Independent Schools more often than not design their own 11 Plus entry exam papers. They tend to be more difficult than grammar school 11 plus entry exams.

They tend to be characterised by the following:


  • Independent School tests tend to be standard, not multiple-choice.
  • Papers can include a few more stretching papers at the end to separate real scholars from the rest.
  • Papers will include a mix of core calculation and syllabus topics.


  • They tend to use complex comprehension texts often from classic books.
  • They ask children to compose answers, they aren’t multiple choice.
  • They require a good knowledge of grammar and punctuation.
  • They require extended vocabulary skills.
  • They will often contain a written exercise either asking for one longer piece or two or three shorter pieces.


Where schools do include reasoning (verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning) these papers tend to be bought in from one of the major suppliers (e.g CEM or GL). As an example, the Buckinghamshire 11+ Consortium uses GL tests.

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