The 11+ Exam and Verbal Reasoning

11 + Exam: Verbal Reasoning

11+ exam revision, preparation and testing involve a plethora of practice papers, with verbal reasoning making for an almost universally employed paper. This may, in no small part, be due to verbal reasoning testing a child’s potential, as well as their current abilities.

The Structure of the Verbal Reasoning Paper

Learned abilities are incorporated into the paper through questions that demand a good vocabulary and basic math skills. This is then coupled with questions that challenge a child’s logical and deduction skills, in addition to their ability to undertake tasks such as deciphering codes. This structure then means that a child’s English and Mathematics skills are tested through the verbal reasoning exam and what you may traditionally consider as logic and reasoning abilities.

Overcoming difficulties with the Verbal Reasoning 11 + Exam

There is no reason to worry if your child is struggling with the verbal reasoning exam and the associated concepts. The skillset required for this exam can be significantly improved. Even where a child may not be naturally inclined to logical reasoning, a solid base in Mathematics and English can help considerably.

Question types and your area

Verbal reasoning question formats vary significantly from area to area. However, the most common format for the 11 +exam is the one prepared by GL Assessment (previously known as NFER). These papers will feature either 15 or 21 question formats (although the latter is generally far more common). The paper may additionally feature either ‘standard’ questions (which provide no answers whatsoever, with your child required to work out the complete answer for themselves).
Where GL Assessment doesn’t set the test and previous year’s papers aren’t available (which applies in some areas within Birmingham and Warwickshire, for example), it is likely essential that your child revises a complete range of VR question formats. Notably, the publisher that generally features the broadest range of question types is the Bond Assessment. However, the best practice is to revise a variety of VR questions nevertheless regardless of the paper that your child is facing.

Essential tips for effective Verbal Reasoning Exam revision:

1. Research the question types that may feature in papers specifically within your area (e.g. standard questions with no answers or multiple-choice questions). You, as a parent, may be able to help your child with this by identifying similarities between papers and talking with your child’s teachers.
2. Hone in on these question types through your child’s revision and attempt to identify problem areas or question formats they may be struggling with.
3. Consider hiring a professional tutor. Tutors should provide both tried and tested revision techniques, as well as an adapted approach to your child’s natural abilities (in addition to their weaknesses). They will also have expert knowledge on the structure of Verbal Reasoning exams and can prepare your child to be both confident and academically prepared.

11 Plus Tutors Essex are the go-to professionals to prepare your child for their upcoming 11+ Exam; through a unique approach to every student, they provide tutorship tailored to your child’s strengths, weaknesses and natural abilities.