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What help does my child get from their primary school when preparing for the 11+?

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Primary schools in Buckinghamshire are some of the best in the country, and the education they provide children is very good. Schools are not however allowed to teach specific content on the 11+. Below is outline of what preparation your child will, and will not, receive from their primary school regarding the 11+.

English and Maths

Schools will provide your child with an excellent grounding in English and Mathematics, however the specific question types as they apply to the 11+ are not covered in schools. For example, pupils will learn how to spell specific words, but will not be given questions regarding spelling as they appear on the 11+.

Verbal, Non-verbal and Spatial Reasoning

Schools do not teach verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning or spatial reasoning as they apply to the 11+. Schools will touch on some content relating to these sections, however they do not teach these elements in a way that is directly applicable to the 11+. This obviously puts pupils not receiving tuition at a disadvantage.

Familiarisation papers

In the week before the 11+ test, schools will hold a familiarisation test. During this time, teachers will explain the process of the 11+, and pupils will be able to answer practice questions. This is the only official 11+ preparation that pupils receive from primary schools. This test, one week before the actual test, does not give pupils enough time to practice in enough depth.


Overall, schools do a very good job at educating children. They will receive sufficient content on English and Mathematics so that pupils are not surprised by questions on the 11+ test, however they do not teach content relating to verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning or spatial reasoning. This is why 11+ tuition is becoming so popular, and a viable route for most parents looking to help build their child’s confidence in the build up to the 11+.

More information

For more information of how we could help your child as they prepare to take the 11+ please visit our website at or contact us at

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