Taking the 11+ test in Bromley
Which schools require an 11+ pass?
What do the tests involve?
The Bromley grammar schools each have their own testing process. At Newstead Wood, children take two test papers:
- Verbal reasoning: this takes for 45 minutes and has approximately 85 questions.
- Non-verbal reasoning: this is made up of four 10-minute sections with about 20 questions for each.
At St Olave’s, children also take two separate test papers:
- English test: this lasts for one hour and comprises two sections. Section One tests reading comprehension, with multiple choice questions based on fiction or non-fiction passages, plus some questions on basic grammar. Section Two tests writing skills, and is in line with SATS writing questions. Children are assessed on their ability to use correct and expressive punctuation, creative vocabulary, accurate spelling and syntax and paragraphs, as well as good presentation and handwriting.
- Maths test: this consists of around 30 questions of generally increasing difficulty, up to and including level 4 of the National Curriculum. The paper will last one hour and is devised to test children’s problem solving skills. The test covers number, algebra, shape, space and measure and handling data.
What version of the test is used?
Newstead Wood uses test papers written by GL Assessment, while St Olave’s produce their own entrance test.
How do you arrange for your child to take the test?
For both schools, parents need to complete and return the Supplementary Information Form (SIF) to the school. These are available to download from the schools' websites. The schools advise parents to return their completed SIF by hand.
Where are the tests held?
The tests are held at each individual school during September.
What is the pass mark?
There is no pass mark as such in Bromley, but pupils are ranked by their results, and the top scorers are offered places. Results are age-adjusted so all pupils have a level playing field. The qualifying scores vary from year to year. Parents are made aware that the academic standard required by these schools is very high, and both are heavily oversubscribed: typically, each school has over 1000 applications for 120 places at St Olave's and 160 at Newstead Wood. You will be told your child's result, along with the cut-off score from previous years, so you can gauge their likelihood of getting a place before you apply.
How can I help prepare my child?
For parents considering St Olave’s, sample questions are available on the school’s website in the Admissions section. However, the school makes it clear that children can’t revise for these tests, as they want to see what the children are capable of without any special preparation. The sample questions are intended to familiarise children with the look and feel of the test, with the aim of reducing anxiety and confusion on the day.
For Newstead Wood, GL Assessment produces a range of official practice papers and support books to help your child prepare.