11+ exams

The eleven-plus (11-plus) is an examination administered to some students in England and Northern Ireland in their last year of primary education, which governs admission to grammar schools and other secondary schools which use academic selection. The name derives from the age group for secondary entry: 11–12 years. The eleven-plus was once used throughout England and Wales but is now only used in counties and boroughs in England that offer selective schools instead of comprehensive schools. Also known as the transfer test, it is especially associated with the Tripartite System which was in use from 1944 until it by 1976 had been phased out all over the UK.

The examination tests a student’s ability to solve problems using a test of verbal reasoning and non verbal reasoning, with most tests now also offering papers in mathematics and English. The intention was that the eleven-plus should be a general test for intelligence similar to an IQ test, but with the addition of testing for taught curriculum skills the test now measures aptitude for school work.