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Atom Answers Common 11 Plus Questions

Exam guides
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With September nearing and the 11 Plus exams around the corner, we're here to help get your child exam ready. If your child is sitting the exams in a month's time or you are thinking about how to prepare for next year’s exams, read our answers to these common questions to find out some key information! For a more in-depth view check out our complete guide to the 11 plus.

When will my child sit the 11 Plus?

Your child will sit their exam when they are in Year 6, so they will be between 11 and 12 years old. Most of the exams take place in the first two weeks of September but this is not always the case, so it is best to double-check the dates with each individual school.

Is it compulsory?

No, it is not compulsory. Your child will have been automatically registered if they attend a local authority primary school in a county or metropolitan borough that has a grammar school. This does not mean they have to sit the exams.

Does it cost anything?

No, the 11 plus is completely free.

When should my child start to prepare?

There is no perfect time to start as this will be different for each child! Some children start preparing during Year 4 and others start a bit later in Year 5. It is a good idea to assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses to see how much time they will need to prepare.

Does my child need tutoring?

Your child may of course be able to pass the 11 Plus exam without any tutoring but, as tutoring is very prevalent for the 11 Plus, they could be placed at a disadvantage as a result. It is highly recommended that children who plan to sit them receive some form of tutoring. However, this does not necessarily have to be the traditional in-person form of tutoring.

On-demand tutoring, online tutoring and online learning platforms are other options that are widely available. Head to Atom Nucleus for an adaptive online home learning platform that will help your child prepare for their 11 Plus exams.

What is the average price of 11 Plus tuition?

The price for independent tuition ranges from £20 to £80 per hour depending on the tutor’s experience, while online tuition is cheaper, averaging around £15 per hour.

Atom Nucleus ranges from £19.99 per month for a Basic plan to £59.99 per month for a Premium plan. Purchase a yearly plan for a 20% discount. Check out all the available pricing options here.

What are the benefits of online learning with Atom Nucleus?

Atom Nucleus provides a personalised learning journey that will adapt your child’s learning more effectively than a private tutor. It is also more accessible for parents as it is cheaper than in-person tutoring and on-demand. Once you have signed up, your child has access to all the resources on the platform, which they can use whenever they want, and you can track their progress through progress reports.

Are there different examining bodies?

Yes, there are two different exam boards, CEM and GL Assessment, each with its own examination formats. GL Assessment covers English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Each subject is split into its own paper. CEM covers Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning, but the number of papers tends to vary year on year.

How long does the exam take?

The papers normally last between 40-60 minutes.

How does the scoring work?

The scores for the 11 Plus are Standardised Age Scores, this means they take into consideration:

The age of the child The difficulty of the paper The differences between test papers

Your child is placed on a scale and they are ranked in accordance with children of the same age in the country. The national average is around 100 and a high score ranges from 110-140.

What score does my child need to be accepted into a Grammar School?

This depends on the school. Some schools base their entrance on a fixed standardised threshold, e.g. accept all candidates with scores over 110 in all their papers. Other schools simply accept as many top students as they can.

Can you retake the 11 Plus?

No, your child cannot retake them. However, if your child is applying to schools that do not belong to a consortium then they may have to sit several exams.

What is an 11 Plus consortium?

Some schools are part of a consortium, meaning that your child will need to pass a certain set of exams to apply to a group of schools and the most selective schools may have several rounds of exams. Consortiums have been established to ensure the process is fair and accessible to children from all schools and backgrounds.

Where can I find past papers?

There are no officially published past papers but there are many companies that provide mock papers for free or for a fee. Atom Nucleus provides all its members with unlimited 11 plus mock tests.

How do you receive 11 Plus results?

Exam results may be delivered by post, email or via an online portal.

We can help

If you’re looking for more ways to prepare your child for the 11 Plus exams, start your 5-day free trial of Nucleus for success in the classroom, entrance exams and beyond.

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