Are you as bright as a 10 year old?

There are three levels of high school education in the UK.
Standard non-selective
Selective Grammar School
Selective Independent Schools

Statistics indicate that selective schools perform academically higher than non-selective schools. This is because selection is based on entrance tests whereby the students that have a higher indication of future potential are selected.

11+ is the entrance test for UK Grammar Schools. Some aspects of the 11+ are also used for Independent School Common Entrance Examinations. Although the tests are called 11+, the majority of students taking them are 10 years old because the tests take place early in the final year of primary schooling.
The 11+ test is administered by Local Education Authorities (LEAs) who choose the format of the test. Some LEAs choose non-selective schooling and therefore do not use 11+ selection tests.

The 11+ tests can include a range of subjects; Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and English. The subject that underpins the 11+ is Verbal Reasoning; all LEAs where there is selective testing include Verbal Reasoning in their 11+ tests.

Therefore I am going to focus on Verbal Reasoning.
With fifteen years experience tutoring students for 11+ tests there is no doubt that the students with higher levels of vocabulary are most likely to pass the tests.

The methods and techniques used to prepare students for 11+ Verbal Reasoning tests can also be used to build vocabulary for adults. This is because Verbal Reasoning vocabulary is often out of context and students are required to have knowledge of the meaning of words and how they relate to other words, for example; antonyms (opposite meaning), synonyms (similar meaning), and word groupings. The non-vocabulary questions require reasoning skills applied to the verbal instructions in the question.

The 11+ Verbal Reasoning entrance tests take questions from a bank of 21 different question types. Although only 12-13 question types are used in the actual tests, students need to know the methods and techniques for all 21 types because the content of the actual test is not known in advance.

In the next articles I am going to provide you with the methods and techniques required to answer all 21 Verbal Reasoning question types. Perhaps you would like to test yourself against a bright student in the UK who needs to pass the test at around 90% to be selected for a Grammar school place!

The methods and techniques are taken from The Verbal Reasoning Handbook, written by myself and Janet Peace; The Tutors. Our full range of Verbal Reasoning published resources are available from and our CD/Download resources are available from where there are also free demonstrations of the CD/Download resources in Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and Vocabulary Building.

Author's Bio: 

Mike Edwards B.A. Hons Health & Community Studies
Post Graduate Certificate in Education
co-author The Tutors 11+ resources
author The Natural Pattern