This year we have found out that there will be changes to the Gloucestershire Grammar School Test. So how does the new GL format compare to that of previous years?
Since 2013 the eleven plus in Gloucestershire has used CEM (Centre for Education and Monitoring) style questions. From 2023, the test will be published by GL Assessment.
It was a surprise to many of us to see changes to the Eleven plus in Gloucestershire for the 2023 entry cohort, and this may be causing some worry. However, there are a significant number of resources to aid preparation produced by GL Assessment themselves, and as a longstanding and highly successful eleven plus provider, there is no shortage of other practice material.
The first thing to say about the changes, is that although significant, they should not impact your child’s ability to perform. Much remains the same. A strong vocabulary is absolutely essential for the English/VR sections, knowing times tables thoroughly can make an enormous difference in Maths, knowledge of how non-verbal reasoning questions work is helpful and practice can improve performance.
The Gloucestershire test will still consist of two papers, approximately 45 minutes in length, with a refreshment break of 15 minutes in between. This has been the case as long as any of us can remember. One will consist of English and Verbal Reasoning and the other, Maths and Non-Verbal Reasoning.
It would be reasonable to assume that English and Verbal Reasoning would be similar but there are some notable differences. Whilst the English section will consist of comprehension and spelling, both important for the CEM test too, it may also include groups of questions dedicated to punctuation and grammar. Meanwhile the Verbal Reasoning section is without doubt, the area most at odd with the CEM test.
Verbal Reasoning used with GL Assessment consists of 21 question types. A few of these such as finding synonyms and antonyms of set words also appeared in various CEM test papers, but the majority may be completely new to you and your child. It will be worth spending some time looking at these, and finding out how some of the codes work.
The Maths section will not be very different from the previous test, though certain parts of the curriculum where expected knowledge is used, has changed. For instance, whilst the CEM test would probably expect your child to know terms such as mean, mode and median, it did not expect them to know that the degrees in a triangle would add up to 180 which the GL test does. Overall, the GL test maths aims to be consistent with Year 5 expectations.
Another area of slight difference that can be easily missed, is that not all question types used in CEM practice materials are used in the GL test. It is worth focussing on those most likely to appear.
Finally, one notable difference to our Gloucestershire GL test and that of GL practice materials offered, is that our test uses all four test areas, but within just two tests. Therefore your child won’t have a 45 minute test on any part – something to be aware of, and we have considered in producing our mock tests.
For more information please join our regular free 11+ Parent/Carer Information zoom meetings, where we can share with you up-to date and extensive knowledge of all things eleven plus. Our Parent/Carer evenings run regularly roughly every 6 weeks or so, so keep an eye on our bookings page for when they are running.
Our next Parent/Carer Information evening is Tuesday 22nd November at 7.00pm.