Parents tackle the 11 Plus

April 11, 2018

Could you pass the 11 Plus? We challenged parents to try out some example questions that thousands of children across the country face in entrance exams, and the results showed that grammar was a particular sticking point…

Parents try 11 Plus questions

Over 10,000 parents tackled the 11 Plus style questions in our online quiz, and when we looked at the results the average overall score of the parents’ mock test was just 61%. The questions cover grammar, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and mathematical reasoning to give them a taster of what primary school children undertake.

Relative clauses were the biggest puzzle with more than half (59%) of parents getting this question wrong:

Identify the part of the sentence that contains a relative clause: On Saturday the car broke down, which distressed Viktor as he was late for the match.

Relative clauses start with a relative pronoun such as who, that, which, whose, where or when.

Pronouns also proved a stumbling block as 53% of parents couldn’t identify the pronoun in the following sentence:

‘Do you like strawberry and vanilla ice cream?’ enquired Katie.

When it came to maths, a similar number of parents struggled to correctly identify angles in a shape. Just under half (49%) got this question wrong:

What is the size of angle x in the triangle below?

Question 2


Moreover, only 66% parents were able to solve this maths problem:

Cara is saving her paper round earnings to buy a new bicycle. She earns £6, seven days a week. The bicycle costs £462, how many weeks will it take her to save enough money to buy the bike?

Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning, says: “The curriculum has changed so much since parents were at school and some of these terms and questions that parents were up against will be entirely new concepts. Even if the concepts are not new, if parents haven’t actively used these skills since school, they can be hard to remember. This is why we have open sessions with parents to give guidance on how to support children with the exams and show them what they can do at home”

Could you score better that 61%? Take our quiz to try out real questions from past papers – it’s a great way to get a feel for what’s expected of children when it comes to sitting the exam.


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