Application packs for the 11-plus are normally sent out to Year 5 children in June, with the on-line application process beginning at the end of June and closing in July. In late August, your child will be allocated a centre at which they will be sitting the 11-plus.
Your child will sit the 11-plus at the beginning of September, usually on a Saturday morning. There is a reserve date in case of illness or other special reason.
Provisional results will be sent out in mid-October. Applications for admissions must be made by the end of October. Offers from schools are normally sent out towards the end of February.
The exam itself
The test is made up of two 45-minute papers. Each test has between 100 and 125 questions. Sample questions are sent out two weeks before the exam. There are a limited number of sample questions on this website.
Warwickshire is unusual in retaining the 11-plus examination to determine entry to its grammar schools. In the Rugby area, many parents and children will choose the 11-plus as a means to gaining entry to either Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School, Rugby High School or the grammar stream of Ashlawn School.
Most children who choose to sit the exam will do so in the September of each year. It is not an easy set of tests and I would strongly recommend even the most able pupils to practise carefully beforehand.
The reason for this is that, even though a child may be very able and working at Level 5 in maths and English (or beyond), the types of questions in the 11-plus will be very unfamiliar to them. The child needs to be exposed to these questions on a regular basis, and have an adult or elder brother or sister on hand to discuss strategies and compare answers.
I would suggest that preparation should begin about a year before the 11-plus is actually taken. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy, but a handful of questions tackled each night would be a good habit to get into. Children should be encouraged to become familiar with the style of the question, and, after a while, they will come to recognise them and be able to apply strategies used before.
As a Personal Tutor, I am available to provide support to children who wish to take the 11-plus. It is a question of maximising their skills, and ensuring they do justice to their own abilities. I cannot promise miracles, but I can promise that they will be well prepared for the tests, and will recognise the type of questions they are likely to face.
If your child is thinking of taking the 11-plus in September, then this would be a good time now to begin sessions to help them through what is a very challenging time in their lives. Please contact me if I can help you.
I would begin by having a discussion with the parent. What problem is your child facing? How can I help? You might be able to give me an idea of your child’s current National Curriculum level.
For the first session, I would probably do a diagnostic test of your child’s abilities. I would look through the requirements for their next National Curriculum level and ask them questions relating to each of the individual skills needed. This would give me an idea of areas to focus on in future sessions, which each last 45 minutes.
I would also talk to you about topics currently being studied at school, and how I can directly help with giving your child confidence in these lessons.
I try to make the sessions enjoyable and varied. I use different teaching materials, including some teaching programmes on laptops and Ipads. I will also work through exam or test-style questions which your child is likely to encounter and discuss how we could use our skills to answer them.
I will give you a written summary by email after each session to ensure you know what has been achieved.