top of page
  • Writer's pictureheadstart11plus

What does my child need to know for the Non-verbal Reasoning section of the 11+?

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Non-Verbal Reasoning is combined with the Maths section in paper 2, and together make up 50% of the overall mark. Non-Verbal Reasoning involves the ability to understand and analyse images and solve problems using visual and spatial reasoning. For example:

1. Identifying relationships in images – in these questions pupils will see a number of images and will need to recognise the relationships between the images, and then answer questions based on these relationships.

2. Identifying similarities and differences between shapes and patterns – these questions require pupils to notice things that are the same / different about images, and then answer questions using this knowledge.

3. Recognising visual sequences and relationships between objects – pupils need to identify any sequences that are occurring between the images, and then answer questions based on this sequence.

4. Establishing codes in images and solving these codes to answer a question – pupils are asked to identify a code (using letters and the images) and then answer questions utilising this code.

Non-Verbal Reasoning, similarly to Verbal Reasoning, is not taught in schools. These Spatial Reasoning skills form a vital part of the secondary transfer test (11 plus) and the more practice pupils have, and the more exposure they have to these question types, the more confident they become and the better they become at answering them.

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


bottom of page