Grammar, Independent and 11+ Exams explained

A grammar school is a type of secondary school in England and Wales that teaches students aged 11 to 18 years old. Students are admitted based on their ability to pass an entrance exam, which usually focuses on English and mathematics.

Parents are always looking for the right schools for their children to attend, particularly when it comes to high grades. Online tutoring has been known to help students get ahead academically and gain access into these competitive grammar schools.

Online tutoring also provides flexibility in scheduling, which is especially beneficial for working parents.

What is covered for the 11+ exams?

The 11+ exam types can include:

  • Verbal,
  • Non-verbal
  • Mathematical ability tests
  • In addition, some schools also require an essay.

The best time to start teaching and learning the 11+ exams is typically during Year 3. However, some parents start as early as Year 2.

The SAT and 11+ exams are two of the most common types of exams that students take in order to gain admission into grammar schools. The SAT is an exam that is used in primary schools to identify top tables during their transition to secondary school. This way Secondary staff have an idea of each child ability at the end of their primary education.

While the 11+ exam is used by grammar schools in England and Wales. The 11+ exam typically focuses on English and mathematics.

What are the alternatives educational provisions in UK?

The educational landscape in the United Kingdom has always been diverse, with a range of private and state-funded schools available to parents and students. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of parents choosing to send their children to independent or private (public) schools.

This is in part due to the introduction of the Academies program, which allows schools to become independent of the local authority and set their own curriculum. There are now over 4,000 Academies in the UK, most of which are located in deprived areas. There has also been an increase in the number of Online tutoring provision, as more and more students now prefer to study and learn online, this goes in tandem with the increase of parents that are Home Educating (HE) their children after having many lockdowns and quarantines, and new Working From Home (WFH) directives, led parents to supplement their home education with private tutoring.

Online Tutoring: Online tutoring refers to a particular form of distance learning that allows students and parents – particularly those with busy schedules – to access educational services from providers located anywhere in the world.

Face-to-face tutoring has always been an integral part of the learning experience and Online tutoring is another form that allows you to thrive academically. Online tutoring has several advantages over face-to-face tutoring such as:

1. Availability – Online tutoring can be scheduled for times that suit both tutor and student, especially if they live at opposite ends of the country. Online tutoring is also available in the evening when schools are closed, allowing busy parents to continue working without having to take time off in the day.

2. Flexibility – Online tutoring isn’t limited by geographical location, taking place exclusively online, so students can enjoy learning at their own pace. Online tutoring does not need to be limited to school hours, so students can study for as long as they need. Online tutoring is also available with 24/7 support meaning that parents don’t have to worry about missing questions or assignment submissions.

3. Personalised – Online tutoring is tailored to suit the learning needs of each student; smaller groups; there are no distractions and the delivery of the session can easily be adaptable on the go since online resources are available at a click of a button.

Are all Grammar schools paying fees?

There has been a lot of discussion around the topic of Grammar schools in the UK. Some parents feel that sending their children to a Grammar school will give them an advantage when it comes to getting into a top university, while others believe that the fees charged by these schools are too high.

It is true that not all Grammar schools in the UK are fee-paying, but this doesn’t mean that they are out of reach for everyone. The Independent schools have a small number of scholarships and bursaries available which can help to cover the cost of attendance.

These scholarships and bursaries can be means-tested, it may not cover the full cost of fees. Bursaries on the other hand may be offered to bright students that excel at their academics.

Depending on the area where you live in the UK each independent school runs their own schemes. This will up to parents to investigate which one would be suitable for them.

What is the differences between fee-paying and Independent schools?

Fee-paying schools don’t have to adhere to the National Curriculum and teach their own syllabus meaning it is possible to tailor the course to match your child’s needs and skills. Independent schools also provide a more personal approach, with smaller class sizes and more individual support from tutors which can help to give bright children an extra push.

One of the most important factors for parents is that they can choose their school independently from any other local authority or governing body.

The question of whether or not it is worth sending your child to an independent school is one that many parents ask themselves, especially if they live outside of an area where there’s a Grammar School within easy reach.

Which UK counties have grammar schools?

Some locations, such as Buckinghamshire, Kent, Lincolnshire and Essex are pro-grammar schools. With at least 160 grammar schools in England, that doesn’t require fees, and a further 69 schools in Northern Ireland, parents just need to find out their locations and what are the admissions requirements, open days and exam dates. It will help you organise ahead of time.

Selecting the right 11+ exam is important for students and parents, as it will determine the entry to grammar schools and eligibility to attend. There are a number of different exams available, so it’s important to research each one carefully before making a decision. The best way to do this is by talking to other parents in your area and asking them about their experiences with the different exams. It’s also important to consider the location of the school, as some may be located in areas that are not accessible for everyone.

A2i Academy wants to bring 11+ Exams Bootcamp from April 2022, keep an eye on when to enrol with us.

If you want to start supporting your child once you know which exam they’ll be taking these are the ones we will be using:

Free parents guide: Parent’s guide


Study Books:

  1. Maths 11+
  2. Verbal Reasoning
  3. Non-Verbal reasoning

Assessments Bundle

  1. CEM Exam 11+ Bundle


Study Books:

  1. English
  2. Verbal Reasoning
  3. Maths
  4. Non-Verbal Reasoning

Assessments Bundle

  1. GL Exam 11+ Bundle

Always check with the school, the information below is generalised.


  • GL Assessment: Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Kent, Lancashire & Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Medway, Northern Ireland.
  • CEM: Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton.
  • GL and CEM: Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford, Wiltshire, Wirral, Yorkshire.

When to start?

Picture of E. Garcia

E. Garcia

Founder of Anywhere Academy International Ltd (a.k.a A2i Academy), Examiner and Lecturer of Mathematics, that started this online tutoring business, career pathway consulting, and studying abroad advisory to empower a wider number of students to achieve their desired results in mathematics.
Working over 20 years in education in various sectors, from working in Primary, Secondary, Further Education and Higher Education.

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