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Medway Grammar Schools 11 plus: 2024 entry guide

Local guide

Mar 15, 2023, 2:41 PM

Medway Grammar Schools 11 plus

Are you considering a grammar school in Medway for your child? Find out everything you need to know to apply and prepare for the Medway Test 11 plus here.


Medway Test 11 plus: key info

  • Register for test: via Medway Council

  • Registration opens: 1st June 2023

  • Registration closes: 30th June 2023

  • Exam dates: 12th–13th September 2023 (or 16th–17th September for children not attending a Medway primary school)

  • Exam board: GL Assessment and Medway's own writing test

  • Results: sent on 3rd October 2023

  • Apply for schools: via local authority website in September–October 2023

  • Local authority application form deadline: 31st October 2023

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

  • Appeals: heard by an independent panel

Dates can vary, so always check with your target schools!

What is the Medway 11 plus test?

The 11 plus is an entrance exam used by UK grammar schools (state selective secondary schools). It's used to estimate children's academic potential and decide whether a grammar school environment will suit them. Children can take the test in September while they are in Year 6.

The grammar schools in Medway use their own 11 plus exam known as the Medway Test. If you want to apply to grammar schools in Kent outside Medway, your child will also need to register for and take the Kent Test.

Which schools use the Medway Test?

Chatham Grammar School, Fort Pitt Grammar School and Holcombe Grammar School may become mixed under plans put forward by Medway Council. The proposed changes would result in a more equal split of boys' and girls' grammar school places in the area.

Currently, 23% of Year 6 pupils can attend selective schools if they have passed the Medway Test. Girls' places have to be filled with out-of-area pupils, while there are not enough places for boys. The changes would mean that 5% more children would get a place at a Medway grammar school. The plans for this are still in progress.

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How to apply to Medway grammar schools

1. Register for the Medway Test

Before you register you should speak to your child’s teacher to see if the Medway Test and grammar school is right for them. Register your child for the Medway Test on the Medway Council website here by the deadline. Registration opens during on 1st June and closes on 30th June.

Once you've registered, you will receive a test invitation by the end of August. This will tell you where and when your child is due to sit the test.

If your child attends a Medway primary school they take the test at their own school on either Tuesday 12th or Wednesday 13th September 2023. If your child does not attend a Medway primary school, they will take the test on either Saturday 16th or Sunday 17th September 2023 at a local test centre.

If you are considering grammar schools outside Medway, remember to register for their exams too.

2. Apply for school places

You will be sent your child's results on 3rd October 2023. If you registered online, you will be sent an email after 10am. If you registered on paper, you will be sent a letter by first class post on results day.

You can use the results to decide which schools to include on your local authority application form. Before listing a school on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023.

3. National school offer day

On 1st March 2024, you will find out which school your child has been allocated a place at. They will be allocated a place at your highest-preferred school for which they meet the entry criteria and which has places available.

If no places are available at your preferred schools, they will be offered a place at another school in your area. You can appeal the decision via an independent panel.

What's on the Medway Test?

The Medway Test consists of three papers:

  • Extended writing (40 minutes)

  • Maths and non-verbal reasoning (1 hour) – multiple-choice

  • Verbal reasoning (1 hour) – multiple-choice

If your child is taking the test midweek, the papers are likely to be split across two days, with extended writing on the first day and maths and non-verbal reasoning paper, and verbal reasoning paper, on the second day. If your child has been assigned a weekend test date, the papers will all be taken on one day. There is always a break between papers. This information will be found in your test invitation email.

Extended writing

In the Medway extended writing paper, your child is given a prompt that they will need to write about in a separate booklet. The prompt can be for a range of genres and styles, such as a fictional story, journal, report, letter, speech, or newspaper article. (See examples of 11 plus writing prompts here.)

They must showcase their knowledge of writing features expected from a Year 6 writer. You can find spelling, punctuation, and grammar expectations from the national curriculum here.

Examiners will be looking for children to:

  • Write engagingly

  • Use a writing style appropriate to the prompt

  • Use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • Structure their writing logically and use paragraph breaks

  • Use a broad and creative vocabulary

Maths & non-verbal reasoning

The maths and non-verbal reasoning and verbal reasoning papers are supplied by GL Assessment. They are in multiple-choice format. Children record their answers in a separate answer booklet which is marked by a computer.

The maths questions will assess your child's understanding of Key Stage 2 national curriculum content, including Year 6 objectives. Your child will be tested on their ability to reason and apply their knowledge accurately.

Non-verbal reasoning involves analysing visual information and solving problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures. Your child will need to apply skills in maths, logic, problem-solving, and spatial awareness to answer questions.

Verbal reasoning

The verbal reasoning paper assesses your child’s ability to connect, spot patterns with, and manipulate verbal information. It can identify pupils whose strengths lie in English, history, languages and the arts.

Learn about 11+ topics in depth

Free 11+ maths practice paper

  • 50 questions

  • Mirrors the content and format of standard GL maths exams

  • Answer key and parents' guide

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11 plus maths practice paper

What is the difference between the Medway Test and the Kent Test?

The Kent Test is used by grammar schools in Kent outside of Medway. Both tests are both provided by GL Assessment, but the local authorities have chosen to use different subjects and combinations of papers.

The Kent Test includes English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, combined into two papers. There is no extended writing test.

In the past, your child only had to take one of the tests to apply to grammar schools in both regions, but this is no longer the case.

Learn more about the Kent Test here.

How is the Medway Test scored?

First, each paper is marked to provide 'raw' scores. Maths and verbal reasoning are marked based on the number of correct answers. Extended writing is marked against specific criteria (above).

Next, the raw scores are standardised to even out any age disadvantage for children born later in the year.

A total weighted score is calculated for each child using this formula:

  • (Extended writing standardised score x 2) + (maths & non-verbal reasoning standardised score x 2) + (verbal reasoning standardised score x 1) = total weighted score

These total weighted scores are then ranked in order.

What's the pass mark for the Medway Test?

Currently, the Medway Test is designed to select the 23% highest-performing children in the year group. Up to another 2% can be selected through the review process.

The pass mark can only be calculated once the tests have been marked and the weighted scores ranked. It varies each year depending on the size and performance of the year group. These were the lowest scores at which a child was considered for a grammar school place in recent years:

Lowest total weighted score: 488

Achieving the minimum score doesn't guarantee a place at the school of your choice, as schools are often oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criteria and their catchment area.

For example, many schools are more likely to admit a lower-scoring pupil in their priority zones than a higher-scoring child who lives further away. Other criteria are applied – for example, children may be prioritised if they have a sibling at the school, if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or if they are a Looked After Child.

How can I help my child prepare for the Medway Test?

Here are our top tips on how to help your child prepare for the 2023 exam:

Cover all the content

The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives. Starting at least one year before the test, using a little-and-often approach will give your child time to build the skills and knowledge they need.

When preparing, avoid falling into the trap of over-focusing on either the topics your child enjoys or the topics they find hardest.

Atom Nucleus is an 11 plus online course that tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the Medway Test at the right pace for them.

No surprises

Make sure your child is familiar with all styles of questions they will experience in the test. This reduces the potential for stress on the day and will give them confidence to answer the questions to the best of their ability. Building exam technique with 11 plus test papers will help your child to feel fully prepared.

Celebrate their progress

Setting regular goals and celebrating achievements will help keep motivation high. Nucleus offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress towards mastering the 11 plus curriculum, making it easy to see where they need to focus next.

Personalised 11 plus prep for your child

Wondering how to make sure your child covers the depth and breadth of the entire 11 plus curriculum, stays on track with their progress, and gets help when they're stuck? Online learning is a particularly efficient, cost-effective (and fun) way to do this!

Atom Nucleus is the award-winning online 11 plus practice platform that gives your child everything they need to prepare for grammar school exams.

Children work independently through over 90,000 interactive practice questions in English, maths and reasoning. Teacher-created helpsheets and videos help them discover new concepts and consolidate their learning.

Atom's algorithm keeps children on their ideal learning path, tailored to their unique learning style and pace to keep them challenged and motivated.

Medway Test practice papers

Atom Nucleus gives children access to online 11 plus practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real Medway 11 plus, so your child will go into the exam knowing exactly what to expect.

And what's more, everything is automatically marked for you.

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Personalised 11 plus support for you

We know how keen you are for your child to do well in the 11 plus, to give them every chance of securing a place at their school of choice. Our dedicated team of Education Experts are on hand to support you and your family every step of the way:

Ask us anything

We're happy to help with any questions you may have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to Medway grammar schools.

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