11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Exam

What is on the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Exam?

Among the various sections that make up the 11 Plus exam, the verbal reasoning component stands out as it goes beyond a child’s learned abilities in school. Success in this paper depends on the student’s ability to think critically and solve problems effectively.

This article breaks down what you can expect in the 11 Plus verbal reasoning exam and how you can prepare your child for it.

What is 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning?

What is on the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Exam?

Verbal reasoning is the use of words and language to understand and figure things out. It means being good at reading and understanding written stuff, thinking carefully about it, and making sense of information with words.

In the context of the 11 Plus exam, the verbal reasoning skills section includes various types of questions designed to evaluate a pupil’s language and literacy skills, including vocabulary knowledge, finding words, building words, logic problems, and codes and sequences either in the form of words or numbers.

What Topics Come Under 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning?

What Topics Come Under Verbal Reasoning?

The 11 Plus exam verbal reasoning section covers a range of topics. The kind of questions they get depends on the exam board that their target school uses, but the most common one is the GL Assessment. GLs have either 15 or 21 types of questions in each verbal reasoning paper but they keep the specific ones a secret until the exam. 

Let’s break down these topics that children need to practice and get familiar with to be ready for the 11 Plus verbal reasoning exam:

Crack the Letter Code

Decode words based on a given pattern, often involving moving letters within the alphabet.

Complete the Letter Series

Identify the next two letters in a series by recognising alphabetical patterns.

Complete the Letter Sentence

Choose two letters to finish a sentence by understanding the relationship between the first two pairings of letters.

Create a Compound Word

Combine words from two lists to create another meaningful word.

Find the Missing Letter

Spot a letter that can be added to the beginning or end of words to make them complete.

Move Letters

Remove letters from one word and add them to the second word, ensuring both form correctly spelled words.

Find the Missing Three-Letter Word

Discover a three-letter word that fits into a capitalised word to create a longer word for a given sentence.

Create Words in the Same Way

Get a good grasp of the relationship between the first three words to find the third word in a second group using the same logic.

Solve Letter Sums

Replace letters with numbers and solve the sum, providing the answer in letter form.

Continue the Number Series

Find the next number in a given series by recognising the pattern.

Find the Hidden Four-Letter Word

Identify a hidden four-letter word within a sentence, made from the end of one word and the beginning of the following word.

Find Words Closest in Meaning

A test on synonyms, choose words that have similar meanings from a list.

Related Words

Select the odd ones or two words that do not fit with the other three in terms of meanings.

Find the Word Link 

Finish the sentence by choosing appropriate words from two-word banks.

Explore the Facts & Solve the Riddle

Read and process information to solve a riddle, combining different pieces of information.

Find Words Opposite in Meaning

Choose words that are opposite in meaning from a list. Examples would be words like ‘night’ and ‘day’, ‘up’ and ‘down’, ‘land’ and ‘sea’.

Find the Number to Complete the Sum

Finish a sum by adding together the first half and determining what needs to be added to the third number.

Find the Missing Number

Determine the pattern of the first two groups to find the missing number in the third.

Crack the Number Code

Decode a word based on three other codes, recognising common elements between words and their codes.

Complete the Third Pair in the Same Way

Name the final word in a set based on a given pattern.

Find the Double Meaning

Choose a fifth word that goes with the first four, considering the specific meanings of each word.

What Is Included in the Verbal Reasoning Test?

The verbal reasoning test in the 11 Plus exam is designed to assess the language and reasoning skills of a child.  

Some common 11 Plus verbal reasoning question types involve cracking codes, completing letter series, creating compound words, finding missing letters, and solving letter sums. Children may also encounter tasks such as determining relationships between words. Also, test papers may incorporate questions related to vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 

The format of the verbal reasoning exam papers can vary, with some tests requiring students to work out the correct answer from scratch, whilst others may present multiple-choice options. 

Success in verbal reasoning papers often depends on a combination of vocabulary knowledge, critical thinking, and the ability to discern patterns and relationships within a set of language information. 

Children will have to familiarise themselves with the format of the exam through regular practice. Several resources can be found in tutorial and online education centres with free 11 Plus verbal reasoning practice papers to prepare them for success in the exams.

Master the 11 Plus

A unique, confidence-boosting way to study for the 11 Plus

Are Verbal Reasoning Tests Hard for a Child?

Verbal reasoning tests can be challenging for a child, but how hard they are depends on your child’s familiarity with the question types, their language skill, and how well they prepare.

Some children may find these tasks intuitive, whilst others might need more practice to grasp certain patterns. The key is for your child to practice regularly to improve their skill and get used to the different types of questions. With practice tests, a child can become more comfortable with the format and enhance their ability to think critically about written information. 

So, whilst the 11 Plus verbal reasoning questions can be challenging, they also offer an opportunity for improvement through consistent practice and familiarity with the question types.

Frequently Asked Questions

The 11 Plus exam, commonly taken by students in the UK for admission to grammar and independent schools, typically consists of tests in English, mathematics, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. The specific content and format of the exams can vary depending on the school, region, or exam board conducting the test.

A quick overview of its coverage:

  • English: This section assesses a child’s proficiency in the English language. It may include tasks such as reading comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, spelling, and creative writing.
  • Mathematics: The mathematics section evaluates the mathematical abilities of your child. It covers a range of topics, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and problem-solving.
  • Verbal Reasoning: This section focuses on a child’s ability to understand and manipulate information presented in words. It often includes a variety of question types that assess vocabulary, critical thinking, and language skills.
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning: This section assesses a child’s ability to understand and analyse visual information, patterns, and sequences. It often includes tasks related to spatial awareness, logic, and problem-solving without relying on language.