What parents need to know about 11 plus mock exams!

Posted on March, 2023


The 11 Plus exam is an important milestone for many students in the UK, as it is used as a selective entrance exam for grammar schools and some independent schools. Preparing for the 11 Plus exam can be a daunting task, but one of the most effective ways to boost your child’s confidence and increase their chances of success is to take advantage of 11 Plus mock exams.

Mock exams are designed to simulate the actual 11 Plus exam, giving students the opportunity to practice their exam techniques and identify areas that may require additional study. Mock exams can be taken in a variety of formats, including online and paper-based tests, and can provide valuable feedback to students and their parents on their readiness for the actual 11 Plus exam.

In this way, 11 Plus mock exams are an essential tool for students who want to achieve their full potential and succeed in the 11 Plus exam.

What is the 11 plus?

The 11 Plus exam is a selective entrance exam taken by students in the United Kingdom at the end of primary school, usually in Year 6 (age 10-11). The exam is used by selective schools, such as grammar schools and some independent schools, to determine a student’s academic ability and suitability for admission.

The 11 Plus exam typically includes tests in English, mathematics, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. The exam format and content may vary depending on the school or local authority, and some schools may also require additional tests or interviews as part of the admission process.

The 11 Plus exam is known for its high level of difficulty, and students often undergo extensive preparation, including taking practice tests and attending tutoring sessions. The exam has been the subject of debate in recent years, with some arguing that it unfairly disadvantages students from certain backgrounds and reinforces social inequality.

Nevertheless, the 11 Plus exam remains an important part of the selective school admissions process in many parts of the UK.

What is the purpose of taking a mock 11 plus exam?

The purpose of taking a mock 11 plus exam is to help students prepare for the actual 11 plus exam. The 11 plus exam is a test taken by students in the United Kingdom in their final year of primary school (usually at age 10-11) to determine whether they are academically suited for grammar schools or selective independent schools.

Mock 11 plus exams are designed to simulate the actual exam conditions, giving students an opportunity to practice and refine their exam techniques. By taking a mock exam, students can get a sense of what to expect on the actual exam day, become familiar with the format and types of questions, and identify areas where they may need further practice and support.

Mock 11 plus exams can also provide students with a measure of their academic progress, allowing them to see how they are performing compared to their peers and identify areas where they may need to improve. This can help students to better focus their studies and prepare more effectively for the actual exam.

Overall, taking a mock 11 plus exam can help students to prepare and gain confidence for the actual exam day, leading to better performance and a greater chance of success in gaining admission to their desired school.

What are the benefits of taking a mock 11 plus exam?

There are several benefits to taking a mock 11 plus exam, including:

  1. Familiarisation with the test format: 11 plus mock exams provide students with a chance to become familiar with the structure and format of the actual exam. This can help to reduce anxiety and improve performance on the day of the test.
  2. Identifying areas of weakness: 11 plus mock exams can help students to identify areas where they need to improve their knowledge or skills. This can help them to focus their studying and revision efforts more effectively.
  3. Practice with time management: Mock exams provide an opportunity for students to practice their time management skills. This is particularly important for the 11 plus exam, which is often timed and requires students to work quickly and efficiently.
  4. Comparison to peers: Mock exams allow students to compare their performance with that of their peers. This can provide a helpful benchmark for progress and help students to set realistic goals for improvement.
  5. Building confidence: Mock exams can help to build students’ confidence and reduce anxiety about the actual exam. This can help students to perform better on the day of the test.

How can I find a reputable 11 plus mock exams provider?

Finding a reputable mock 11 plus exam provider can be a challenging task, but there are a few key factors to consider when making your decision. Here are some tips to help you find a reputable mock 11 plus exam provider:

  1. Do your research: Start by researching different 11 plus mock exam providers in your area. Look for reviews, ratings, and testimonials from other parents or students who have used their services. Check out their website and social media pages to learn more about their services, prices, and experience.
  2. Check their credentials: Ensure that the mock 11 plus exam provider has the necessary qualifications, expertise, and experience to provide reliable and high-quality tests. Look for providers who have a track record of success and are familiar with the format and content of the 11 plus exam..
  3. Consider their teaching and support services: Look for providers who offer additional teaching and support services, such as feedback and analysis of test results, access to online resources, and tutoring services.
  4. Compare prices and value for money: Look for providers who offer reasonable and transparent pricing, without any hidden fees or charges. Compare the prices of different providers and consider the overall value for money, including the quality of the tests and the additional services provided.

By considering these factors, you can find a reputable mock 11 plus exam provider that can help your child prepare effectively for the actual exam.

Should students be taught for the test or is a more holistic approach required?

While it’s important to ensure that students are adequately prepared for exams, solely teaching for the test is not considered the most effective approach to education. Adopting a holistic approach that focuses on deep understanding, critical thinking, and application of knowledge is generally more beneficial for students in the long run. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Promotes comprehensive learning: Teaching beyond the test content encourages a deeper understanding of the subject matter. It allows students to make connections, think critically, and apply their knowledge to real-life situations.
  2. Encourages long-term retention: Instead of rote memorisation for exams, a comprehensive approach promotes learning that lasts. Students are more likely to retain information when they understand the underlying concepts rather than merely memorising facts.
  3. Develops critical thinking skills: Teaching beyond the test encourages students to think critically, analyse information, and solve problems. These skills are essential for academic success, future learning, and real-world applications.
  4. Fosters a love for learning: Emphasising a broader understanding of the subject can cultivate a genuine curiosity and passion for learning. Students become more engaged, motivated, and self-driven when they see the value and relevance of what they’re studying.
  5. Prepares for real-life challenges: Education should equip students with skills and knowledge that go beyond exams. Adopting a different approach helps develop essential life skills such as problem-solving, communication, creativity, and collaboration that are valuable beyond the classroom.

That said, it’s important to strike a balance between teaching the curriculum and preparing students for exams. Providing guidance on exam formats, practicing past papers, and teaching exam techniques can be incorporated without sacrificing the overall quality of education. The goal should be to empower students with a well-rounded education that prepares them not only for exams but also for future academic and professional success.

Watch our Youtube video for our perspective on mock exams:

Are there any disadvantages to taking a 11 plus mock exam?

While there are many benefits to taking 11 plus mock exams, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. These can include:

  1. Increased stress and anxiety: For some students, taking a mock exam can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, particularly if they are already feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of the actual 11 plus exam.
  2. Inaccurate assessment: It is important to note that mock exams may not always accurately reflect a student’s abilities. Factors such as test anxiety, timing, and other variables can impact a student’s performance on a mock exam, which may not be indicative of their actual ability level.
  3. Overemphasis on test results: In some cases, the emphasis on taking a mock 11 plus exam may place too much importance on test results and admission to a selective school. This can create undue pressure and stress for students, and may not be the best way to assess their overall abilities and potential.
  4. Cost: Some mock exams can be expensive, particularly if multiple tests are required. This can create a financial burden for families, particularly those who may already be struggling to afford the cost of tuition or other educational expenses.

Taking an 11 plus mock exam – what’s the bottom line?

The bottom line when it comes to taking a 11 plus mock exam is that it can be a valuable tool for students who are preparing to take the actual exam. By providing a practice opportunity under test conditions, mock exams can help students to become familiar with the format and types of questions, practice time management skills, and identify areas where they may need further study or support.

However, it is important to recognize that mock exams may not always provide an accurate reflection of a student’s abilities, and may create additional stress and pressure for some students. It is also important to consider the cost of mock exams and whether they are a necessary part of the preparation process.

Ultimately, the decision to take a mock 11 plus exam should be based on the individual needs and circumstances of the student, as well as the resources available to them. For some students, mock exams may be a helpful and effective part of their preparation for the 11 plus exam, while for others they may not be necessary or may not be the best use of their time and resources.

You may like to read:

CEM to GL – A change in 11 plus exam board

Where can I book 11 plus mock exams for my child?

There are several places where you can book mock exams for your child, including:

  1. Local tutoring centers: Many tutoring centers offer mock exams as part of their preparation programs for the 11 plus exam. You can search for tutoring centers in your area and inquire about their mock exam offerings.
  2. Online providers: There are many online providers of mock exams, including Bond 11+, Exam Papers Plus, and The Official 11+ Practice Papers. You can book mock exams directly through their websites.
  3. School admissions websites: If you are preparing for the 11 plus exam as part of the admissions process for a particular school, you may be able to book mock exams through the school’s admissions website.

When booking mock exams, be sure to consider factors such as cost, reputation, and availability. It is also a good idea to book exams well in advance, as spaces may fill up quickly, particularly during peak exam season.

If you’re interested in booking a place for our mock exams, please visit:

11 Plus Mock Exams

Settling a child before a mock examMock exam stress

So now you have decided to enter your child for mock exams, how can you get them to buy into the idea? Here are 10 helpful tips to ease the pain:

  1. Set Up a Comfortable Study Space: Create a quiet and organized area for your child to prepare for their mock exam.
  2. Explain the Purpose Clearly: Talk to your child about the mock exam and its role in helping them practice for the real thing.
  3. Establish a Consistent Routine: Stick to a regular study routine in the days leading up to the exam.
  4. Offer Encouragement: Provide your child with support and encouragement to boost their confidence.
  5. Teach Relaxation Techniques: Help your child learn relaxation methods like deep breathing to manage pre-exam nerves.
  6. Prioritize Healthy Diet and Hydration: Ensure your child eats balanced meals and stays hydrated to maintain energy levels.
  7. Encourage Adequate Sleep: Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep to stay alert and focused during the exam.
  8. Time Management Skills: Teach your child how to manage their time effectively while studying and during the exam.
  9. Maintain a Positive Attitude: Emphasize that learning from mistakes is an important part of growing and improving.
  10. Familiarize with Exam Format: Review the exam format with your child so they know what to expect.

These tips are more straightforward and can help your child prepare for their mock exams.


Overall mock exams are incredibly valuable tools for students to prepare for their actual exams. They offer a simulation of the testing environment, allowing students to become familiar with the format, timing, and types of questions they can expect. Additionally, mock exams can help identify areas where students need to focus their studying efforts and improve their performance.

By taking advantage of mock exams, students can gain confidence, reduce anxiety, and increase their chances of success on their real exams. Overall, mock exams are an effective way to enhance academic performance and achieve academic goals.

I also recommend some further reading on mock exams here.

Want a free consultation?