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What does my child need to know for the English section of the 11+?

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

English forms part of paper 1, and combined with Verbal Reasoning make up 50% of the overall mark. The English portion of the test is split into sections five main sections; Comprehension, Spelling, Punctuation, Best words and Technical English:

1. Comprehension – this involves the ability of a pupil to read a passage of text, and then answer questions on what they have read.

2. Spelling – this requires the pupils to read a series of sentences and identify if there is a spelling mistake somewhere in the sentence.

3. Punctuation – pupils will read a passage of text and will need to identify any errors in punctuation (commas, full stops, capital letter, apostrophes, quotation marks, etc.).

4. Best words – this section asks pupils to read a short passage of text and then select the best word to use, from options, which would continue to passage in the best way possible.

5. Technical English – pupils need to have knowledge in a range of technical English, specifically; verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, onomatopoeia, tense, pronouns, prefix, suffix, determiners, homonyms, synonyms and antonyms.

English is the foundation of all of the skills needed on the secondary transfer test (11+). As the 11 plus is a timed examination, being able to read quickly and accurately are vital skills for pupils to possess. A sound understand of spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as technical English, ensure pupils are prepared for the test.

To find out how we could help your child as they prepare to take the 11 plus please contact us through the contact page on the website at or direct via email at


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