Dame Alice Owen’s School



Dame Alice Owen’s School (usually known as Dame Alice Owen’s or simply as Owen’s) is a partially selective secondary school and Sixth Form with Academy status located in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. There are over 1,500 students aged 11 to 18 at the school; the school is entirely co-educational, and therefore contains roughly equal numbers of boys and girls. The school is consistently one of the highest performing state schools in England and Wales in terms of General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and GCE Advanced Level (A Level) results, and is widely considered one of the best schools in the United Kingdom. In 2016, it was named the State Secondary School of the Year by The Sunday Times in the newspaper’s rankings for the 2016–17 school year, and Tatler and The Daily Telegraph have also strongly praised it. Dame Alice Owen’s School is one of the most oversubscribed schools in the UK, with over 600 more applicants than places.

GL Assessment and school's own test

Mixed bilateral school

Test Month: September

Allocations: March

Dame Alice Owen's School
Dugdale Hill Lane
Potters Bar

Admissions and exam information

The exam is made up of two rounds, with the top 325 ranked children invited back to complete the second round of testing. These exams cover verbal reasoning, mathematics and English. The verbal reasoning exam is provided by GL, the maths & English exams are written by the school.


Total of 200 places in Year 7, of which 65 are academically selective

The Governors’ Entrance Examination consists of two parts. Part one is a verbal reasoning test. The results of the verbal reasoning test will be age standardised and candidates will be placed in rank order. Children ranked in the top 325 positions will be invited back to sit two further papers − English and mathematics. The results of the English and mathematics papers will be age standardised and combined with the results from the verbal reasoning paper to produce a total combined mark. If two or more children have the same total combined mark then the verbal reasoning mark will take precedence over the English mark which will take precedence over the mathematics mark.

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What’s the difference between GL & CEM?

Explore Learning Dominic James0931

If you’re not sure what verbal reasoning or non-verbal reasoning is all about, or if you want to get a better understanding of the kind of knowledge children need for the 11 Plus exams, then try out some practice questions below. Get your son or daughter to have a go too! Can they beat you? We love a bit of friendly competition!

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Practice Questions

Exam preparation

From experience we know that the best preparation for the exams cannot be achieved in a short period of time. We believe the earlier your child can practice the better chance they have in securing a place.

How can you ensure my child gets into the best schools possible?

We know that preparing for the exam can be a major focus in your child’s education and we are here to support you throughout that journey. We do not believe in simply ‘teaching to a test’, which is why we offer individualised courses and specialist courses that complement your child’s education in the run up to and beyond the exam.

Working in small groups and independently our members grow in confidence and develop exam techniques to prepare them for the day of the exam and beyond.

Our unique approach not only uses the most up-to-date resources, our engaging and motivational tutors will guide and support your child every step of the way, whilst providing clear and honest feedback about your child’s progress.

How often should my child have extra tuition? 

At Explore we take a blended approach that involves a weekly individual session, essential to focus on your child’s core maths and English skills and vital to exam success, as well as one scheduled class-taught session each week that focuses on exam-specific techniques and content. As part of our offering we recommend regular home practice, to embed learning of new skills covered in class. We utilise bespoke online and paper-based materials to provide your child with clear activities to practise at home.

Why should I choose Explore Learning?

We understand that you want to give your child the best opportunities in life and we are here to support you throughout their journey into secondary education. We believe every child should have fair access to exam preparation, we don’t pre-test children, and welcome children of all abilities and will give them the best possible preparation to demonstrate their potential.

Our comprehensive 11 Plus and Entrance Exam courses give children the opportunity to become confident in a range of verbal and non-verbal reasoning methods. In addition, we ensure children are developing the core maths and English skills needed to tackle any exam with confidence. We also prepare children for entrance exams into independent schools, tailoring our courses to suit the focus of schools in the local area.

How to secure a place at this school

Our centres specialise in 11 Plus exam preparation so your child has access to regular practice and the best 11 Plus tuition in the country. For more information, visit one of our recommended centre pages to see how we can cater for your child. To discuss your child’s needs we recommend arranging a visit at one of our Explore Learning tuition centres.

London New Barnet

3.25 miles away

Parking available

Local amenities

Public transport available


3.85 miles away

Parking available

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London Finchley

5.92 miles away

Limited parking available

Local amenities

Public transport available

11 Plus course info

Our course is open to all. We don’t pre-test; we welcome all children with the ambition and drive to go to grammar or independent school.

Students on the 11 Plus course attend twice a week; one exam preparation class (tailored to the local exam requirements) and one tailored, flexible session that focuses on developing core maths and English skills. 11 Plus members also have access to a fantastic online resource with unlimited non-verbal and verbal reasoning exam-style questions – perfect for home practice whenever you want it.

Our course starts 12 months prior to the exam for Year 5 members.

To find out our membership prices, find your nearest centre.

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