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Trafford Grammar Schools Consortium 11 plus guide

By Atom | Feb 16, 2024, 3:25 PM

Trafford grammar schools 11 plus

Are you considering a grammar school in Greater Manchester for your child? We’ve collated everything you need to know about admissions in 2024–2025. Keep reading to:

  • Find out more about grammar schools in Greater Manchester

  • Learn about the Trafford Grammar Schools Consortium 11 plus exam

  • Discover which subjects your child will be tested on

  • Plus, get exclusive resources to help your child prepare!

Which schools use the Trafford 11 plus exam?

There are seven grammar schools in Greater Manchester. Five of these schools are members of the Trafford Grammar Schools Consortium. They all use the same 11 plus exam. These schools are:

There are two grammar schools in Greater Manchester that have their own admissions arrangements. These schools aren’t members of the Trafford Grammar Schools Consortium:

Dates for your diary

  • Thursday 25th April 2024: Trafford 11 plus registration opens at midday

  • Friday 21st June 2024: Trafford 11 plus registration closes at midday

  • Monday 16th September 2024: Trafford 11 plus exam

  • Mid-October 2024: parents receive Trafford 11 plus results

  • Thursday 31st October 2024: secondary school applications close at 5pm

  • Monday 3rd March 2025: secondary school national offers day

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

What is the Trafford 11 plus?

The Trafford Grammar Schools Consortium is a group of 5 grammar schools in the Trafford borough of Greater Manchester. All of the schools in the Consortium use the same selective test known as an 11 plus exam. This means that if you’re interested in more than one grammar school in the Consortium, your child only has to take the exam once.

The Trafford 11 plus takes place in September in Year 6. Children who were born between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014 will take the Trafford 11 plus on Monday 16th September 2024 for Year 7 entry in September 2025.

What's on the Trafford 11 plus?

The Trafford Grammar Schools Consortium 11 plus consists of two one-hour papers provided by GL Assessment. Your child takes both papers on the same day with a short break in between.

Your child will have a question booklet and separate answer sheets. All the questions in both papers are multiple-choice, so your child needs to mark the answer options they think are correct on the answer sheets.

Both papers start with an introduction and practice examples. A few minutes are allocated at the start of each test for your child to listen to instructions and complete these practice questions.

The questions assess a mix of maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. While maths is taught at school, verbal and non-verbal reasoning are not on the national curriculum. Your child might be unfamiliar with these types of questions.

Verbal reasoning

Verbal reasoning tests your child's ability to solve problems with written information. This could include letters, words, symbols and numbers.

Your child might need to choose certain words to complete a sentence and show their knowledge of words and their meanings. Key areas in verbal reasoning tend to include vocabulary, finding words, building words, codes, and sequence logic.

The test may also include a comprehension exercise. This will assess your child's grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills. Your child might need to choose the best words to complete a sentence, find synonyms and antonyms, and spot mistakes in sentences.

Non-verbal ability

Non-verbal reasoning involves solving problems with visual information. This includes shapes, diagrams and pictures. Non-verbal reasoning tests skills such as logic, maths, problem-solving, and spatial awareness.

Common non-verbal reasoning questions involve interpreting and manipulating 2D and 3D shapes. Your child might see questions like:

  • finding the relationship between shapes and sequences of shapes

  • spotting common features from a set of shapes, and applying them to a new shape

  • solving codes


The Trafford 11 plus maths questions are based on the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Questions test the maths content that is taught in school up to the start of Year 6.

These topics include:

  • number (such as the four operations, place value and fractions)

  • measurement

  • geometry

  • statistics

The questions are likely to be a bit more advanced than your child is used to and might involve multi-step problem-solving. Practice with arithmetic and problem-solving questions, rapid recall of number facts, and written calculation will give your child a good foundation for these questions.

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11+ master course

Help your child prepare for the Trafford Grammar Schools Consortium 11 plus with a free 4-week 11+ course.

Get four GL Assessment style practice papers (English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning), marking guidance, and video lessons emailed to you every week!

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Verbal reasoning paper

How is the Trafford 11 plus scored?

After the test, your child’s answer sheets are marked using Optical Mark Recognition (OMR). This technology picks up the marks your child has made to indicate which answers they think are correct. Your child receives a mark for every correct answer.

These marks are then age-standardised for each of the three sections in the exam (verbal, maths, and non-verbal). Age-standardisation is a common practice in 11 plus scoring and ensures younger children aren’t disadvantaged.

Your child will receive one total standardised mark.

What's the pass mark for the Trafford 11 plus?

The qualifying mark for schools in the Trafford Consortium has historically been at least 324. Some schools' admissions criteria allow automatic allocation for the top 20 scoring pupils.

Achieving 334 or higher doesn't guarantee that your child will be offered a place at their target school. Grammar schools are often oversubscribed with qualified children. When this happens, schools use admissions criteria to prioritise children for places. For example, children who live within a certain priority area might be prioritised over others.

For detailed information about your target school’s pass mark, make sure to check the admissions policy for your child’s entry year.

How to apply to Trafford grammar schools

If you're considering a grammar school in Greater Manchester for your child, it's a good idea to speak to your child's teacher first.

Grammar schools are academically-selective and select children working towards the top of their year group. Your child's teacher will be able to indicate whether they think your child will be able to keep up with the pace in a grammar school.

1. Register for the Trafford 11 plus

If you would like your child to be considered for a place at one of the five Trafford Consortium grammar schools, you’ll need to register them to take the Trafford 11 plus.

Registration for the 2024 exam opens at midday on Thursday 25th April 2024 on the participating schools’ websites. You’ll need to complete your child’s application before midday on Friday 21st June 2024.

2. Apply for school places

Your child’s test results will be sent to you in mid-October 2024. You’ll find out if your child has achieved the minimum score necessary for admission to the school.

You can use these results to decide which schools to name on your secondary school common 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 5pm on Tuesday 31st October 2024.

3. National school offer day

On 3rd March 2025, 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 via an independent panel. Information about how to appeal will be sent to you by your local authority along with your school offer on National Offers Day.

How can I help my child prepare for the Trafford 11 plus?

The 11 plus exam is designed to be challenging. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the Trafford 11 plus in September 2024.

Bitesize learning

It’s important to build a good knowledge base before the 11 plus. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when learning is key – our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. For children aged 10–11, child psychologists recommend regular study sessions of 20–30 minutes.

Atom Home makes learning a more enjoyable process for your child. They'll explore exciting worlds full of interactive questions, earning coins to spend in the Atom shop. Atom adapts to your child, showing them questions at just the right level of difficulty to keep them motivated.

A maths learning journey on Atom Home

Read widely

11 plus exams test your child’s ability to analyse and interpret written information. Regular reading is a great way to help your child build these skills.

Encourage them to read books from different genres and by a diverse range of authors. Increasing the variety of your child’s reading will help them understand different styles, tones and purposes. Meanwhile, reading a little every day will help widen their vocabulary, sharpen their analytical thinking, and enhance their imagination.

Refine exam technique

When your child feels confident with the topics they’ve learnt in Year 5, they’ll be ready to put their knowledge to the test.

Practice tests can help your child develop problem-solving skills and build confidence working under test conditions. They’re also a great way to consolidate learning and highlight knowledge gaps for further improvement.

With Atom Home, you'll unlock online mock tests and printable practice papers. Enjoy automatic marking and progress tracking with the online tests, and help your child get familiar with the real exam experience with printable practice papers.

A Trafford 11 plus mock test question on Atom Home

Celebrate progress

Setting regular, achievable goals and celebrating your child’s progress – no matter how big or small – will help keep their motivation high.

Make sure to encourage a growth mindset. This means celebrating effort, as well as achievement! When your child makes mistakes or struggles to understand a particular topic, help them understand that they’ll improve through practice. Regular praise will help your child improve their resilience when tackling new and challenging topics.

Tailored preparation for the Trafford 11 plus

Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the Trafford 11 plus? You can. Atom Home has everything you need to get prepared, in one package.

You don't need a tutor to get into your top-choice grammar school. You just need Atom. We’ll create a tailored plan for your child and support them along their fun revision journey.

  • Online and printable 11 plus practice papers

  • 90,000+ adaptive questions

  • 500+ hours of on-demand video lessons

  • Automatic marking and instant progress data

Navigate the Trafford 11 plus with confidence.

Start your free trial today. Our local admissions specialists will get to work on your child’s plan. Relax, Trafford 11 plus prep is sorted.

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