Usually the 11+ exams consist of these four subjects: Verbal Reasoning, Non-verbal Reasoning, Maths and English.  The exact nature of the 11+ exam can vary from school to school. Also different schools have different preferences regarding which subjects are included in their entrance examinations.

Verbal Reasoning:

The Verbal reasoning test looks for a range of different literacy skills. This has now become the most important component of the 11+ for a number of grammar schools. These skills could include sorting and selecting words, letter and number sequences, analogies, letter and number codes, odd one out, middle/size order, word endings/beginnings and anagrams. There is strong growing evidence to show students that get coaching do significantly better in this particular exam, as it is strongly influenced by the size of a child’s vocabulary.

Non-verbal Reasoning:

The 11+ Non-verbal Reasoning test does not have any written questions, and so having strong literacy skills is not a prerequisite in this test. The test concentrates on the ability to solve a problem quickly and accurately. There are logic type questions based on shape, patterns, numbers, symmetry and sequences.


In the 11+ English test the focus is on how effectively students show that they understand and use the English language. Areas usually focused on are comprehension, punctuation and grammar, word choice and spelling.


Most 11+ Maths papers test the child on topics such as decimals, fractions, percentages, shape, area, graphs, money, rations, measurement, time, algebra etc.