11 Plus Verbal Reasoning

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No more marking of practice tests by parents; the website does it instantly

If you want to help your child with verbal reasoning you first need to find out which type of verbal reasoning (VR) he or she will be doing in his/her 11 plus exam. GL Assessment (i.e. 'non-CEM') VR questions often involve some kind of system which your child will need to learn in order to get to grips with the types of question they will be answering. There are questions involving alphabet sequences and alphabet reasoning which require a thorough knowledge of the order of letters in the alphabet. There are also questions on number sequences and other numerical questions even though the tests are called verbal reasoning. Other questions involve spotting hidden words, making one word from two separate ones (either by combining the two words or taking some of the letters from each word), adding letters, subtracting letters or moving letters from one word to another.

The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) has tried to make its 11 plus test (sometimes known as the "transfer test") "untutorable" so has done away with the alphabet sequences, alphabet reasoning and other systematic questions of the GL Assessment VR exam. However the test is still highly tutorable, partly due to the inclusion of NON-verbal reasoning questions (more about these in another blog post) and probably needs more preparation, not less. CEM verbal reasoning questions rely heavily on synonyms (words with similar meanings) and antonyms (words opposite in meaning) and many adults would struggle to understand the meaning of some of the words used. Thus your child should "swallow a dictionary" if they wish to do well in CEM verbal reasoning questions.

GL Assessment produce their own practice questions and other educational publishers have produced resources using questions of a similar format and standard. However the CEM prides itself in not producing any practice materials except for the short familiarisation booklets which most schools and local authorities using the CEM test provide to download from their websites. This has not stopped a number of educational publishers from producing "CEM 11+ test papers" - I urge caution with these because the level of these in some cases is pitched way too high and may demoralise your child.

See the verbal reasoning section of our website for examples of the types of questions described above. You will need an account to view tests; if you do not already have an account you can set one up and get three FREE test credits.