West Midlands Grammar School Partnership – GL Assessment Test.
This year there has been a collaboration between Midlands based Grammar schools. This new collaboration is known as ‘West Midlands Grammar Schools’ and will include all Birmingham, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, and Wolverhampton grammar schools.
There is now only one Grammar School entrance exam and will take place across the West Midlands Grammar School partnership on the same day – 16th September 2023.
The Grammar Schools are using the GL Assessments format for all school in the West Midlands.
Schools Included in the West Midlands Grammar School Partnership are:
Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls, King Edward VI Aston School, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, King Edward VI Five Ways School, King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School for Boys, Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls, Queen Marys High School, Queen Marys Grammar School, Newport Girls’ High School, Wolverhampton Girls’ High School, Haberdashers’ Adams, King Edward VI School Stratford, Lawrence Sherriff School, Stratford Girls Grammar School, Rugby High School and Alcester Grammar School.
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What does the 11 Plus Exam consist of?
The test usually consists of Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and English. Verbal Reasoning are questions where you need to identify patterns or sequences in English based questions. Non-Verbal Reasoning question are pictorial based questions like ‘spot the difference’ quizzes. English and Maths are as per the National Curriculum but tend to go as far as School Year 6 work and in some cases School Year 7 work.
The contents of the test vary across the country, some may have more Verbal Reasoning questions, some may have more English questions and so on. You can find out what your local Grammar School test exactly consists of by contacting your Grammar School Consortium.
The 11 Plus Exam is meant to be an aptitude test, a type of test where you cannot prepare a child. Whilst the test is designed so that tutoring cannot help the test results, many parents get coaching for their child, and many children pass the test because they have had exposure to the right ‘type’ of questions. This clearly puts the child at an advantage over other children who have not had tutoring or done any 11 Plus Online Training.
To get help with the 11 Plus Exam, many parents hire tutors, or go to specialist 11 Plus Centres, like Educational Tutoring Services, or do 11 Plus Online Courses. Some parents buy books and coach their child themselves. The best approach is somewhere in-between these methods, you may decide to get specialist 11 Plus help and support your child at home as well.
Do I have to pay to sit the 11 Plus Exam?
The 11 Plus exam is free to sit for all children. Private schools should not be confused with Grammar Schools, Private School charge parents for their child to go to the school and usually also charge for their selection test.
Do I have to pay to go to a Grammar School?
No, a Grammar School is state funded education and therefore you do not have to pay. However, your child must pass the 11 Plus Exam to get a place in a Grammar School.
What is the pass mark for a Grammar School 11 Plus Test?
The pass mark for Grammar Schools is difficult to determine as a percentage mark. The marks are also standardised, which add another level of complexity. We will try to explain how the pass mark works for Grammar Schools.
Let us pretend a school has 100 places, and 3000 children apply for the test, it will simply pick the top 100 children. Now if the test was a hard test the pass mark may be as low as 60%, however if it was a relatively easy test the pass mark may move to over 90%. This is where standardisation comes in, the Grammar Schools tend to use a points-based system, whereby they compare the tests against a baseline test to determine if it is harder or easer than the benchmark. The points are then allocated based on the difficulty or the examination. Therefore, some Grammar School publish the lowest points the child got in the previous years to secure a place in a grammar school. As the paper is standardisation, this benchmark is always very similar every year.
Some Grammar Schools further take the child’s age into consideration, if a child is born on 31st August, they would be in the same academic year as a child born on 1st September the previous year. This means that a child born in August is one year younger than the child in September and they compensate for this age difference. It is only a few points, but it has a potential to make a difference.
Which Grammar Schools are local to me?
It is best to get in touch with your Local Education Authority and ask them the question, or you can try googling some like, ‘Nearest Grammar School’, this will pull up the results of the Local Grammar Schools, then it is best to email or phone them for information.
How do I apply for Grammar Schools?
The Grammar Schools themselves will provide all application details. Get in touch with your Local Grammar School. The timetable varies across the country, but the time to apply is usually when your Child is in School Year 5 in the month of May. Some Schools will open application sooner and some later.
There are some useful blogs you can read to help prepare your child better: