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11 Plus Maths Exam: Key Topics, Tips, and Practice Questions

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Navigating the journey to secondary education in the UK often involves the challenging but pivotal 11 Plus exam. A significant component of this assessment is the 11 Plus Maths paper, a critical step in determining whether a child will secure a place in their desired grammar school. As parents or guardians, understanding the nuances of the 11 Plus Maths exam, from the key topics it covers to the types of questions that frequently appear, can greatly enhance your child’s preparation strategy.

In this blog post, we will demystify the 11 Plus Maths exam, shedding light on the breadth of mathematical knowledge required, the format of the exam, and the typical maths questions your child might encounter. We’ll also offer practical tips for preparing for the exam, illustrate how a tutor can make a significant difference, and provide some sample questions for your child to practice.

Whether you’re curious about the maths topics covered in the 11 Plus exam, seeking examples of past maths papers, or looking for ways to boost your child’s performance on hard questions, you’re in the right place. This comprehensive guide is here to support you and your child on the path to 11 Plus success.

Remember, the road to acing the 11 Plus Maths paper begins with understanding what lies ahead. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding the 11 Plus Maths Exam

Embarking on the 11 Plus journey requires a firm understanding of the exam itself. For many students, the Maths section often seems formidable. Yet, with the right insight into the exam’s structure and content, you can guide your child to develop a solid footing.

The 11 Plus Maths exam aims to assess a child’s proficiency in numerical understanding and mathematical reasoning. It delves into a range of mathematical concepts that fall within the Key Stage 2 Maths curriculum. So, if your child has been paying attention in their maths lessons, they’re already on the right path!

The exact format of the maths test can vary from one region to another and from one school to the next. Some schools administer a separate multiple-choice maths test, while others combine English and maths questions into a single paper. The allotted time for the test may also differ, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. In some cases, schools include numerical reasoning tests to evaluate a student’s ability to use critical thinking and analysis to solve problems. 

It’s worth noting that the 11 Plus Maths exam doesn’t simply test rote memorization of facts. It’s designed to measure a student’s ability to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems. The exam includes a diverse set of questions that cover key areas such as numbers, fractions and decimals, geometry, measurements, data handling, and problem-solving.

To ensure your child’s preparation is spot on, it’s vital to visit the school’s website where your child will be taking the exam. This can provide you with detailed information about the specific test format and focus areas.

In the subsequent sections, we’ll delve deeper into the types of questions involved in the 11 Plus Maths exam, as well as proven strategies to help your child prepare effectively. From early preparation to the use of learning apps and the support of experienced tutors, we’ve got you covered. Stay tuned!

Key Topics Covered in the 11 Plus Maths Exam

The 11 Plus maths exam may seem broad, but understanding the key areas of focus can help streamline your child’s preparation. The topics are grounded in the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum, providing an even playground for all students. Here’s an overview of the crucial topics that form the foundation of the 11 Plus Maths paper:


This covers a broad range of topics, from basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to more complex ideas like prime numbers, decimals, and the number line. Mastery of this topic allows students to perform quick calculations, an essential skill for time-based tests.

Fractions and Decimals

This section is all about understanding and working with non-whole numbers. Students should be able to convert fractions to decimals and vice versa, perform operations with fractions and decimals, and solve problems involving these concepts.


Shapes - 11+ Maths
Shapes – 11+ Maths, Source: Englishan

This section encompasses geometry. Students are tested on their knowledge of different shapes, their properties, and their interrelationships. They may be asked to calculate areas, perimeters, or identify different types of angles.


This is another important aspect of the 11 Plus Maths exam. Students must understand how to calculate distances, use units of measurement appropriately, and apply their knowledge to solve practical problems.

Data Handling

Here, students are expected to interpret and analyse data presented in various formats, such as tables, charts, and graphs. They need to understand concepts such as mean, median, mode, and range, and how to use these statistical measures to make sense of data.

These key topics aim to assess a student’s problem-solving skills and their ability to analyse and interpret information. Understanding these topics and focusing on their practice can provide a solid base for your child’s 11 Plus Maths preparation. However, the understanding of topics alone isn’t enough. Let’s dive into some effective strategies to hone your child’s problem-solving abilities and enhance their exam performance in the next section.

Practical Tips for Excelling in the 11 Plus Maths Exam

As the 11 Plus maths exam approaches, children and parents may find themselves on a roller coaster ride of emotions, stress, and pressure. However, with a strategic approach and consistent effort, success is achievable. Here are some practical tips that can help your child excel in the 11 Plus Maths Exam.

Start Early

The curriculum of the 11 Plus Maths Exam is built on the foundation of Key Stage 2 topics. Hence, an early start can ensure that the child grasps the basic concepts thoroughly, paving the way for a smoother preparation process.

Skill Development

Maths isn’t just about numbers; it’s about logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Encourage your child to engage in activities that stimulate these skills, like puzzles, chess, Sudoku, and other brain games. This will make learning fun and interactive, boosting their enthusiasm for the subject.

Regular Practice

There’s no substitute for regular practice when it comes to maths. Encourage your child to solve 11 Plus maths papers and answer hard 11+ questions regularly. The objective should be to understand different types of questions and improve speed and accuracy.

Effective Time Management

The 11 Plus Maths exam is a timed test, and often, the challenge lies in solving questions accurately within the stipulated time. Regular timed practice can help your child become more comfortable with the pace of the exam.

Use of Learning Apps

The digital world offers a plethora of learning resources. Leverage educational apps and online platforms that offer interactive 11+ maths questions and answers. These can provide a fun and engaging way to prepare for the exam.

Get a Tutor

Sometimes, personalised guidance can make a significant difference. A tutor who is experienced in 11 Plus preparation can offer customised learning plans and address your child’s individual weaknesses, enhancing their understanding and confidence.

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Regular Reviews

Regular reviews of the topics covered can help to ensure that your child retains the information. Use 11 Plus Maths paper examples with answers for this review, to help identify any gaps in knowledge or understanding.

Remember, the goal of the 11 Plus Maths Exam isn’t just to test mathematical knowledge, but also to assess a child’s ability to think critically and solve problems effectively. With careful preparation and the right guidance, your child can approach this exam with confidence and succeed.

Sample 11 Plus Maths Questions and Answers

To provide you with a clearer understanding of the kind of questions your child might encounter in an 11 Plus Maths Exam, here are a few sample questions and their solutions. It’s important to remember that questions in the exam can range from straightforward arithmetic to more complex word problems that require a good understanding of various mathematical concepts.

1. Arithmetic Question:

Question: What is the result when you subtract 1234 from 4321?

Answer: The result is 3087. 

2. Fractions and Decimals Question:

Question: If Sally has a pizza and she eats 0.25 of it, how much pizza does she have left?

Answer: Sally has 0.75 (or 3/4) of the pizza left.

3. Shapes and Geometry Question:

Question: If a rectangle has a length of 6 cm and a width of 4 cm, what is its area?

Answer: The area of a rectangle is calculated by multiplying its length by its width, so the area of this rectangle is 24 square cm. 

4. Data Handling Question:

Question: The following are the test scores of a student: 78, 82, 85, 78, 80. What is the median score?

Answer: Arrange the numbers in order: 78, 78, 80, 82, 85. The median score is the one in the middle, which is 80.

5. Problem-solving Question:

Question: Sarah and Peter are collecting seashells. If Sarah collects 20 seashells and Peter collects three times as many seashells as Sarah, how many seashells do they have in total?

Answer: Peter collects 3 times 20 seashells, which is 60 seashells. Together, they collect 20 (Sarah’s seashells) + 60 (Peter’s seashells) = 80 seashells.

These examples give a glimpse of the kind of 11 Plus maths questions your child will encounter. However, the actual exam will include a wider variety of problems. Regular practice with different types of questions will equip your child with the skills they need to tackle the exam confidently.

The Role of Tutoring in 11 Plus Maths Exam Preparation

When preparing for the 11 Plus Maths Exam, having an experienced, knowledgeable tutor can be a game-changer. A tutor not only guides students through complex mathematical concepts but also provides strategies for problem-solving, builds confidence, and offers personalised attention that can dramatically improve a student’s performance.

Edumentors, a growing online tutoring platform, stands out in this regard. Edumentors boasts a talented pool of tutors who are students from top UK universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, and Warwick. These tutors have not only been through rigorous academic experiences themselves but also understand the unique demands of the 11 Plus Maths Exam. They have successfully navigated these challenges and are equipped to guide your child on their educational journey.

One significant advantage of choosing an Edumentors tutor is their close age to the students. Being nearer in age, these tutors can relate better to your child’s experiences and challenges, making them not just teachers, but friends and role models. Their relatability creates a comfortable learning environment where students feel free to ask questions and express difficulties, facilitating a more effective learning process.

Remember, the goal of tutoring isn’t simply to learn to answer questions correctly but to develop a deep understanding of the subject matter. The right tutor can inspire a lifelong love for maths in your child, beyond the 11 Plus Maths Exam.

Choosing a tutor from Edumentors can help turn the daunting task of preparing for the 11 Plus Maths Exam into an enjoyable and rewarding learning experience. Start today and see the difference that a dedicated, relatable tutor can make in your child’s 11 Plus preparation journey.


Preparing for the 11 Plus Maths Exam is indeed a significant milestone in your child’s educational journey. It requires consistent practice, strategic studying, and a deep understanding of complex mathematical concepts. However, beyond the exam lies the real reward – the development of critical thinking skills, analytical capabilities, and a solid maths foundation that will serve your child well into their academic future and beyond.

It’s essential to remember that every student’s journey is unique, and so is their learning process. What works for one might not work for another. That’s why it’s so crucial to foster a love of learning and curiosity that will drive your child to explore, question, and grow.

If you find your child struggling or if you simply want to give them an extra push towards achieving their academic goals, remember that help is just a few clicks away. Edumentors, a renowned online tutoring platform, can be the support your child needs. 

The 11+ tutors at Edumentors, all students at top UK universities, have faced similar challenges and emerged victorious. They understand what it takes to excel in exams like the 11 Plus Maths Exam and are ready to share their strategies and insights with your child. More than just tutors, they serve as friends and role models, inspiring students to aim high and boost their confidence.


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