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Everything you need to know about...

11 plus Verbal Reasoning


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The 11 plus verbal reasoning section of the grammar school entrance exam is dedicated to testing a child's vocabulary, reading and code-breaking skills. Therefore, most of the questions require an aptitude for problem-solving and critical thinking.

Establishing a broad vocabulary, as well as developing deduction skills is absolutely essential for achieving 11 plus exam success. Verbal reasoning tests not only require basic knowledge of words but also an ability to think constructively, including an in-depth understanding of how these words apply within different contexts.

As different education authorities have the power to determine which disciplines and individual topics are included in their 11+ entrance exam, the tests may vary across the country. However, examples of 11 plus verbal reasoning topics might include:


  • Insert a letter
  • Two odd ones outs 
  • Related words
  • Closest meaning
  • Hidden word
  • Missing word
  • Letters for numbers
  • Move a letter
  • Letter series
  • Word connections
  • Number series
  • Compound words
  • Make a word
  • Letter connections
  • Reading information
  • Opposite meaning
  • Complete the sum
  • Related numbers
  • Word number codes
  • Complete the word
  • Same meaning

KSOL always recommend that parents consult their local consortium of grammar schools or contact their preferred school directly for information regarding what is covered in your area.

As shown above, typical verbal reasoning questions require children to take existing vocabulary skills and mathematical logic to solve various problems such as, decipher codes, complete the word and interpret sequences. Therefore, basic maths skills are often considered an asset to improve verbal reasoning for the 11plus exam. To develop strong verbal abilities (reading skills and vocabulary skills), check out our exclusive range of 11plus verbal reasoning packs, a fantastic introduction to 11 plus verbal reasoning tips and practice questions. Word-based board games and puzzle books are a fantastic way to build confidence with 11plus verbal reasoning question types at home. They’ll be revising without even realising!

As the entry standard of grammar schools remains consistently high across the country, it is important that your child not only has a good knowledge of the core topic areas, but excellent speed and accuracy skills too. That’s why our 11+ FREE Downloads, produced by our expert tutors in accordance with current 11+ testing criteria include verbal reasoning 11 practice papers with time limits.

Other ways to prepare your child for the 11plus...

Whichever stage your child is at, the most important thing to remember is that KSOL offer support and a wide range of personalised 11 plus verbal reasoning tests designed specifically to improve key skills.

Our Year 5 online 11+ course includes a unique combination of Target Teach® online tests (Mon-Fri) covering Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Receive immediate feedback from incorrect answers to target weak areas head on. What’s more, we now have our own exclusive range of pioneering interactive video lessons to supplement this course!

Your allocated online tutor will send weekly emails including tips and a visual chart of how your child is progressing. If you have any questions or need any 11+ advice, you can respond to your email or call your eleven plus tutor during office hours.

Is your child in Year 4? Start building the key 11+ foundation skills from first principle, and identify which areas raise the most challenges for your child. Our Year 4 Online 11+ Course is a unique and engaging way to introduce a regular study routine and build confidence in the early stages of their development.

If you are looking to profile your child’s current ability or want to experience the benefits of our award-winning online courses for yourself, try our 11+ FREE week trial!

For any further advice regarding your child’s 11+ preparation, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 0121 733 6558 with any further questions. We are always happy to help!