The 11 plus is a standardised examination that is used for secondary school entry. The use of the test as part of the a admission process into some of the best school across England and Wales has led to some criticism of reinforcing the gaps across society. The name of the test comes from the age at which student’s take it – between 11 and 12 years or towards the end of year 6 (England & Wales).
The test addresses both academic knowledge and ability. Mathematics and English knowledge is tested from KS2 topics and cognitive ability (intelligence) is assessed through the use of non-verbal reasoning and verbal reasoning tests. Variations of the test can also be taken at different ages e.g. 10+, 12+,13+ etc… but they generally all contain sub-tests on Verbal / Non-verbal Reasoning, Mathematics, and English.
There are a considerable number of grammar schools around the England and Northern Ireland (230+ at the last count). The 11 plus is not mandatory for all students rather it is only for those students who wish to progress to a grammar schools although in some regions parents must their child out of taking the exam.