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The Kent Test (11 plus): 2024 entry guide

By Atom | Sep 27, 2023, 9:11 AM

The Kent Test (11 plus)

What is the Kent Test?

The Kent Test is the 11 plus exam for entry to a grammar school in Kent. The exam board is GL Assessment, one of the biggest providers of 11 plus exams in the country. All of the grammar schools within the Kent County Council local authority use the same 11 plus test, so your child will only need to take the test once – regardless of how many grammar schools in the area you're applying for.

The test is designed to be challenging; grammar schools use it to select children working in the top 25% of the ability range in the year group.

If your child attends a Kent primary school, they will take the test on Thursday 7th September 2023 for entry in 2024. Children not attending a Kent primary school will take the test during the weekend of 9th September 2023.

If your child is applying for a grammar school in Bexley or Medway, they will need to take a separate 11+ test. Find out more information about these exams:

What does the Kent Test assess?

Children taking the Kent Test will be assessed in English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

They will take two test papers. Both papers consist of multiple-choice questions; children will note their answers on a separate sheet, which are then marked electronically.

Paper 1: English and maths

Paper 1 has a time limit of one hour. There are two sections – English and maths – which each have a time limit of 30 minutes. This includes 5 minutes at the beginning of each section for practice questions, which are not marked.

The English section will involve a comprehension exercise to assess your child's reading ability. There will also be some questions designed to assess literacy skills like grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. Question types vary, but may include choosing the best words to complete a sentence, finding synonyms and antonyms, and spotting mistakes in sentences.

Paper 2: Reasoning

The second test also has a time limit of one hour, including practice questions and assessed questions. While both the verbal and non-verbal reasoning sections are about the same length, the non-verbal reasoning section will be split into smaller sections, which are administered and timed individually.

Your child will be tested on their ability to reason and solve problems with written information. Verbal reasoning covers five key areas: vocabulary, finding words, building words, codes, and sequence logic.

Unlike English and maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning are not taught on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum. 11 plus tests often include reasoning questions to assess a child's potential.

Writing exercise

In addition to Paper 1 and Paper 2, children taking the Kent Test will have a creative writing exercise. This isn’t formally marked and doesn’t form part of the total scores, but it may be used by a local headteacher panel in borderline cases or in an appeal. 40 minutes will be allowed for the writing task, including 10 minutes of planning time.

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Verbal reasoning paper

What is the Kent Test pass mark?

If you registered online, your child’s result will be emailed to you after 4pm on Wednesday 18th October 2023. If you did not register online, it will be sent by first class post on this date. Your child’s primary school will also be notified of the result on this day, so you can check with them if you do not receive the letter.

Your child will get three standardised scores: one for English, one for maths and one for reasoning, as well as a total score. Grammar schools are looking for a total score of 332 or more, with no individual score lower than 109. The highest possible total score is 423.

How to register your child for the Kent Test

Applications open in the June of the year before you wish to start school. If you want your child to start in September 2024, you will need to register between Thursday 1st June 2023 and Monday 3rd July 2023. You can name up to four secondary school preferences on your application form. Find out more about key dates and application information.

How can I help my child to prepare for the Kent Test?

Here are some top tips on how to best prepare your child for the 2023 Kent Test.

Preparation is key: familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential. Access to quality, unlimited practice material and mock tests ensures confidence when tackling the exam.

Vocabulary confidence: the reading comprehension element of the Kent Test will be above age-related reading level, so it is important that your child is familiar with a range of genres, authors, and purpose texts. Get free resources for engaging your child with reading.

Achieve mastery quickly: the 11 plus test assesses a huge amount of content. Atom's adaptive algorithm creates your child's personalised learning journey specific to your target schools, with over 90,000 expert, teacher-created resources to support your child to fully master each topic.

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Access to instant support: learners need clarification to address any misconceptions and become truly secure in their understanding of a topic. Access to videos, help sheets and engaging examples for each question builds confidence and competence in all areas covered in the exam.

Engage with their progress: celebrate their improvements in their areas of challenge together! An accurate, ongoing assessment of your child’s strengths and development areas is instrumental for preparing efficiently. Atom's Parent Portal gives you data-driven insights into your child’s areas of strength and development.

Get Kent Test ready

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

With one subscription, you'll unlock:

  • Unlimited online mock tests and downloadable paper tests for all 11+ exams

  • Adaptive learning journeys that match your child's learning style and pace

  • Intelligent progress tracking with detailed data on your child's performance

  • Expert support with fun live lessons and parent webinars

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Begin your child's journey to a Kent grammar school today. Use the full features of Atom Nucleus free for 5 days – cancel anytime.

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We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about the Kent Test 11+ or applying to grammar schools.

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