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Wirral Admissions Test 11+ guide

By Atom | Apr 30, 2024, 10:03 AM

Wirral and Liverpool 11 plus

Are you considering a grammar school in Wirral 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 Wirral

  • Learn about the Wirral Admissions Test – the local 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 Wirral Admissions Test?

The Wirral Admissions Test is used by four grammar schools:

There are three more grammar schools in the area, but these schools do not use the Wirral Admissions Test. Find out more about these schools and their 11 plus entrance exams:

Dates for your diary

  • Tuesday 30th April 2024: registration opens for the Wirral Admissions Test

  • Sunday 2nd June 2024: registration closes for the Wirral Admissions Test

  • Monday 16th September 2024: Wirral Admissions Test

  • Mid-October 2024: parents receive outcome of Wirral Admissions Test

  • 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 Wirral Admissions Test?

The Wirral Admissions Test is an 11 plus entrance exam shared by four of the grammar schools in Wirral. Children only need to take the test once to apply to any of these grammar schools.

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

The schools use the outcome of the test to decide whether a child is suitable for that school. It’s designed to be challenging – grammar schools are usually looking for children working in the top ability range in their year group. Children who meet a required standard in the test are eligible for a place at a Wirral grammar school.

What's on the Wirral Admissions Test?

The Wirral Admissions Test consists of two papers, taken on the same day with a short break between. These papers are supplied by GL Assessment – one of the leading providers of 11 plus exams in the country.

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

Each paper is divided into three different types of questions: verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, and maths.

Verbal reasoning

Verbal reasoning looks at how well your child can apply logic and solve problems with written information. This could include letters, words, symbols and numbers. Verbal reasoning is not taught at primary school, so your child might be unfamiliar with these types of questions.

Your child may need to:

  • identify patterns

  • use logical thinking to solve problems

  • spot similarities and differences between words

  • understand rules, such word choice and grammar

  • process verbal information

Non-verbal reasoning

Non-verbal reasoning tests how well your child can apply logic and solve problems with visual information. This might include shapes, diagrams and pictures. Like verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning is not taught on the national curriculum.

Questions will require your child to:

  • process graphic information

  • follow visual patterns and rules

  • use spatial awareness

  • use logical thinking to solve problems

  • understand shapes, space and measures


The maths questions will be aligned to the content your child has learned in Key Stage 2. However, some questions might be more difficult than they are used to. This is so that they can show how well they can use their skills to solve different kinds of problems.

The main topics taught in Key Stage 2 maths include:

  • Number (place value, four operations, fractions, decimals and percentages)

  • Measurement (such as units, perimeter, area and volume)

  • Geometry (including properties of shapes and position and direction)

  • Statistics (such as interpreting information in tables and diagrams and using line graphs)

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Verbal reasoning paper

How is the Wirral Admissions Test 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. Age-standardisation is a common practice in 11 plus scoring and ensures younger children aren’t disadvantaged.

Standardised scores usually range from 60 to around 142. A standardised score of 100 would indicate that the child is working at the average level for the year group. A score of 120 or higher suggests that the child is working within the top 10%.

Your child’s standardised scores from both papers are added together to create one final, total score. The admissions authority then decides on a qualifying score based on all the final scores achieved by the cohort.

What's the pass mark for the Wirral Admissions Test?

There is no set pass mark for the Wirral Admissions Test. The admissions authority decides on a qualifying score after all the tests have been marked.

Grammar schools are usually looking for children who are working with the top 25% of their year group. The qualifying score depends on the overall standard achieved by the year group taking the test.

How to apply to Wirral grammar schools

If you're considering a Wirral grammar school 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 Wirral Admissions Test

Registration for the Wirral Admissions Test opens on the Wirral Council website on Tuesday 30th April 2024 and closes at midnight on Sunday 2nd June 2024.

If your child needs special access arrangements to complete the test, you should indicate this on the form.

All the grammar schools using the Wirral Admissions Test prioritise children who have achieved the qualifying score and are on free school meals. If you think your child might be considered in this category, you will need to provide evidence to Wirral Council.

2. Apply for school places

You’ll find out if your child has reached the required standard for entry to a Wirral grammar school in mid-October.

If your child reaches the required standard, you can list your preferred Wirral grammar school(s) 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 the decision via an independent panel.

How can I help my child prepare for the Wirral Admissions Test?

The Wirral Admissions Test is designed to be challenging. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the exam 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 for the Wirral Admissions Test. 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.

Non-verbal reasoning question on a Wirral Admissions Test mock test 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 Wirral Admissions Test

Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the Wirral Admissions Test? 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 practice papers for the Wirral Admissions Test

  • 90,000+ adaptive questions

  • 500+ hours of on-demand video lessons

  • Automatic marking and instant progress data

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Navigate the Wirral 11 plus with confidence.

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

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