The 11+ test in Bexley

Bexley 11+ parents' guide
Children living in the London Borough of Bexley can sit the 11+ test for entrance to one of the area's grammar schools. We explain the facts parents need to know about the Bexley test.

Which schools require an 11+ pass?

There are four grammar schools in Bexley:

What do the tests involve?

The Bexley test, which is used by all four schools, covers:

  • Verbal ability: vocabulary, comprehension and verbal reasoning.
  • Numerical reasoning: mathematical problem-solving, up to and including Year 5 level.
  • Non-verbal reasoning: the ability to see how objects relate to each other and to make logical deductions.

There are two test papers, each containing mainly multiple choice questions relating to all of these areas. Each paper lasts about 50 minutes, and is broken down into sections, each of which has an allocated amount of time. Children take both papers on the same day, with a break of 30 minutes in between.

What version of the test is used?

The Bexley test is written by CEM (the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) at the University of Durham. The CEM writes individual 11+ exams for each school or region, so although the tests will be similar nationwide, they will not be exactly the same. 

How do you arrange for your child to take the test?

If you want your child to take the Bexley test, you'll need to register your child at www.bexley.gov.uk or phone 020 8303 7777. Registrations are open from May to July; the test sessions which take place mid-September.

Where are the tests held?

Children who attend a primary school in Bexley will usually take the test at their own school. Children who don't go to primary school in Bexley will be invited take their test either at one of the four grammar schools in the area, or another secondary school in Bexley.

What is the pass mark?

The test scores are weighted so that 50% is for verbal ability, and 25% each for numerical and non-verbal ability. The results are standardised: in other words, adapted to take account of your child's exact age. The highest possible score is 280.

The Bexley Selection Panel decides each year on the threshold mark for children to be considered selective, but this doesn't guarantee them a grammar school place.

There are currently 800 places in the four grammar schools in Bexley; in 2017, 5931 children sat the test and 1835 achieved the selective standard.

If there are more selective level children than places, each school will allocate its places based on their oversubscription criteria. In most cases, the deciding factor is proximity to the school. The 180 children who achieve the highest scores each year are guaranteed a place at their preferred grammar school in Bexley.

How can I help prepare my child?

The CEM 11+ is based on areas that children should know about from their day-to-day primary education, and no official practice or past papers are released. The local authority discourages parents from tutoring their children for the test as they should be able to make a good attempt at all questions using the knowledge they've gained at school, but you can boost their chances of success by working on their study skills and encouraging them to read widely across a range of books.

When you register your child for the test, you'll receive practice questions and a familiarisation booklet so your child knows what the test will look like and what sort of questions to expect. You'll find more information about the Bexley test at www.bexley.gov.uk/selectiontests.