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11+ Mock Exams in Salisbury


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What's in the Mock Exam?

A Maths paper - 50 minutes

An English paper - 45 minutes

A Verbal Reasoning Paper 50 minutes

Non Verbal Reasoning in CEM-style short timed sections


At present the two Salisbury Grammar Schools use different 11 plus exams.

Bishop Wordsworth School started using CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Durham University) in 2015. Their exam will be two papers containing a combination of Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

South Wilts Grammar School has been using GL Assessment for years (GL stands for Granada Learning, formerly National Foundation for Educational Research- NFER). Their exam will be 3 papers - Maths, English and Verbal Reasoning.

Both exams are multiple-choice and are held at the relevant Grammar School in mid to late September.

These Mock Exams have had the papers specially written for them, so the children cannot have done them before and thereby get a “false positive”. For this reason they are not released.

The papers are structured to give us as much information as possible. The girls’ real 11+ will follow closely the same format.

The Non-Verbal Reasoning paper is held under CEM conditions using short timed passages. I have resisted giving the boys two short CEM style papers on the grounds that spread over the four subjects there will simply not be enough information about what needs fixing. I don’t want to charge for a product I just don’t think is useful to getting a pass in the real 11+.

Of all the things I do, I think this is probably the most useful. Most children have never sat a formal public exam before. There are many rules of etiquette that you and I take for granted, that are completely unknown to the children. The aim of the mocks is ensure that they give of their best in the real 11+, that they aren't fazed by the occasion, or embarrass themselves though honest ignorance. They can iron out any problems in a safe environment and can go on to concentrate only on the academic content of the exam.

The evidence from the reports may well be useful in the event that we want to appeal for a child should they just fail. Children who have prepared well generally don’t fail, but if they do it is by a very small margin. Whilst it is not the real 11+, the reports do independently show where you child is compared with other local children who are preparing for the 11+.


When can we sit the Exam in 2018?

There are three opportunities to sit each exam, on Saturday mornings. The dates are shown below. Please arrive at 08:05 to 08:15. Pick up at 12:00 (girls) and 12:35 (boys).

Click here for directions.



Tickets - There are two ways to buy the tickets: either in person or by post. Please check availability. You will need to bring them with you. Just like the Panto.


The room ready for the exam.


The entrance to the Scout Hall seen from the other side of the road (St Marks Avenue).

When do we get the Results?

The papers are marked and checked immediately after the exam on the Saturday. Analysis for the full reports takes place over the weekend and the bound, printed reports are normally ready for collection or posting out by Tuesday afternoon.

We will post on Twitter when they are ready.

What's in the Report?

Click on the link "Reports in Detail" for a closer look at the Reports.

Basic report £30 per exam with raw scores and class position. Presented in a bound A4 folder with bar charts showing the scores of all the children in each exam, but only your child is identifiable. There are also some general notes on the performance as a group. About 7 A4 pages of information.

Full report £40 per exam. In addition to the information given in the basic report there are:

  • Close observations are taken of each child.
  • A detailed report on each paper explaining any inevitable distractions and how the children responded
  • We will give you directions to YouTube videos explaining how to do every question type that your child got wrong. This is personalized for each child. This usually amounts to hours of free individually directed tuition.
  • Where relevant, we will include samples of your child’s workings or answers to illustrate where things need improving

Booking deadlines? If you want a particular weekend, it may be prudent to buy tickets sooner rather than later. The final deadline, if spaces are available, is the day before.  

Tickets  These can be bought directly from me or I can post them out on receipt of payment. Tickets enable me to concentrate on the children as they arrive rather than getting distracted by the finances. Some are very nervous.

If you haven't received your ticket near to the exam please phone to check: things do get lost in the post.

Post There is a charge of £2.50 for post should you be unable to pick it up in person.

Do the exams predict the future 11+ result?

Largely yes, there is a very close correlation between the real 11+ and the final Mock Exam result. Having said that, I’d be an idiot if I didn’t add the usual caveats: ill or tired children underperform, conversely sometimes luck just goes our way. The purpose of my Mocks is not to predict the future but to look boldly at the present and change the future to the one we want, by identifying weak areas and rectifying them.
It is quite common for children to achieve less than 25% in their first mock, who then go on to have successful careers in The Grammar Schools (they have learnt how to enjoy work and not be hostages to fortune) Generally the workers seem happier, the ones who rely on natural genius usually hit a glass ceiling sooner or later and have to invent a work ethic quickly before they sink.

What to expect from a Mock Exam