11+ English

An 11+ English exam may differ from region to region, but a paper will generally consist of:

English book
  • 11+ comprehension exercises, where children have to read pieces of text and answer questions on them
  • 11+ writing tasks, where children have to write something themselves
  • Punctuation and grammar problems, where children show their understanding of how English works as a language
  • Spelling tasks, where children spot incorrect spellings

There are two different formats for 11+ English exam papers. Questions can either be presented in standard or multiple-choice layout. Standard is where a child writes his or her answers on the question paper. Multiple-choice is where possible answers are given on the paper and a child marks his or her chosen answer on a separate booklet.

As with all exams, 11+ English papers are timed and they usually last from 45 minutes to one hour. Children therefore need to practise with timed 11+ mock test papers as well as working through non-timed practice, so they can see what they are able to do within a given time frame.

A good time to check up on basic skills is the summer term of Year 4. That gives you the summer holidays to:

  • Practice and reinforce any knowledge or skills that are a little shaky
  • Stock up on reading materials
  • Keep a diary or write a summer project.

Once your child is settled into Year 5, it is important to establish a regular routine of bedtime reading (if that’s not already part of your child’s life) and a couple of quiet, uninterrupted sessions a week for practice.