The 11-Plus

At BYT we're passionate about helping every child fulfil their potential. Our 11 Plus and Entrance Exam courses are shaped by our decade long experience in getting children through examinations

What is the 11 plus?

The 11 Plus (also referred to as the 11+ or Eleven Plus) is an examination taken by some school pupils in their last year of primary school to obtain a place at a grammar school of their choice. In reality most children will only be 10 years old when they take the test – the term “11 Plus” refers to the fact that the test selects for schools with an entry point for children aged 11 or over.

The BYT Approach

Since our beginnings in 2006 we’ve utilised our decade long experience to offer 11 Plus tuition that is entirely honed to meet the needs of your child as an individual. Whether CEM, ISEB, GL, Bond, North London Consortium or school specific entrance papers, our courses, tuition and unique materials are designed to offer a full preparation for the exam. We work in a way that helps children feel less pressure to ‘pass an exam’ and instead puts the onus on bringing out the best in each student.

The 11 Plus: Our Promise

  • We’ll work with your child to build full competency, fluency and initiative in core Maths and English skills.
  • We’ll ensure all bases are covered with exam technique and working under timed conditions.
  • We’ll build key Non-Verbal and Verbal Reasoning skills.
  • We’ll help your child grow in confidence and self-belief.

11 Plus Courses in our Tuition Centres

We run 11+ courses in our centres and recommend booking a place for your child a minimum of 12 months before the exam. Working with pen and paper, and using our best in-class learning materials with experienced tutors leading the way, we’ll ensure that your child goes into their exam feeling confident, energised and able to achieve their full potential. Our courses cover:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Written Composition
  • Vocabulary
  • Punctuation, Grammar & Spelling
  • Mathematics - all topics on the National Curriculum
  • Non Verbal Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

We understand how, for many, the 11 Plus can be the first major hurdle in the U.K. education system, so we're keen to minimise the stress your child may feel.

Our tutors are fully versed in all aspects of the exam from the tiny differences between provider (ISEB, CEM or Gl) to the ins and outs of top U.K. independent school entrance exams. What’s more, our course covers key Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Skills, and our focused exam preparation classes ensure that your child is up to scratch and feeling confident the full way through the process.

If your child is in would benefit from 11 Plus support in our centres, please email or call the relevant centre to discuss how we can help

  • Harrow - 020 8909 2829
  • High Wycombe - 01494 911 655
  • Maidenhead - 01628 918 132
  • St Albans - 01727 260 239

11 Plus at home

For families in and around London, our agency offers bespoke private tuition in your home, and a tailor-made learning programme of preparation for the 11 Plus. We match families with with a private tutor that has been carefully selected to suit the student’s academic strenghts and weaknesses, who will oversee each student’s progress and report back to you, the parent(s). Our team of admissions specialists will work with your child to prepare him or her for assessment, covering Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. In addition, BYT tutors will be able to prepare students for interviews and equip them with the confidence to succeed.

We have over a decade of experience securing places for our students at the UK’s leading independent schools. Each year, our students gain places and scholarships at St Paul’s, Westminster, City of London Boys, Godolphin and Latymer, Dulwich College, Alleyn’s, Harrodian and many others.

If your child is in need of some one-to-one support please call Bright Young Things on 020 7723 0506 or email us at to discuss how we can help.

Top Tips for 11+ Success

As with any exam, there are tricks and techniques that can help you achieve your best. And the 11 plus is no different. Though by no means a guarantee for success, if you follow these you can be confident that you will achieve your potential!

  1. Start preparation early. Plan how to tackle the familiar question types. Which ones will you find harder? With which are you more familiar?
  2. Practice as much as possible. After all, practice makes perfect! Get a good idea of the format of the exam and how long you need on each question. This will build your confidence. There is no substitute for hard work!
  3. Read the questions carefully. The more difficult questions can try to trick you out, so ensure that every single little word has been read! This is the most common problem pupils encounter and reading through a bit more closely can make a big difference.
  4. Relax. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before. Make sure you have enough time to get to the exam. Try not to worry if you cannot do a question, just take a deep breath and maybe come back to it later.
  5. Check your answers. Make sure that you have time to check them all at the end.

Most importantly, be excited! This exam can lead you to a new school and a new stage!

Top Tips for English Comprehension

Skills learnt in your English lessons can be invaluable to this section. Here are a few tips to make the most of your time:

  1. Read the text. Twice. When checking your answers, it may even be worth reading it all the way through a third time!
  2. Read the question. After reading the text so closely, treat the questions similarly.
  3. Learn vocabulary. An unfamiliar word can obscure the meaning of the whole text. Widen your knowledge by looking up new words you find in a dictionary, or asking someone else.
  4. Practice whenever and wherever you can. Reading a story? Or a bit of history? Ask yourself questions that are similar to those that will come up. Challenge yourself!
  5. Revise. What is the difference between a simile and a metaphor? How is a story narrated in the first person? Make sure that you know these!

Top Tips for Non-Verbal Reasoning

In contrast to Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning focuses on conceptual thinking. Everything is visual and there are fewer words. Here are some tips to guide your practice:

  1. Don’t rush! Take your time to work out what is being asked. Trying to visualise the question can be helpful.
  2. Think carefully. Conceptual questions can vary a lot in complexity. Take care if the question requires multiples steps to obtain the answer.
  3. Look closely. The difference between correct and incorrect can be very small.
  4. Deduce exactly what is being asked. When confronting a new question type ensure that you understand it. Likewise, be wary of similar question types: a rotated shape is different from a reflected one!
  5. Focus on relevant differences. Work out what varies the answer choices and how they relate to the question.

Top Tips for Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning can be tricky as a wide range of skills are tested, from logic problems to number equations. Here are some ways to focus your preparation:

  1. Read the question carefully. This is crucial: answer what the question is actually asking, not what you expect.
  2. Learn vocabulary. Though this is also important for the English questions, it can be central to Verbal Reasoning. A difficult word may trip you up, but it is a simple aspect to improve: always look in a dictionary any unfamiliar words that you may come across. Getting into this habit is a sure way to gain marks!
  3. Think outside the box. After reading the question closely, the answer may still be not what you first expect, so look carefully over all the possible answers.
  4. Focus on the relevant information. Questions may try to distract you with unrelated details. Try to recognise this and concentrate on the main parts.
  5. Read the question very carefully. If you have been reading carefully, you might have seen this tip already!
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