How To Pass the 11 Plus Exam 2024: Tips and Tricks


It is always better and recommended to begin exploring strategies on how to pass the 11 Plus exam if you’re considering enrolling your child in a Grammar School. Since it is a crucial assessment determining acceptance into highly esteemed Grammar Schools, many parents are eager to discover effective tips and tricks. Therefore, we came up with some expert tips to help you optimise your child’s performance in the entrance exam papers.

While there are no magical shortcuts to guarantee your child’s success in the 11 Plus entrance test, several 11 Plus preparation tips can produce remarkable results.

How to Pass 11 Plus Grammar School Entrance Test?

We will guide you through our top-recommended tips and tricks for the 11 Plus exam preparation, providing valuable insights to help your child excel and achieve outstanding outcomes. 

Let’s get started!

1. Find Out About the Exam Board

First and foremost, you must start with to see which exam board your child will be taking the 11 Plus. So, when it comes to 11 Plus assessments in the UK, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the two exam boards: CEM and GL.

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  • Your child will take the 11 Plus exam administered by one of these. So, being aware of the specific exam board holds tremendous value as it allows you to tailor your preparation accordingly depending on the 11 Plus exam papers.

Each board employs unique formats, timings, and question styles, emphasising the need for tailored support. By understanding the exam board, you can equip your child with the targeted resources and strategies they need to excel in their 11 Plus journey.

2. Start 11 Plus Preparation Early

While it may appear to be a common suggestion, you should not overlook the significance of early preparation. Moreover, we all know that engaging in last-minute cramming before a test yields poor results, induces stress, and may even affect exam performance.

  • On the other hand, providing your child with an early head start in their 11 Plus exam preparation is one of the most significant advantages you can offer. 
  • By identifying the exam date and utilising all available time beforehand, you give your child ample opportunity to cultivate a confident and comprehensive understanding of the 11 Plus test requirements. 

Consequently, this heightened familiarity and preparation greatly enhance their prospects of showcasing their knowledge and abilities to their utmost advantage on exam day.

Help your child feel confident for the 11 Plus exam and try 11 Plus Tutoring for free today.

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3. Prepare and Revise Each Key 11 Plus Area

Another valuable tip for passing the 11 Plus exam is diligently preparing in each essential area. While the exam format may vary depending on the provider, all 11 Plus tests evaluate children’s abilities across key subjects: Mathematics, English, Verbal Reasoning, and Non-Verbal Reasoning

We suggest focusing on each of these core components to ensure your child’s readiness.

  • If your child needs more confidence in Maths, utilising Maths Skill Wise questions is recommended. As a result, this practice will strengthen their grasp of key 11 Plus Numeracy topics, such as Numbers, Algebra, Ratios, Geometry, Measurements, Statistics, Timetables, and more.
  • For those facing challenges in English, exploring authentic 11 Plus Past Papers can enhance their understanding of the question types they need to practise. Additionally, providing resources designed to develop their creative writing skills can greatly boost their confidence as writers, a valuable skill for the 11 Plus exam.

It is also essential to prioritise your child’s English vocabulary breadth and their command of Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar. A confident and proficient proficiency in these areas will undoubtedly benefit them on the day of the 11 Plus exam.

4. Get Familiar With Question Types

In 11 Plus exam papers, questions typically fall into two main categories: the standard format, which requires a written response, and the multiple-choice format, which offers several possible answers, with one or more selections required.

  • It is highly probable that your child’s 11 Plus exam will include a combination of these two formats. Hence, we recommend providing ample practice opportunities for both question types.
  • While it may be tempting to prioritise the standard format as more challenging, it’s important to recognise that multiple-choice questions assess a distinct set of skills and can pose significant challenges for students. 

Therefore, it is crucial to devote attention and practice to both question formats to ensure comprehensive preparedness.

5. Use 11 Plus Practice Papers Efficiently

The next number in 11 Plus preparation tips on how to pass the Grammar School entrance test are using the practice papers effectively. 

As mentioned earlier, being aware of the specific 11 Plus test your child will be taking is crucial, and it allows you to tailor your preparation approach accordingly. So, once you have this specific information, you can make informed choices.

  • For instance, if your child is sitting the CEM 11 Plus test, you can opt for CEM-specific practice papers that closely resemble the style of real CEM papers in Maths and English.
  • On the other hand, if your child is preparing for the GL 11 Plus assessment, it is advisable to focus on GL-style practice papers that reflect the preferred format of Maths and English questions by the GL board.

However, irrespective of the exam board, your child will benefit from utilising 11 Plus Maths Past papers, 11 Plus English Past Papers, resources for Creative Writing, Vocabulary, Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar, as well as Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning papers. 

We offer online 11 Plus exam papers with answers and detailed resources to make your child’s entrance test preparation comprehensive. 

6. Ensure A Positive Approach

It is crucial to acknowledge that all tests, including the 11 Plus, can be anxiety-inducing for your child. Therefore, you must consider this factor when assisting them in their preparation, as anxiety can hinder their ability to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and skills effectively.

  • One effective approach is to help them establish calm and practical habits in their preparation. 
  • Teach them the significance of sensible time management, encouraging them to move on from challenging questions instead of becoming overwhelmed or stressed. 
  • This ensures they allocate their valuable time towards answering questions they are confident about.

Additionally, promote a “little-and-often” approach to their 11 Plus preparation. Breaking down their study schedule into realistic and manageable chunks can be achieved through daily question challenges, gradually familiarising them with the upcoming challenges of the 11 Plus test. 

Incorporating 11 Plus video courses into their routine can provide comprehensive topic revision. Moreover, practising 11 Plus mock exams helps them develop the ability to perform under time pressure, building their confidence and readiness for the actual test.

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Commonly Asked Questions About 11 Plus

There is no actual percentage of students who pass the 11 Plus exam, but an estimated 1 in 6 students who take the test gain admission to their chosen school.
The 11 Plus has a non-fixed pass mark. Whilst there is a varied pass mark, many schools agree that an average of 80 per cent is the standard.
Passing the 11 Plus Test is challenging. Therefore, you need to make your child fully prepared and start early preparation with a proper plan. You can consult with our tutoring staff and enrol your child today.
120 or above (80%) is the score to pass and be accepted into a Grammar School.

The 11 Plus is optional and might not be the best choice for all children. If you believe it would be a good decision for your child, speak with them and their teachers to obtain a better understanding of their skills and degree of motivation. Because success requires work, they must support you!

The 11 Plus may be right for your child if they scored above average on their SATs and do well in their reports.

Passing the 11 Plus is tricky since it includes verbal and non-verbal reasoning students do not learn at school. Moreover, children need a certain time to prepare for it and improve their critical thinking.
Not many people pass the 11 Plus. Roughly, it is said that 1 out of 6 students who take the test secure admission to a Grammar School.

The 11 Plus Exam Calendar

  • Most Grammar Schools start taking applications in April or May and set a deadline for parents to sign their child up for the 11+ exam in June or July. 
  • The 11+ test takes place for most Grammar Schools in September

The 11 Plus results are announced in October, and school allocations are confirmed in March.

Need to practise for the 11 Plus Grammar School test?
Take our 11+ free mock exams

Based on GL, CEM and top Grammar Schools


Ready to Take Live One-to-One Lessons With 11 Plus Tutors?

If it is still difficult to prepare your child for the 11 Plus exam, our final suggestion on how to pass the 11 Plus tips is to consider hiring a professional tutor. How do we help your child through 11 Plus preparation? 

  • Our 11 Plus tutors can prove to be an excellent choice. With their expertise, they can guide your child through practice papers, and focus on areas where they face difficulties. 
  • Moreover, they assist in building students’ confidence, knowledge, and exam technique.
  • We train them to accommodate your child’s specific needs, whether you prefer one hour of 11 Plus guidance per week or a more frequent schedule of support. 

To ensure your child receives personalised attention and guidance throughout their preparation journey, get in touch with us to talk with our staff.


Preparing for the 11 Plus exams comes with many challenges. However, following these effective tips will help you start in the right direction for your child while achieving academic goals.

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