What to expect in the Kent 11 Plus Test?

When it comes to grammar schools, Kent is one the top areas of the UK for the amount of grammar schools. In fact, there are 35 schools located throughout Kent that are recognised as offering selective admission for children aged 11+.

Thinking that your child would benefit from heading to a grammar school over any other type of school? If you do, then you will want to prepare them properly for the sitting the 11+ test.

With this in mind, James Goldsmith of 11plustutorsinessex.co.uk has put together our guide to the 11+ test and how you can make sure that your child is ready to sit this all-important exam.

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What does the test involve?
During September 2014 the 11+ test has undergone some changes. It used to be heavily relied on reasoning, however, now it is aimed to look at English and Maths skills rather than reasoning. The new Kent 11 Plus Test consists of two separate papers that each child will need to sit.

Paper 1
Paper 1 is a one hour test which contains multiple choice questions on English and Maths. Each of the sections of the paper contains a five minute practice exercise, which is then followed by a 25 minute test. During the English section, your child will be tested on literacy and comprehension skills.

Paper 2
Paper 2 is also a one hour multiple choice test. However, this particular paper is aimed to look at the verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills that your child has. The non-verbal reasoning section of the paper is split down into 4 separate parts, each of which is timed individually.

Alongside these two papers, children will also be required to undertake a 40 minute writing task with 10 minutes of planning. This particular task is used when it comes to marking those children that are deemed to be borderline, and will be used alongside achievements and schoolwork to decide whether or not the child is suitable for grammar school.

Does the test change?
The Kent 11+ test is written specifically for the Kent area and will vary from year to year. This is simply because it makes it harder to predict what will be included or involved within the test, and therefore the test will be on ability rather than how the child prepares for their test. It is important to remember that it is no longer possible for children to sit the Kent 11+ exam in order to apply for a Bexley school, or the other way around, instead a child will need to sit the test that relates to the area.

Arranging for your child to sit the test
If you would like your child to take the Kent Eleven Plus exam, then you will need to register them before the beginning of July. The test will then be sat in September. The best way to apply for your child to take the test is online using www.kent.gov.uk not only because the process is simple, but also because their results will be sent to you via email rather than letter, which means that you will be advised of the outcome quicker.

The tests will be sat either in your child’s school or at a designated test centre, and will be taken during Year 6.

How is the pass mark set?
When it comes to the pass mark in the Kent 11+ exam, this changes every year. The pass mark will depend on the range of results by the children and are standardised to take into account your child’s exact age during the time that they took the test.
An example of the pass mark was the 2014 mark. This was set at a total score of 320 with no individual paper scoring less than 106 out of a maximum of 420. However, you need to remember that this is only for your child to be considered, a pass mark is not guaranteed entry into a school.

Can I help to prepare my child?
Whilst the test will change from year to year, that doesn’t mean that you cannot help to prepare your child to sit the test. You can download a booklet which will prove valuable in helping your child understand the different parts of the test and the type of questions that may be asked. There are also a range of books, practice papers and revision titles that whilst not specific to the Kent test, are ideal for setting the scene that your child will face.

This is a collaborative post

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