The 11+ is an exam taken by children aged 10-11 who plan to enter a school at Year 7. Since most girls' secondary schools start in Year 7, the 11+ is slightly more commonly taken by girls, although many co-educational and boys' schools also have an 11+ entry point. The 11+ exam is taken in Year 6, typically in January. However, "11+" is an umbrella term which can apply to any of the following:

i) The 11+ Common Entrance exam set by ISEB.

This comprises an English, Mathematics and Science paper and is usually set by girls' schools. It has fallen in prestige lately, with most schools opting to use a combination of individual entrance exams and pre-tests. The syllabi can be viewed here. Unfortunately, sample papers are not free, but must be purchased from Galore Park. The 11+ Common Entrance exam is usually easier than the entrance exams set by schools.

ii) Independent schools' individual entrance exams

These exams almost always include a Mathematics paper, an English paper, and may include reasoning or, rarely, science. Schools often make these papers freely available each year, and good tutors will usually have a large database of past papers. These papers might be quite different in style to one another, although they all test the same core knowledge. Click on the links below to see example papers.

Sevenoaks Sample English Paper
Sevenoaks Sample Maths Paper


Many girls’ schools in London use a collective paper known as the London Consortium, which consists of two groups. The two groups' papers are indistinguishable in format, but they are separate papers. The advantage of this is that the girls can apply for several schools within the consortium and only sit one or two papers. Click on the links below to see sample papers.

Sample Consortium English
Sample Consortium Maths

iii) The 11+ or 13+ pre-test set by independent schools

A pre-test is an exam set by schools in advance of the actual entrance exams. They are multiple choice tests, which are easy to mark, that pare down the volume of applicants to more manageable numbers. The pre-tests for 11+ and 13+ can also be referred to as "the 11+". This usage is less common, and, in my opinion, liable to promote confusion. If discussing pre-tests, the term "11+ pre-test" or "13+ pre-test" is preferable. To read about pre-tests, please click here.

iv) Grammar Schools' Entrance Exam

Grammar schools are academically selective state-funded schools which set entrance exams for their pupils. To read more about grammar schools and their entrance exams, please click here.


Over the years, I have helped dozens of students gain entrance into a wide variety of schools including Eton, Harrow, City of London and Westminster as well as many others.  Read my testimonials.

I prepare my students for the specific exam they will be sitting, as well as working to develop the whole child academically. This means they will be fully ready for life at their chosen school as well as for the tests.