The 11 Plus Exam Explained: Maths

Parents trying to find information on the 11 plus exam can stop looking. 11 Plus Success is bringing you a rundown on each aspect of the test so you can truly understand how your child will be assessed on the big day.

Most 11 plus exams are split into four different topics. These are:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning

Students will need to perform well in each area of the exam for them to have a good chance of getting into a grammar school. The different areas can be confusing because some topics sound like they are the same.

For example, what are the differences between the maths section and the non-verbal reasoning section? This is just one question we will be answering in this guide to the maths part of the exam.

The Format of the Maths Section

The maths part of the exam may include multiple-choice questions as well as open-ended questions. This part of the test may last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. And some schools will even combine the Maths test with the English test in a single paper.

The best way to know the format of the maths test in the exam your child will sit is to ask the school directly. Sometimes this information can be located on the school’s official website. If not, speak with teachers or ask them to find out.

Why Is There No Certainty?

You may be wondering why there is no easy answer to the question above. After all, shouldn’t all pupils sit the same 11 plus exam? That is not the case for the 11 plus assessment for different reasons. The biggest is because there are two bodies that oversee the exam, and these have designed two different papers. The format and the content of their exams can change between locations of the UK and differ each year.

This is just one more way that the 11 plus exam will keep you on your toes! More information on the test and these two examination bodies can be found on our special exam information page.

The Content of the Maths Section

The content of the maths section will touch upon areas that children usually study within Key Stage 2 learning. This includes but is not limited to fractions, percentages, long division, multiplication, ratios and algebra. Parents should also be aware that this section sometimes goes by another name – numerical reasoning.

But the maths section may not stick to subjects that children learn within their maths lessons. The test may dive into some areas that most primary school children will have not learned or been confronted with at school.

Overall, the maths questions will push the boundaries on what was taught in school, but do not expect your child’s school lessons to cover everything that will be on the 11 plus test.

Maths Vs Non-Verbal Reasoning

One of the biggest parts of the exam that confuses parents is that there is a maths section and a non-verbal reasoning section. Some people think both of these sections cover mathematic skills and some even believe they are exactly the same.

The truth is they are not. The maths section covers more orthodox maths school topics, while non-verbal reasoning will test critical thinking skills by looking at number patterns, shapes and diagrams. Critical thinking is not as easy to teach as maths subjects on the curriculum, and it is why some claim that the 11 plus test is not teachable.

How 11 Plus Success Helps

But at 11 Plus Success, we know that you can prepare for the 11 plus test and develop the skills ready for maths aspect and the rest of the 11 plus exam.

Our online course has been made by specialised 11 plus tutors to make the lives of parents and their children easier. With interactive lessons complete with videos and gradual progressions, we can provide a convenient solution for your family’s 11 plus journey.

For more information, contact our team!

    • Hi Nahida
      Thanks for your comment. Which part of London are you based because there are many regions within London and many schools so whether the exam is GL or CEM specific would depend on the area. All the information required for all schools are on our website as follows:
      Regarding books to use, we will be releasing an ebook very soon and currently are offering an online course which is suitable for both CEM & GL exams: and offer a 3 day trial for you to test the course before you commit to purchase.
      Please let me know if I can assist any further. Many thanks
      Kind Regards,
      Anu @ 11 Plus Success

  • >
    Share This