The Gloucestershire 11+ test explained

Gloucestershire 11+ guide for parents
An 11+ pass is essential if you want your child to have a chance of a place at Gloucestershire's seven grammar schools. We have the facts about the test.

Which schools require an 11+ pass?

There are seven selective schools in Gloucestershire, which admit children who have gained good 11+ results:

What do the tests involve?

The Gloucestershire entrance test is made up of two papers, each approximately 45-50 minutes long, with answers completed on separate answer sheets. The children will sit both papers on the same day with a short break in between. The test is the same for all seven grammar schools, and all children take it on the same date. The tests are designed to assess children's verbal ability (which includes comprehension and vocabulary), numerical ability and non-verbal ability.

What version of the test is used?

The Gloucestershire grammar school admission tests are published by Durham University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM).

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

To register your child to take the Gloucestershire test, you need to complete an online registration form, which you can find on any of the seven schools' websites. The tests take place at each of the schools, and you can decide which one you'd like your child to sit the test at. It’s recommended that your child sits the test at your preferred school, but your choice of test centre won't affect your chances of getting a place at any other schools you apply for. As places are limited, you may not get your first choice of test centre.

Once you’ve registered online, you will receive a confirmation email within five working days. This email will include a link to the Test Day ID Form, which must be completed, including a passport-style photo of your child and brought along with them to the test centre on the day. About a week before the test, which usually takes place in mid-September, you'll receive exact details of the testing arrangements. For further admissions information, contact secondary school admissions at Gloucestershire County Council on 01452 425407.

What is the pass mark?

Once the tests have been marked, you will be told whether your child has made the qualifying standard, which differs from year to year but is usually somewhere around 210 to 220 marks. This is not, however, an offer of a place but should help inform your decision about secondary school preferences when you fill out your Local Authority Common Application Form (CAF). The schools will then allocate places in rank order, so if there are more pupils with a qualifying score than places, children will be admitted in descending order of their results. 

How can I help prepare my child?

Each school’s website will provide a familiarisation booklet which gives examples of the sorts of questions used in the test. CEM doesn't release past or practice papers, or endorse any other sample papers or tutors, but advises children can best prepare for the test by reading a wide variety of books and using mathematics on a regular basis.