How does the 11 Plus exam vary from county to county?

The 11 plus exam varies according to the county in which you live.


The 11 plus exam varies in terms of the provider, the format and the content of the exam.

However, please do not forget that there is only so much a child can be tested on by the time they take their 11 plus exam.

It is a multi-part exam which you take in Year 6 when you go back to school (September).

The 2 main exam providers are CEM (Part of Durham University) and GL Assessment.


IT IS IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you check your local government website to find out which is your exam provider.


For CEM Exams:

You will sit 2 papers.

45 minutes for each paper .

Many of the answers are multiple choice answers A-E.

There are many different sections within each exam paper with varying amounts of questions.

You have to follow the instructions which are spoken to you or on a recording.

You cannot move to the next timed section which you are currently in.

There is an exam paper and then a separate answer sheet.

The answer sheet will have various sections all of which are timed, and you have to start and stop when the audio instructions say so.


For GL Assessment Exams:

Traditionally, GL Assessment have followed the format in terms of content and timings as set out below.

You will sit 2  Multiple choice papers.

The papers are roughly 50 minutes each.


As of September 2022, in some counties there has been a fundamental change to the format.

There were timed sections and you could only move onto the next section when you were told to do so. This is different to previous years.


Top Tip: It is imperative to ensure you know which examining board is in your county for the year your child is taking their 11 plus exam, while having an awareness that the format of the 11 plus can change.

Please make sure that students know that they may need to be adaptable in the real 11 plus exam.



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