September 6, 2021

11 Plus in High Wycombe

The Eleven Plus exam (also known as 11+ or 11 plus) is an optional exam that children can take in year 5. The eleven plus exam is taken to gain entry into grammar schools in High Wycombe.

There are multiple grammar schools in High Wycombe that require the eleven plus exam to be taken to gain admission, and chances are if you are local to the area, you will be aware of the schools and their requirements with regards to passing the 11+ exam.

In Buckinghamshire, there are two types of secondary schools: upper schools (also known as all-ability schools) and grammar schools (also known as selective schools). All children who live in this area are required to take the Transfer Test (formerly known as the 11+) to establish whether or not they are capable of succeeding in grammar school.

A total of 13 grammar schools, all of which are academies, are located in the area. This implies that each school has its own admissions criteria, but all children take the same admissions examination throughout the county.

The High Wycombe 11 plus Exam

Once your child reaches the age when you need to select their secondary education, all students in High Wycombe take the Secondary Transfer Test (formally known as the 11+).

Approximately 100,00 children will sit the 11+ exam each year. Due to the limited number of places in grammar schools, each student has a 1 in 6 chance of gaining a place.

Buckinghamshire has an "opt-out" approach for the 11+, which means that pupils attending Bucks state primary schools are automatically entered for the test unless their parents deliberately withdraw them from taking it. Individuals enrolled in private schools in the county, and those who attend schools outside of Buckinghamshire must actively seek to sit the exam.

If your child is in a LA (Local Authority) school, then they will sit their exam in school.

GL Assessment administers the Transfer Test in High Wycombe. Students will be able to sit a Preparation Test to prepare them for the 11+ exam. They will typically be shorter at around 35 minutes.

What Does The Transfer Test Involve?

The 11 plus exam usually consists of one or more of the following topics; English, Mathematics, Non-verbal Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning. All subjects will be tested over two different papers.

GL 11+ papers draw on the GL Assessment Question Bank to develop its questions, distributed across all four disciplines and employing a range of distinct question forms. One paper will cover English comprehension, verbal reasoning, and technical English (including spelling, punctuation, and grammar), while the other will include maths, non-verbal thinking, and spatial reasoning. It is possible for students to get familiar with these specific question kinds with enough practise and preparation.

The test will be multiple-choice (marked in a separate answer book) or standard format (where answers are written next to the question), and each one will last around 45-50 minutes. Upon completion, the tests will be scored according to this criteria;

  • Verbal Reasoning - accounts for approximately 50% of the makers. This is inclusive of vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension.
  • Numerical Reasoning - accounts for around 30% of makes and encompasses multi-step problem solving and mental maths from Key Stage 2.
  • Non-verbal Reasoning - makes up the remaining 20% of the makers based on logic, deduction and concepts (e.g. symmetry and rotation)

All tests are age-standardised to ensure fairness to all pupils.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does My Child Have To Sit The 11+?

All children in year 5 in Buckinghamshire Local Education Authority schools will automatically be enrolled in the Secondary Transfer Test. You can opt-out of this by contacting your local education authority. If your child is in a private school, you will need to apply for the test along with those moving into the area for secondary education. Doing so means your child won't be eligible for a place in any of the area's grammar schools.

When Is The 11+ Exam?

The Secondary Transfer Test (formally the 11 plus) will be taken by students in the autumn term of year 6, typically as they start the new year.

What Is The Pass Mark for High Wycombe?

All children are automatically enrolled to take the tests; there is no pass mark for the local authority. Instead, each child is given a score that is then given a pass by each school based on their own scoring and criteria.

Each school will have a different pass mark, with grammar schools requiring a score of 121 and over. Around 30% of pupils achieve this to gain a place in their preferred school.

Is There A Fee For Taking The Exam?

The exam is free to take and available as part of your child education. If you are in a private school, you need to check with them directly, especially if they take the test.

Where Is The Exam?

All children will take the exam in their school. If they do not attend a LA school or are attending school outside of the area, they will be tested at one of the county's grammar schools, which will normally take place on the same day (known as Central Testing).

When Should I Prepare My Child?

You can start preparing your child as early as year 4 to take this exam. Even though the test is compulsory, schools will not focus on supporting the children through this test. Nor can they offer recommendations for tutors or to coach children. However, most parents find supplemental tutoring effective during year 5 to ensure they are ready. This is due to the test being taken close to the school summer holidays.

Can You Get Practise Papers?

Sadly, unlike GCSE or A-Level papers, you cannot readily find previous papers online for reference or practice. There are some resources online where purchasing a past paper is possible, or you can take online assessments resembling the format and question style.

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