Non verbal reasoning

Most children love this aspect of the 11+ but there are a range of types of questions that tests different aspects of your child's reasoning ability.

Published 31 August 2022

This is the last in this series of articles on what is tested in the 11+ exam. The types of  non verbal questions vary across the UK and this article is aimed specifically at those who are taking the Kent test - however, there are elements which are common to all exam boards and therefore is relevant to most 11+ entrance exams.

Unlike most other exams, the 11+ cannot be retaken and as a result, there is a lot of pressure on parents to help their child as much as possible develop the necessary skills to enable them having a good of chance of passing. 

Non verbal reasoning test a child's ability to process visual information such as 

  • Logical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Analogous images and working out rules to see how objects relate to each other
  • Follow patterns and sequences
  • Spatial reasoning such as rotation, reflection and symmetry
  • Graphical and pictorial information

In Kent, the format of the 11+ is multiple choice - children must choose the correct answer and  mark it on a separate answer sheet. As these sheets are usually marked by a computer, it is very important that the choice made is clear otherwise it will be marked void and no mark will be given - even it is the correct choice.

Practice working against time limits is vital for success because your child needs to reach a certain threshold in order to pass the whole exam. Spending too long on one question will limit the time for the rest of the questions and they will likely run out of time. 

The highest possible score for the 11+ in Kent in 423 across the four subjects and although the specific pass mark varies from year to year - depending on the cohort - it is usually around 85% or a score of about 360. Children have to pass in all subjects and although there is sometimes in certain cases a little discretion by the school if a child has just missed - this is by no means guaranteed. 

Helping your child prepare for the 11+  can be daunting for many parents because of time constraints, lack of knowledge and confusing the relationship between parent and teacher.

At my121tutor, we have been preparing children for the Kent test for over 15 years and have a very high success rate because we know how to get the best out of your child and help them learn the strategies to achieve success. It isn't always only the what - it's also the how. 

Is your child just starting year 5 and going to sit the 11+? why not get in touch on Whatsapp; Facebook; Email or text - we can help

Good luck to all those pupils sitting the 11+ on September 8th 2022

Rowena Hawtin MSc, BSc, PGCE




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