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What is the 11 Plus Exam?

An exam that children are required to take for admission into grammar schools, independent schools, or public schools for secondary education. 

11 Plus or common entrance exam?

The 11 Plus is a standardized exam administered to some students in England and Northern Ireland in their last year of primary education, governing admission to grammar schools and other secondary schools which use academic selection. It is only used in counties and boroughs in England that offer selective schools instead of comprehensive schools and in Northern Ireland more commonly.

The examination tests a student’s ability to solve problems using a test of verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, with most tests now also offering papers in Mathematics and English. The intention was that the 11 Plus should be a general test for intelligence (cognitive ability) like an IQ test, but by also testing for taught curriculum skills it is evaluating academic ability developed over previous years, which implicitly indicates how supportive home and school environments have been or that skills are more important than financial resources in determining what kind of schooling a child should receive.

Grammar schools (and many selective independents) select their pupils on the strength of their performance in the 11 Plus examination so, in effect the local brightest and best or, at least, those children whose parents believe in this type of selection and can help them prepare for the exam give them what many believe to be a superior academic education.

What does my child need to know?

There is no uniformity to the 11+ exams. Many selective schools still test applicants’ English and Maths, just as their parents and grandparents were tested decades ago. Others test verbal reasoning (VR) and/or non-verbal reasoning (NVR) too, a fairer system, many believe, as this is a better indicator of raw intelligence than English/maths tests which can be coached for and which advantage those from private prep schools. VR and NVR cannot really be coached, though practice undoubtedly helps.

11 Plus Schools

Grammar school areas and groups in England as identified by the Education (Grammar School Ballots) Regulations 1998 are shown solid blue, while blue spots indicate isolated grammar schools or clusters of schools.

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When does it happen?

There is no synchronicity to when the 11 Plus happens. However, state grammar schools must now give out initial results before the closing date for all secondary school applications in October – so in many cases you need to sign up by July of year 5, and exams often take place in September of year 6.

Even the independents make little effort to synchronise testing and exams happen from November to January in general. However, some independent schools, especially in London or Birmingham, have formed themselves into consortia so that your child sits one exam which is then used as an application to a collection of schools.

Where are the Grammar Schools?

There are 163 grammar schools in England, and 67 in Northern Ireland.

English Region



North West England


Queen Elizabeth Grammar School , Penrith (mixed)


Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School , Waterfoot (mixed)

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School , Clitheroe (mixed)

Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School , Lancaster (girls)

Lancaster Royal Grammar School , Lancaster (boys)


Liverpool Blue Coat School , Wavertree (mixed)


Altrincham Grammar School for Boys , Bowdon (boys)

Altrincham Grammar School for Girls , Bowdon (girls)

Loreto Grammar School , Altrincham (girls)

Sale Grammar School , Sale (mixed)

St. Ambrose College , Hale Barns (boys)

Stretford Grammar School , Stretford (mixed)

Urmston Grammar School , Urmston (mixed)


Calday Grange Grammar School , West Kirby (boys)

St Anselm’s College , Birkenhead (boys)

Upton Hall School FCJ , Upton (girls)

West Kirby Grammar School , West Kirby (girls)

Wirral Grammar School for Boys , Bebington (boys)

Wirral Grammar School for Girls , Bebington (girls)

Yorkshire and the Humber


The Crossley Heath School , Halifax (mixed)

North Halifax Grammar School , Halifax (mixed)


Heckmondwike Grammar School , Heckmondwike (mixed)

North Yorkshire

Ermysted’s Grammar School , Skipton (boys)

Ripon Grammar School , Ripon (mixed)

Skipton Girls’ High School , Skipton (girls)

East Midlands


Boston Grammar School , Boston (boys)

Boston High School , Boston (girls)

Bourne Grammar School , Bourne (mixed)

Caistor Grammar School , Caistor (mixed)

Carre’s Grammar School , Sleaford (boys)

Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School , Grantham (girls)

Kesteven and Sleaford High School , Sleaford (girls)

King Edward VI Grammar School , Louth (mixed)

The King’s School , Grantham (boys)

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School , Alford (mixed)

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School , Horncastle (mixed)

Queen Elizabeth’s High School , Gainsborough (mixed)

Skegness Grammar School , Skegness (mixed)

Spalding Grammar School , Spalding (boys)

Spalding High School , Spalding (girls)

West Midlands


Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School , Sutton Coldfield (boys)

Handsworth Grammar School , Handsworth (boys)

King Edward VI Aston School , Aston (boys)

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys , Kings Heath (boys)

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls , Kings Heath (girls)

King Edward VI Five Ways School , Bartley Green (mixed)

King Edward VI Handsworth School , Handsworth (girls)

Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls , Sutton Coldfield (girls)


St. Joseph’s College , Stoke-on-Trent (mixed)

Telford and Wrekin

Adams’ Grammar School , Newport (boys)

Newport Girls High School , Newport (girls)


Queen Mary’s Grammar School , Walsall (boys)

Queen Mary’s High School , Walsall (girls)


Alcester Grammar School , Alcester (mixed)

King Edward VI School , Stratford-upon-Avon (boys)

Lawrence Sheriff School , Rugby (boys)

Rugby High School for Girls , Rugby (girls)

Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls , Stratford-upon-Avon (girls)


Wolverhampton Girls’ High School , Newbridge (girls)

East of England


Chelmsford County High School for Girls , Chelmsford (girls)

Colchester County High School for Girls , Colchester (girls)

Colchester Royal Grammar School , Colchester (boys)

King Edward VI Grammar School , Chelmsford (boys)


Southend High School for Boys , Southend-on-Sea (boys)

Southend High School for Girls , Southend-on-Sea (girls)

Westcliff High School for Boys , Westcliff-on-Sea (boys)

Westcliff High School for Girls , Westcliff-on-Sea (girls)

South East England


Aylesbury Grammar School , Aylesbury (boys)

Aylesbury High School , Aylesbury (girls)

Beaconsfield High School , Beaconsfield (girls)

Burnham Grammar School , Burnham (mixed)

Chesham Grammar School , Chesham (mixed)

Dr Challoner’s Grammar School , Amersham (boys)

Dr Challoner’s High School , Little Chalfont (girls)

John Hampden Grammar School , High Wycombe (boys)

Royal Grammar School , High Wycombe (boys)

Royal Latin School , Buckingham (mixed)

Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School , Aylesbury (mixed)

Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School , Marlow (mixed)

Wycombe High School , High Wycombe (girls)


Barton Court Grammar School , Canterbury (mixed)

Borden Grammar School , Sittingbourne (boys)

Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School , Ramsgate (mixed)

Cranbrook School , Cranbrook (mixed)

Dane Court Grammar School , Broadstairs (mixed)

Dartford Grammar School , Dartford (boys)

Dartford Grammar School for Girls , Dartford (girls)

Dover Grammar School for Boys , Dover (boys)

Dover Grammar School for Girls , Dover (girls)

Folkestone School for Girls , Folkestone (girls)

Gravesend Grammar School , Gravesend (boys)

Mayfield Grammar School , Gravesend (girls)

Harvey Grammar School , Folkestone (boys)

Highsted Grammar School , Sittingbourne (girls)

Highworth Grammar School for Girls , Ashford (girls)

Invicta Grammar School , Maidstone (girls)

The Judd School , Tonbridge (boys)

Maidstone Grammar School , Maidstone (boys)

Maidstone Grammar School for Girls , Maidstone (girls)

The Norton Knatchbull School , Ashford (boys)

Oakwood Park Grammar School , Maidstone (boys)

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School , Faversham (mixed)

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys , Canterbury (boys)

Simon Langton Grammar School for Girls , Canterbury (girls)

Sir Roger Manwood’s School , Sandwich (mixed)

The Skinners’ School , Tunbridge Wells (boys)

Tonbridge Grammar School , Tonbridge (girls)

Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School , Tunbridge Wells (girls)

Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys , Tunbridge Wells (boys)

Weald of Kent Grammar School , Tonbridge (girls)

Wilmington Grammar School for Boys , Wilmington (boys)

Wilmington Grammar School for Girls , Wilmington (girls)


Holcombe Grammar School , Chatham (boys)

Chatham Grammar School for Girls , Chatham (girls)

Fort Pitt Grammar School , Chatham (girls)

Rainham Mark Grammar School , Rainham (mixed)

Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School , Rochester (boys)

Rochester Grammar School , Rochester (girls)


Kendrick Girls’ Grammar School , Reading (girls)

Reading School , Reading (boys)


Herschel Grammar School , Slough (mixed)

Langley Grammar School , Langley (mixed)

Upton Court Grammar School , Slough (mixed)

St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School , Langley (mixed)

South West England


Bournemouth School , Bournemouth (boys)

Bournemouth School for Girls , Bournemouth (girls)


Colyton Grammar School , Colyford (mixed)


The Crypt School , Gloucester (boys) (mixed in 2018)

Denmark Road High School , Gloucester (girls)

Marling School , Stroud (boys)

Pate’s Grammar School , Cheltenham (mixed)

Ribston Hall High School , Gloucester (girls)

Sir Thomas Rich’s School , Longlevens , Gloucester (boys)

Stroud High School , Stroud (girls)


Devonport High School for Boys , Plymouth (boys)

Devonport High School for Girls , Plymouth (girls)

Plymouth High School for Girls , Plymouth (girls)


Parkstone Grammar School , Poole (girls)

Poole Grammar School , Poole (boys)


Churston Ferrers Grammar School , Galmpton (mixed)

Torquay Boys’ Grammar School , Torquay (boys)

Torquay Grammar School for Girls , Torquay (girls)


Bishop Wordsworth’s School , Salisbury (boys)

South Wilts Grammar School , Salisbury (girls)

Greater London


Henrietta Barnett School , Hampstead Garden Suburb (girls)

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for Boys , Barnet (boys)

St. Michael’s Catholic Grammar School , North Finchley (girls)


Beths Grammar School , Bexley (boys)

Bexley Grammar School , Welling (mixed)

Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School , Sidcup (mixed)

Townley Grammar School , Bexleyheath (girls)


Newstead Wood School , Orpington (girls)

St Olave’s & St Saviour’s Grammar School , Orpington (boys)


The Latymer School , Edmonton (mixed)

Kingston upon Thames

Tiffin Girls’ School , Kingston upon Thames (girls)

Tiffin School , Kingston upon Thames (boys)


Ilford County High School , Barkingside (boys)

Woodford County High School , Woodford Green (girls)


Nonsuch High School for Girls , Cheam (girls)

Sutton Grammar School for Boys , Sutton (boys)

Wallington County Grammar School Wallington (boys)

Wallington High School for Girls Wallington (girls)

Wilson’s School Wallington (boys)

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