Skip to content Skip to navigation

This is the Bond Staging Site for Testing Purposes. If you require the Live Bond service, please visit www.bond11plus.co.uk.

11+ Exam Jargon Buster

Confused by some of the specialist jargon used in the 11+? Take a look at our summary of all the key terms.

11+ Keywords

11+ Subject Terms and Question Types

General Education Terms


11+ Keywords

11+
Selective entrance exam for secondary school entry at Year 7 to grammar school or fee-paying education.
12+
Selective entrance exam for entry to secondary education at Year 8. This is a less common exam. It can be offered by grammar schools, which for various reasons, may have available spaces after their usual intake.
CEM
An exam created by Durham University for entrance to grammar school. It was designed to be less transparent than the GL Assessment entrance test, to be more rigorous and more tutor-proof. CEM stands for Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring. Read more about the CEM exam.
Durham
A name sometimes used when referring to the CEM exam.
GL Assessment
An exam for grammar school entrance previously known as NFER. In 2007, NFER was purchased by Granada Learning. Since that time, GL Assessment have developed and administered 11+ exams.
Moray House
Part of Edinburgh University and an alternative provider of tests for 11+.
Multiple Choice
Multiple Choice (MC) papers usually require children to select from a range of options and mark the answer on a separate answer sheet.
NFER
National Foundation for Educational Research. Purchased by Granada Learning in 2007, NFER originally wrote the 11+ test papers for what is now known as GL Assessment.
Online Tutoring
Online tutoring is the process of tutoring in an online environment .
Standard Format
Standard Format (SF) papers require children to write their answers on the test paper.
Standardised Score
In the 11+, scores may be standardised by age. This means there are allowances made for the age of a child so that each child can be fairly assessed. A child’s 'raw score' is taken (literally the mark he/ she received eg. 75/85) and added to the child’s exact age and the raw score is turned into a grade. Every exam board will have a different way of doing this and, indeed, may not include standardisation at all.
Tuition centre
Private educational institutions where pupils are tutored individually or in groups.
Tutor
A private tutor, typically one who teaches a single pupil or in very small groups.
Tutor-proof
A test is deemed tutor-proof if it can reduce ’question spotting’ or ’teaching to the test’. The tutor-proof test sets out to be less transparent, does not advertise the question types used and aims to reduce any disadvantage between children who are tutored and those that are not. It varies its content, thus making it difficult to prepare for. Tests that aim to be ‘tutor-proof’ often adhere more closely to the National Curriculum, aiming to remove some of the disadvantage from children who have just followed this at school and have not received further tutoring.

Back to top


11+ Subject Terms and Question Types

Antonyms
An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. For example, the antonym of 'hot' is 'cold'.
Cloze Test
Cloze tests are passages where some words, or some letters of the words, are removed. The pupil is asked to complete these words, so that the passage maintains integrity, usually choosing from a multiple choice list. Cloze tests test children's comprehension skills.
Codes
Code questions appear in maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests. They could be a sequence of numbers, letters or symbols. For example:

The code for LADDER is 7 ? / / Z K.
What is the code for REAL?
Answer: K Z ? 7

Compound words
A compound word is made up of two words joined together. For example, 'bedroom' (bed + room) and 'football' (foot + ball) are compound words.
Comprehension
Comprehension literally means the ability to understand the meaning or importance of something. With relation to the 11+, this usually involves a passage which the pupil is expected to read and assimilate and then to answer related questions. At its simplest, this may be an understanding of what the text makes explicit. At its most sophisticated, it is an understanding of subtext or what is only implied in a text.
High frequency words
These are the words that occur most commonly in the English language, for example, 'and', 'it' and 'the'.
Non-verbal reasoning
Sometimes referred to as NVR, these tests appear in diagrammatic or pictorial form. Non-verbal reasoning involves the ability to understand and analyse visual information and solve problems using visual reasoning.
Numerical reasoning
Numerical reasoning is the name given to the maths section of the CEM 11+ exam.
Sequences
A sequence is a set of things that are in an order. This can apply mathematically, (eg. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10), in non-verbal reasoning (eg. >>, <<, >>>, <<<, >>>>) and in verbal reasoning (AB is to CD as PQ is to RS).
Synonyms
A synonym is a word that means the same, or is very similar to another word. For example, 'huge' is a synonym of 'big'.
Verbal reasoning
Verbal reasoning is understanding, reasoning and problem solving using concepts framed in words.
Word problem
A word problem is a question written in everyday language that requires maths to find the answer. For example, 'Oranges cost 69p a kilo. I pay for a kilo of oranges with a £1 coin. How much change will I get?'

Back to top


General Education Terms

7+
Selective entrance exam for entry at Year 3 to fee-paying independent schools.
13+
Selective entrance exam for entry to Year 9. This is used mostly for entrance to fee-paying independent schools.
Admissions Criteria
All schools have admissions criteria to decide which children get places. These vary from school to school. For example, they may give priority to those who have a sibling already at the school or who live closest to the school. It is wise to check admissions criteria before choosing your child’s secondary school.
Admissions Policy
Each Local Authority will have slightly different rules on how secondary education is allocated. It is advisable to check with your Local Authority when you apply for secondary education and submit the Common Application Form (CAF).
Academy
Academy schools are state-funded schools in England that are directly funded by the Department of Education and are independent of Local Authority control.
Appeals
If your child fails to gain a place at the school of your choice, you can appeal against the decision. For more information, visit: www.gov.uk/schools-admissions/appealing-a-school’s decision
CAF
The Common Application Form or CAF is the form used for entrance to all state secondary schools. School choices are made at the beginning of Year 6.
CATs
Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs) are a cognitive assessment that tests verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, maths and vocabulary and provides a standardised score that shows how your child has performed against a national average.
Catchment Area
A school catchment area is the geographic area from which children are eligible to attend a local school. Those who live closest will be more likely to gain a place.
CE
The Common Entrance Exam (CE) is used by many independent schools to select pupils for entry. Children sit the exam when they are in Year 8. The core subjects tested are English, Maths and Science, but other subjects may be tested at the discretion of the school.
DBS
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Criminal Records Bureau checks are now called DBS checks. For more details: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service.
Equal preference system
Admission authorities are now legally required to operate an 'equal preference' system. This means that places are offered entirely on the strength of how well children fit the admissions criteria. Schools cannot favour children who listed a school as their first choice nor reject those who placed it further down their list. In fact, they are not even told where their school was ranked in the list of preferences.
Fair access protocols
The purpose of fair access protocols is to make sure that unplaced children are found and offered a school place quickly. Every Local Authority is expected to have plans in place to this effect. For further information: www.gov.uk/government/publications/fair-access-protocols-in-school-admissions
Free school
Free schools are funded by the government but not run by a Local Authority. They are for all abilities so cannot be selective. They can be set up by groups such as charities, community and faith groups, and parents. They are run on a not-for-profit basis.
Grammar school
A state secondary school to which pupils are admitted on the basis of academic ability. Pupils at the end of Year 5 or beginning of Year 6 of primary school sit an examination known as the 11+. This determines whether or not they gain a place.
Independent school/private school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance. It is a fee-paying private school governed by an elected board of governors and independent of many of the regulations and conditions that apply to state funded schools.
Kent Test
The Kent Test is a test used specifically to assess entry to a Kent grammar school.
Local Authority
Local Authority (LA). These are responsible for key local services, including education.
National allocations day
Schools in England have a single, co-ordinated day in March for offering secondary school places following applications submitted by parents the previous autumn.
PIEs
Progress in English (PIEs) tests are set by some schools and provide a standardised score so that you know how your child has performed against a national average.
PIMs
Progress in Maths (PIMs) tests are set by some schools and provide a standardised score so that you know how your child has performed against a national average.
Preparatory school
A preparatory school (or prep school) is a fee-paying school for children aged 7-13, designed to prepare them for entry into independent, grammar or secondary schools.
Public school
In the UK, a public school is an older fee-paying independent secondary school, which is often seen as more exclusive than other independent schools. They primarily cater for children aged between 13 and 18. Examples of public schools include: Eton, Ruby, Winchester and Harrow.
SATs
Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) are given at the end of years 2 and 6. In Year 2 (Key Stage 1) the results are used to see whether children are working at the expected standard. In Year 6 (Key Stage 2), they are used to show whether a child has reached the national standard.

Back to top