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English for elevenplus exams. (Including CEM 11+ & NI ...

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11+ English

Suitable preparation for CEM 11-plus.

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English tests are often set by Local Education Authorities and private schools as part of their eleven plus selection procedure. The results of this English test, and probably other tests, are used to select pupils for entry into senior school.

Content of the 11+ English exam.

The content of the 11+ English paper varies considerably depending on the area that you live in. Many private schools write their own English test papers altering the content each year to keep the papers different year on year and to help reduce the possibility of question types being “leaked” to parents.

GL Assessment and CEM (Durham University) set many of the exams that schools do not create themselves.

11+ English requires practice and revision of all areas of English. Much of this work will have been taught and learned as part of the everyday school curriculum. However additional revision is also of great benefit to any child taking this important exam.

It is likely that state primary schools will place less emphasise on elevenplus preparation than private or preparatory schools.

Comprehension and grammar

Question types vary but therealmost certaintly be a traditional reading comprehension based on a variety of texts such as poems, fiction or non-fiction. This comprehension will be followed by a variety of question types such as understanding the meaning of words used in the text, grammar based questions on pro-nouns, verbs, prepositions, plurals, adverbs and adjectives etc.

Other question types will involve punctuation and the use of capital letters, exclamation and question marks, apostrophe or quotation marks etc  A clear knowledge of punctuation, verbs and their tenses, suffixes, prefixes, nouns and pronouns, adverbs and the use of the apostrophe are all essential skills over which your child must have full mastery.

Accurate spelling is essential and your child may be asked to spot spelling errors in a sentence or to place words in alphabetical order.

Other question types such as selecting words with similar or opposite meanings are English based but also appear in 11+ Verbal Reasoning exams.  

Cloze procedure

Sometimes your child may have to complete “A Cloze procedure” question. This time your child will have to fill the spaces left in a written passage so that the passage makes sense. Usually your child is asked to choose from three or four possible answers in order to fill each space.

There is also the possibility that your child may be asked to complete a writing task requiring them to write a creative story, write a diary entry or perhaps write a letter. Other versions of this written question type are not only possible but are very likely.

Areas of the country and private schools where demand for grammar school places is very high often set an English test.

Having a good quality glossary of English terms will help your child to learn the various parts of English grammar.

Reading and vocabulary

Crucial to success in the 11+ English test is that your child must have a very wide vocabulary. This will be developed if your child reads widely and is an avid reader. They should read a wide range of texts as this will expose them to different forms of writing and different contexts for using English. These reading texts should include fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, leaflets, magazines and brochures. These are all different forms of writing and all employ the English language in a diversity of ways.

You should also be aware that 11+ verbal reasoning, which almost all areas and schools use, makes huge demands on your child’s knowledge of the English language.

(The Non-verbal reasoning tests do not rely so heavily on understanding and using English.)

The National Grammar Schools Associationwebsite contains a lot of useful information about many aspects of the 11+.

The Tutorfair site has excellent information about the entrance requirements for many of London’s top senior schools.

The Learning Together 11-plus English Book provides 10 English tests with each test containing 50 questions based on all the above aspects of English. Click Product Details for more information.

A comprehensive glossary and answers are included.