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A brief introduction to the 11+ exam in Manchester

State-funded grammar schools

There are 7 state-funded grammar schools in Manchester where students are required to pass an examination (the 11 plus) to gain a place there. These schools are: Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Loreto Grammar School (girls, Catholic), Sale Grammar School, St Ambrose College (boys, Catholic), Stretford Grammar School and Urmston Grammar School. [William Hulme school is also a selective school but has a different exam format.]


There are two main exam bodies for the 11+: GL Assessment and CEM. Schools in Trafford use both exam bodies, dependent on which school you wish to apply to. The CEM was designed more recently to try and level the playing field between children who are tutored for the test, and those who are not. There are no official practise papers for this exam, and the format regularly changes. You can find out more about the CEM exam here: http://www.cem.org/attachments/Information%20for%20parents.pdf


Trafford Consortium

Altrincham Girls, Sale Grammar, Stretford Grammar and Urmston Grammar belong to a group called the Trafford Grammar Schools’ CEM Consortium. Students sit ONE exam for all four schools; when applying for the exam, you choose which schools you wish to share the results with. This exam is the CEM exam.



Altrincham Boys

Altrincham Grammar School for Boys uses the GL format for their exam. The school also sets a short creative writing exam for pupils; this is used to assess students whose exam results are border-line.


Catholic Grammar Schools (St Ambrose & Loreto)

Both schools set exams in English, Mathematics and Verbal Reasoning. These are based on the GL exam format.


William Hulme

The William Hulme exam consists of a non-verbal reasoning paper only. There is also an optional languages paper. The William Hulme selection process is different to other schools, and a range of pupils are taken, not just those that score highly on the paper. The exam usually takes place at the start of November and, in order to take the exam, you must select William Hulme as one of your chosen schools on the secondary school application form.


Preparing for the exam

I can help students prepare for the exam of their choice. Please see my 'Services' page for more information. The next blog post will cover the topic of how to prepare for the exam, including recommended books and websites.


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