commonly seen mistakes is always a good idea (apostrophes, use of commas, capitalisation, common mis-spellings).

For some help developing your child's composition skills at this level, don't hesitate to get in contact.



Need to ask us a specific question about the 11+ English syllabus? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation, Get in contact and we'll schedule a telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what price options there are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page

What to expect at 11+ Maths

Students take one paper at 11 plus:

  • The paper is 60 minutes long.

  • There is only one level that all students take. The topics that students are tested on are based on the Key-stage 2 of the national curriculum.

  • The early questions are drawn from year 5 programme of study, the later more challenging questions drawn from year 6 programme.

Check out the 11+ Maths syllabus to see what skills are assessed at this level - it's a really useful guide which can be used as a great revision tool, so we advise reading it. 

Read below for a better idea of what topics to expect at this level, or have a read of what to expect from a tutorial if you are interested in booking some lessons but want to see what service we provide.

Alternatively if you are interested in booking some lessons but want an idea of cost, go to our cost of tuition page. Or if you have a specific question and want to speak to one of our dedicated team then please get in contact and we will call you back as soon as we can.


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NUMBER

The major part of the 11+ Maths assessment is made up by questions that test numerical fluency. Have a look at the 11+ Number syllabus for a detailed run down of the topics students will have covered in year 5 and 6. We have summarised them here for your ease. 

  • Place Value

    • Ordering numbers 

    • Powers of 10 up to 1,000,000

    • Interpret and calculate with negative numbers in context

    • Rounding numbers to nearest 10, 100, 1000, 10,000 and 100,000

    • Solving word and number problems 

    • Read Roman numerals up to 1000 (M)

    • Solve multistep problems involving any of the above

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

    • Add and subtract whole numbers up to 4 digits

    • Use column methods and mental methods

    • Use rounding to check accuracy

    • Solve addition and subtraction multistep problems

    • Identify multiples and factors

    • Know vocabulary of prime numbers

    • Multiply a 4 digit number by a 2 digit number

    • Divide 4 digits numbers by a 1 digit number

    • Divide 4 digit numbers by a 2 digit number

    • Mental multiplication up to 12x12

    • Multiply and divide whole numbers by 10, 100, 1000

    • Recognise and use square and cube numbers and know notation

    • Solve multistep problems involving multiplication and division and using simple fractions to scale up or down

    • Use order of operations to calculate 

    • Use estimation to check answers

  • Fractions

    • Compare and order fractions with the same denominator 

    • Write and identify equivalent fractions

    • Recognise mixed numbers and improper fractions and convert

    • Add and subtract fractions with the same denominator

    • Multiply proper fractions and mixed numbers

    • Write decimal numbers as fractions

    • Round 2 figure decimals to nearest tenth and whole number

    • Order numbers with 3 decimal places

    • Recognise the % symbol and know its refers to 'parts out of a hundred'

    • Know decimal equivalents of fractions

    • Use common factors to simplify fractions

    • Compare and order fractions

    • Multiply simple fractions

    • Multiply 1 digit numbers with 2 digit decimals

Developing number fluency that sticks with learners requires going at the learner's pace. Overloading students with too much information, or moving on to new topics too quickly often leads to low learner confidence and disengagement. That's why we recommend focusing on the foundational topics to begin with. Every student is different, but it is not uncommon to find that just a few foundational topics have been misunderstood during lessons and that this has snowballed in to a feeling that Maths just isn't for them. With a little bit of help in the right areas, students can often move on from 'I'm bad at Maths' mantra. Get in touch to find out how we can help!  


Three thirds of these chocolate eggs are mine.

Three thirds of these chocolate eggs are mine.

RATIO AND PROPORTION

There are just a handful of units relating to ration and proportion on the 11+ assessment. To have a closer look head to the 11+ Ratio syllabus. We've condensed these into the points below for your ease:

  • Solving problems using relative sizes of two quantities (multiplying or dividing by a whole number)

  • Solve problems relating to percentages of amounts (only 10%, 25% and 75%)

  • Solve problems using unequal sharing and knowledge of fractions

The basics of this can be taught in the kitchen. Make a pizza or a cake and then get sharing... We have lots of ideas in this area so do get in contact if your child finds ratio and proportion difficult to grasp as these lessons can be a lot of fun and we are more than happy to help break it down these units into a more manageable (and tasty) way.


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ALGEBRA 

At this age students will have been introduced to the basics of algebra. As such they will only be assessed on a few topics. Have a look at the 11+ Algebra syllabus to see which topics they should be familiar with. We've condensed them here for ease:

  • Using simple formulae

  • Generate and describe sequences 

  • Express missing number problems with algebra

  • Find pairs of numbers that satisfy equations (for example y = 2x + 5... in this instance y could be 11 and x could be 3)

Most of the algebra students will encounter will be related to problem solving rather than solving abstract equations with algebraic variables. To organise a algebra tutorial, or to speak to one of our dedicated team about the specifics of your situation, get in contact.


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MEASUREMENT

Get your rulers at the ready and your scales set to zero. Have a look at the complete list of topics students will have been taught in years 5 and 6 in the 11+ Measurement syllabus

So much of this syllabus can be taught using hands on methods. Whether it be measuring the area of a room or weighing ingredients to bake a cake, finding activities that ground these mathematical units in real life is the best way of building understanding and committing the following concepts to memory.

  • Converting between cm>m>km, g>kg, ml>l

  • Converting between metric and imperial units

  • Measure and calculate perimeter

  • Measure and calculate area

  • Calculate and compare areas of rectangles and squares

  • Estimate volumes fo cubes and cuboids

  • Converting between units of time

  • Solve problems involving length, weight, mass, volume using decimals 

  • Recognise that shapes with similar areas can have different perimeters

If you would like to speak to one of our team about organising 11+ Maths tuition, or just want to speak to someone about your child's situation, do get in touch.


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GEOMETRY

Geometry at 11+ can be broadly split into two sections; properties of shape; and position and direction. To have a look at the full list of topics download the 11+ Geometry syllabus. Like a lot of the topics at 11+, a huge amount of the Geometry syllabus for years 5 and 6 can be taught standing up using hands-on activities, exercises and teaching techniques that are more engaging than completing worksheets (though these have their place too!) The units at this level include:

  • Properties of shapes

    • Identify 3D shapes from 2D representations and in real life

    • Know angles are measure in degrees

    • Know the difference between acute, obtuse, reflex

    • Draw and measure angles

    • Identify angles on a straight line (180') angles at a point (360') and recognise 90 and 270 degrees as quarter three-quarter turns

    • Use properties of rectangles to deduce missing sides and angles

    • Distinguish between regular and irregular polygons

    • Draw 2D shapes given lengths and angles

    • Recognise vertically opposite angles

    • Find the missing angle in a triangle

  • Position and direction

    • Identify and describe the transformation of a shape (reflection and translation)

    • Describing and plotting points on a 2D grid in the first quadrant

    • Draw and translate shapes on a grid and reflect and translate them

If you would like to organise a 11+ Maths tutorial, or would just like some free advice on teaching these modules, do get in touch.


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STATISTICS

You may have spotted theme running through each module of the 11+ Maths syllabus... and statistics is no different. Most of the units outlined below can be taught using games. Whether it be dice, cards, spinners or picking the students favourite sport and thinking of the chances of winning, losing drawing. Placing statistics firmly in the real world helps students see the uses of data representation. Rather than just looking at endless class surveys of 'what's your favourite pet?' The 11+ Statistics syllabus isn't vast but you can look at it by clicking on the link. We've condensed it for you here:

  • Solve comparison, sum and difference problems using line graphs

  • Complete, read and interpret data presented in tables and graphs

  • Interpret and construct, line graphs and pie charts and use these to solve problems

  • Calculate and interpret the mean as an average

If you would like to speak to one of our 11+ specialists to talk about Statistics at 11+, Maths in general or if you have a specific enquiry related to your situation, get in touch and we'll do our best to help. All advice comes free of charge!

Need to ask us a specific question about the 11+ Maths syllabus? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation, Get in contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what price options there are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page

 

What to expect at 11+ Science

At 11+ students take 1 science paper

  • The paper is 60 minutes in length

  • 80 marks in total

  • Students will be tested on Biology, Chemistry, Physics with roughly an equal weighting between the 3.

Students will be required to work scientifically when approaching the 11+ Science paperThis means evaluating data, looking for trends, drawing conclusions and giving reasoned explanations based on scientific knowledge. They may also be required to use their prior experience of scientific experiments and apparatus to create tests and develop hypotheses. They will be familiar with the ideas of accuracy, precision, reliability, repeatability and will be able to evaluate risks when carrying our practicals.

Check out the 11+ Science syllabus for a full list of the content and skills that are assessed at this level. We advise students to print out the content list at the end of this syllabus and highlight the areas which they consider to be their weakest topics as a great place to begin their Science revision.

 

BIOLOGY 

The modules that students should get to grips with in order from easiest to hardest are:

  • Living processes

    • Know what the living processes that are common to all living things (Nutrition, Movement, Growth, Reproduction)

    • That these life processes are common to plants and animals

  • Green Plants

    • Identify and describe different parts of a flowering plant

    • Effects of light, air, water, and temperature on plant growth

    • Role of the leaf in producing more material for plant growth (photosynthesis)

    • Role of the roots in anchoring the plant and absorbing water and minerals

    • Parts of the plant that are involved with reproduction.

    • Life cycle of a flowering plant (pollination, fertilisation germination, seed dispersal)

  • Humans and other animals

    • Names and locations of major organs

    • Nutrition and the need for a balanced diet (fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, fibre, water)

    • The potential issues if we don't eat a balanced diet

    • The function of the skeleton

    • Observe animal movement with and without skeletons

    • Names and functions of teeth and how to care for them

    • Difference between teeth of carnivore and herbivore

    • Know the main parts of the digestive system in humans

    • Know the main stages of the human life cycle

    • Know the physical and emotional changes that happen during adolescence

  • Living things and their environment

    • To know animals can be grouped  (mammals, reptiles, birds) etc

    • To use a classification key to organise animals into groups

    • Observe that animals in different habitats 

    • Know that environments can change which can endanger animals

    • Know that some animals need protection due to loss of habitat

    • Place animals in a food chain and in a food web

    • Know the language carnivore, omnivore, herbivore, producer, consumer, predator, prey

    • Know that all energy in food chains begins with green plants (producers) which in turn get their energy from the sun.

    • To describe differences in life cycle between mammals, reptiles, birds, insects and amphibians

    • Describe sexual and a-sexual reproduction of animals and plants

    • Observe and comment on the features of animals and plants and their adaptations (size, shape, colour, behaviour)

    • To classify things into major taxonomic groups including Kingdoms (eg. know the difference between fungi and plants, insects and spiders)

Other topics that might be taught in year 6 include evolutioninheritancethe circulatory system and the breathing system. However, these are not examined at the 11+.


CHEMISTRY

  • Rocks and Soils

    • Know the different types of soils (clay, sand, loam, chalk)

    • Compare different types of rock based on appearance, particle size, colour

    • Use a hand lens to work out if they have grains or crystals

    • Separating solid particles of different sizes by sieving

    • Know that fossils are formed when plants and animals are trapped under sedimentary rock 

  • States of Matter

    • Recognise differences between solid, liquid, gas in terms of ease of flow and maintenance of shape and volume. 

    • Use particle theory to explain differences between solid, liquid and gas

    • Describe changes of state using the words melting, boiling, evaporating, freezing, condensing

    • Know the role of evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and carry out a simple experiment

  • Properties and changes of material

    • Compare everyday objects using terms metal, non-metal, magnetic, non-magnetic, flexibility, hardness

    • Know about reversible changes (dissolving, melting, boiling, condensing, evaporating, freezing)

    • Know that freezing water expands and can crack pipes and cause erosion

    • Know the terms soluble, insoluble, solute, solvent, dissolving

    • Know that some substances dissolve and others don't

    • Know the factors that affect speed that something dissolves (temperature, stirring)

    • Know how to separate insoluble solids from liquids by filtering

    • Know how to recover a dissolved solid by evaporating the liquid

    • To choose a method of separation given two substances

    • Know that mass is conserved when a physical change occurs

    • Know some examples of chemical changes (making concrete, baking soda and vinegar, rusting, burning materials)

    • Know some methods to prevent rusting

    • Know that burning fuels is not-reversible (and know the term fossil fuels)

    • Know that almost all materials are made as a result of chemical reactions

  • Further properties of materials

    • Know the terms insulator and conductor and apply in a real life context

    • Know that temperature is a measure of how hot or cold something is and that the melting and boiling points of water are 0 and 100 respectively. 

    • Know the terms acid and alkali and that you can use indicators solution to work out the acidity using the pH scale


PHYSICS

  • Light

    • Know that light travels from a light source

    • Know and observe that light cannot travel through some materials and this leads to shadow formation (opaque, translucent, transparent)

    • Know that light is reflected from mirrors

    • Know that we see things when light enters our eyes 

    • Draw simple ray diagrams to show light entering the eye

    • Know that light from the sun can be dangerous and can damage our eyes

  • Forces and magnets

    • Know that forces and pushed and pulls

    • Know and observe the forces of attraction and repulsion between two objects

    • Classify objects into magnetic and non-magnetic

    • Know that magnets have a north and a south pole

    • Know that some forces need to have contact whereas others, like magnets, act through a field.

    • Know about the concept of friction asa force that acts against movement between surfaces

    • Know about the affect of air resistance on a cyclist

  • Sound

    • Know that sound is caused by vibrations of particles

    • Investigate into objects that make sound through vibrations (rubber bands, drums, strings, recorder, milk bottle)

    • Know and apply the term pitch in context of different sounds

    • Know that a higher pitch means a quicker vibration of particles, a lower pitch a slower vibration of particles

    • Know that sounds get fainter with distance

    • Know that sound requires a medium to travel and that sound can't travel through a vacuum

    • Know how the ear works and that vibrations sent to the brain are interpreted as sounds

    • The dangers of loud sounds

  • Electricity

    • Know ho to construct a simple circuit with a battery and bulb in series

    • Know that some materials are better conductors than others (metal and carbon vs. plastic wood)

    • How to avoid common dangers of electricity through insulating materials

  • Earth and Space

    • Know that the Earth, Sun and Moon are spherical and use evidence to prove this.

    • Know about the relative movements of the Earth, Sun and Moon and how they result in days, years and seasons.

    • Know the position of the solar system in the wider milky way.

    • Know that gravity pulls things down to Earth

    • Know that gravity is a force which keeps the Earth orbiting around the sun and the moon around the Earth

    • Know that the Sun is the only light source in the solar system and that all light that we see from planets and moons are reflections.

  • More Forces

    • Know the unit of force is a Newton (N)

    • Know that when objects are pushed or pulled an opposite contact force can be felt

    • Draw force diagrams including push, pull, gravity (weight), friction, air resistance, drag, upthrust etc

    • Know about the uses of levers and pulleys allowing a smaller force to have a greater effect

    • Know the ways that types of frictional force effect motion

  • Further Light

    • Know how light is reflected at plane surfaces and draw diagrams to show angle of incidence and angle of reflection are equal.

    • Know that light travels in a straight line at a finite speed

    • Know why objects have the same shape as the objects that cast them and why shadows can be bigger or smaller depending on how close they are to the light source

    • Know that non-luminous objects are seen because light is reflected off of them

  • Further Electricity

    • Know that changing the number of batteries in a circuit will alter the brightness of a bulb

    • Know how to represent series circuits in diagrammatic form


Need to ask us a specific question about the 11+ Science syllabus? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation, Get in contact and we'll schedule a telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what price options there are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page

HOW TO REVISE

We always recommend starting revision as early possible using 'distributed practice'. We also recommend trying out different methods when revising material. There are lots of options and approaches when revising and you won't know what works best for you until you try them all. Remember -- the easiest won't always be the best! Using a variety of different approaches can also be extremely beneficial for students

Have a look at this BBC article that reveals some commonly held misconceptions about revision. 

And these two vides from ASAPScience give some really excellent ideas to get students feeling positive about revision.

The most important things to remember are:

  1. make a timetable and spread out your revision over as many weeks as you can

  2. find a quite study space with all the resources you need close to hand

  3. set one small goal for every session

  4. make each session about 30minutes long then take a 10 minute break

  5. put away your phone

  6. take some exercise everyday, even if that just means getting up and going for a walk

  7. drink lots of water

  8. don't highlight books with highlighter - it doesn't work!

  9. make your own flashcards and carry them with you and use them regularly

  10. make revision active and say things out loud when your using your cards

  11. make mnemonics to remember sets of things

  12. do as many practice tests as you can

  13. teach fellow students/family members parts of you course

  14. make mind-maps to link ideas together

  15. read and analyse model answers to questions

We've collected some of the best revision videos from across the web and have put them all here for you try:

Or if you are looking for more ideas to super charge your revision, get in touch with our team of revision specialists for some free advice!


What resources are you looking for?

Find below all your educational needs in one place. Each section contains advice, resources, links to other useful websites and idea of what we do that is so beneficial to students.

Aside from the areas of support offered below we also offer LAT Specialised Numeracy and Literacy support which provides support from EYFS up to GCSE level. This involves several short assessments and the creation of a specialised learning programme for the student which highlights the key topics and interventions the learner needs to succeed. For more information on this service click here.

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