Jargon Jenga: Our approach to truly preparing for the 11+

At Bright Young Things we strip away the unhelpful jargon that is all too often associated with the 11 plus. The myriad of terms — CEM, Late Transfer, Non-Verbal Reasoning etc.- draw parents into thinking the exam is something special, almost mysterious. In reality, it is simply a test of a student’s core Maths and English skills.

For many parents, the unknown lies in the ‘tutor proof’ verbal and non-verbal papers. Much of the work to design a paper that cannot be tutored for has been undertaken by Durham University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, the same body that provides the verbal/non-verbal papers for the Buckinghamshire 11 plus. Although ‘tutor proof’ is going too far — students can certainly familiarise themselves with the question types — a student’s time is best served by focusing on the core English and Maths parts of the exam.

At Bright Young Things, these are the areas where we can really improve students’ skills and have a positive effect on their chances of passing the 11 plus. We advise our students to practice verbal/non-verbal papers under the supervision of our tutors, who can help students familiarise themselves with the correct approach and “way of thinking.”

It is the core Maths and English — those parts which can really be learned — which should truly be the focus of study, complemented by verbal/non-verbal practice as the exam nears.