11+ Non-verbal Reasoning and Spatial Awareness exam │ Bond 11+

Non-verbal reasoning book

Find out more about the 11+ non-verbal reasoning exam (referred to as 'spatial awareness' in some local authorities or schools) and how Bond 11+ non-verbal reasoning resources can support your child on their path to exam success.

11+ non-verbal reasoning and spatial awareness exam overview

Bond 11+ non-verbal reasoning and spatial awareness resources

Tips for parents

Free resources

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11+ Non-verbal Reasoning/Spatial Awareness exam overview

11+ non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness is often used as a neutral way of testing aptitude levels in children. It does not require any prior knowledge and can be used to determine a candidate's potential to think logically and recognise patterns.

Non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness is not part of the National Curriculum in state primary schools, and this style of assessment may feel quite strange for children who have not seen questions framed in this way before. This is why practising these kinds of questions at home is so important: it helps familiarise children with a style of testing that they won’t experience at school.

The scope and content of an 11+ non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness exam differs from region to region as there are a wide range of question types that can be included. In addition, it is important to establish if non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness is tested by the Local Authority (LA) that administers the 11+ in your area, as not every LA tests this subject.

If non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness is one of the subjects your child will be tested on as part of the 11+, the non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness exam will usually require children to:

  • Process graphic or pictorial information
  • Apply logical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Use spatial awareness – how objects relate to each other in space
  • Find and follow patterns and rules
  • Apply maths skills – rotation, reflection and symmetry
  • Work systematically

There are two different formats for 11+ non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness exam papers:

  • Standard format – where children write their answers on the test paper
  • Multiple-choice format – where answers are marked in a separate answer booklet

11+ non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness exam papers are timed and usually last between 45-60 minutes. Children should 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.


Bond 11+ Non-verbal Reasoning/Spatial Awareness resources

Bond is the number 1 provider of 11+ practice, helping millions of children pass selective entrance exams. Offering a comprehensive learning programme for the 11+, we have a wide range of resources to support you and your child:

Bond Assessment Papers

Bond 11 plus assessment papers

Topic-based practice questions that set the foundation for success. These carefully-graded practice papers provide essential practice for each question type in a realistic exam style. Ages 5-13+ 

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Bond 11+ Non-verbal Reasoning Handbook

Bond 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Handbook

Step-by-step guidance for developing the skills needed for the 11+ non-verbal reasoning exam and other entrance tests. With clear explanations and worked examples of all 11+ non-verbal reasoning question types. 

Practical support for parents and children aged 8-11+

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Bond CEM 11+

Bond 11 plus CEM test papers

Developed specifically for the CEM 11+ exam, we’ve created a range of materials to help you prepare your child for the CEM 11+ exam, including assessment papers, test papers and learning guides. Ages 8-11+

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Bond Test Papers

Bond 11 plus test papers

Bond 11+ test paper packs enable realistic mock exam practice at home, matching the style, content and difficulty of the real 11+ examination. Tutor tips for exam success are included, written by leading 11+ tutors and packed with advice to help gain extra marks. Ages 7-11

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Bond 10 Minute Tests

Bond 11 plus 10 minute tests

Bite-sized tests for quick practice and revision, including coverage of all the core skills and motivating and fun puzzle selections. Ages 7-12+

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Bond Online

Bond 11 plus CEM test papers

Used by thousands of parents and children every year, Bond Online gives your child unlimited access to thousands of 11+ questions and is a fun and engaging way of helping your child prepare for the 11+. Age 9+

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The Parents' Guide to the 11+

Bond 11 plus 10 minute tests

The essential manual for all parents whose children are about to embark on their 11+ exam journey. Written by an experienced 11+ tutor, this guide offers a practical 4-step approach to guide you through the entire process.

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Tips for parents

Non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness is not taught as part of the National Curriculum in state schools so it’s important to practise these kinds of questions at home. This will build your child’s confidence and help familiarise them with a style of testing that they won’t experience at school.

Here are some ideas for you to try at home in order to help your child prepare for their non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness 11+ exam.

Year 4 – check up on basic skills during the summer term and use the summer holidays to develop logical thinking and problem solving skills:

  • Use tile shape patterns and jigsaw puzzles, either real or online, to help your child recognise patterns and shapes
  • Play spot the difference games to reinforce their visual understanding

Year 5 – this is the time to start regular 11+ revision and practice. Support your child by:

  • Establishing a regular weekly routine for practice – little and often is usually best
  • Ensuring they work through some test papers to get used to both the question types and the exam timings

Free resources