What You Need to Know about the 11 Plus Maths Exam

Is your child is taking the 11 Plus exam?

Their math skills need to be sharp as it is one of the main subjects that will be tested as part of the assessment process. 

That’s why knowing what to expect and how to prepare will give them the confidence they need to do well. 

The math section of the 11 Plus exam generally tests your child’s proficiency in numbers and other mathematical concepts that are covered within the Key Stage 2 Maths curriculum. 

General Format of the Maths Test

The maths test tends to vary across areas and schools. For instance, some schools set out a separate multiple-choice style maths test, while others set a single paper that combines both English and maths-based questions. 

The time varies as well, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. Some schools also set numerical reasoning tests as a way of making the exam more ‘tutor proof.’

 This simply means the questions are structured in such a way that requires critical thinking and analysis in order to break down the problems and solve for the right answers. 

Because the test format varies so much, it’s important to visit the individual websites of the school where your child will be taking the exam to find out more detailed information about the tests they set. This way, you know what to focus on during the preparation stage. 

What Types of Questions are Involved?

Most of the maths questions on the 11 Plus will require problem solving and detailed analysis, where candidates need to understand and apply mathematical concepts. 

This means that it is important for pupils to be well versed on the basic principles before they can use them for problem solving. 

There are several different types of questions but essentially cover the National Curriculum syllabus. These categories can be broadly broken down into 6 different areas:

1. Numbers – These questions are focused on elements such as:

  • Square roots
  • Negative numbers
  • Triangular numbers
  • Square and cube numbers
  • Money
  • Prime numbers
  • Numerals

2. Fractions and Decimals – These include questions on:

  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percentages
  • Ratios and proportions

3. Shapes and Space (geometry)- This type of questions can cover:

  • Symmetry and angles (obtuse, acute, right angles)
  • Transformations (rotation and reflection)
  • 2D shapes like triangles, circles, and polygons
  • 3D shapes like spheres, cubes and pyramids
  • Perimeter and Area (Squares, Rectangles, Compound Shapes)

4. Measurements – These questions can include:

  • Length and width
  • Height and depth
  • Addition, subtraction, division, multiplication
  • Mass and weight
  • Times tables
  • Volume
  • Time variables
  • Scales

5. Data Handling – This covers elements such as:

  • Tables
  • Grids
  • Charts
  • Coordinates
  • Simple Probability
  • Mean, median, mode
  • Frequency

6. Problem solving – This is the most difficult type of Maths question in the 11 Plus. It can include:

  • Story-based questions
  • Missing numbers in a pattern
  • Algebra, equations and formulae

How to Help Your Child Prepare

You should note that calculators are not allowed in the 11 Plus exams, so a lot is riding on not just your child’s math ability, but also their time management skills. 

It is crucial that your child’s mental maths is up to scratch, making sure that they are comfortable with their times tables and can add or subtract quickly.

As a starting point, you can work on Maths-focused questions with your child. This gives you a great opportunity to assess their current abilities so you know what areas need the most attention and then slowly progress to more complex units.

Early preparation is also key. If you know your child is going to take the 11 Plus, then you might want to start prepping them as early as Year 3 or 4. 

They can use this time to lay the groundwork and get familiar with key concepts. They can also do some practicing and using workbooks to hone their skills so that they become second nature. 

By Year 5, they are ready to apply their mathematical knowledge to problem solving and data handling. 

It also helps to familiarise them with the format and style of the exam beforehand. Tackling practice papers gives children valuable experience, especially in terms of managing their time effectively.

Developing their Critical Thinking Skills 

Regular practice and workbooks are a great way to help familiarise children with what to expect, but introducing interactive games, puzzles and activities can develop your child’s speed, accuracy and confidence. 

It’s also an excellent way for them to apply practical knowledge and sharpen their abilities to think deeply. You can do this through learning tools and platforms like KidSmart

This mobile app is designed to help your child practice their Maths, English, and reasoning skills in just 20 mins a day. 

It features various 11 plus practice tests and timed worksheets to help them hone their skills without feeling overwhelmed. 

KidSmart uses a mix of games, videos, and interactive lessons that are aimed at developing the cognitive skills of children aged 4 – 11, helping them become self learners. 

This is an important skill to have because it encourages them to try to figure things out using what they know, which in turn boosts their problem solving abilities.

 Lessons and tests are adjustable to suit your child’s current ability so you can stay up to date on their progress. 

The app also offers an on-demand  dedicated tutor support system which is available 24/7. 

Maths Eleven Plus Practice Questions 

KidSmart offers free 11 Plus exam papers which you can download and go through with your child. In the meantime, here are some examples of questions that you are likely to come across: 

1. Which of the following is the most likely weight of a bag of flour?

A. 2 g B. 2 litres C. 2000 kg D. 200 mm E. 2 kg

2. Forty-seven thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three people went to a football match. What is this number rounded to the nearest thousand?

A. 47 000 B. 50 000 C. 100 000 D. 47 900 E. 48 000

3. Ibrahim is trying to work out the volume of a swimming pool. What units should he measure the volume in?

A. mm³ B.C. cm² D.E. cm³

4. Sunita has 75 pens and she ties them into bundles of 8. How many pens does she have left over?


5. What is 21.7 × 9.4?

A. 287.68 B. 532.42 C. 117.24 D. 203.98 E. 412.96

6. What is 3/5 of 60?

A. 30 B. 24 C. 40 D. 32 E. 36

7. What is the next number in this sequence? 23 35 47 59 ?


8. Rick has 15 cards. 3 of his cards are aces. Liz takes a card at random from Rick

What is the probability that Liz takes an ace?

A. 3/5 B. 1/3 C. 1/5 D. 1/4 E. 3/8

9. Becca has 3 pieces of wool to make a bracelet. One piece is 160 mm long, another piece is 26 cm long and the last piece is 0.45 m long. What is the total length of wool, in centimetres, that Shania has?

Answer: _________ cm

10. Conrad has 4 dogs. He has to buy each dog a collar (c) and six tins (t) of dog food. Which expression shows how many collars and tins of food he needs to buy?

A. 4tc B. c + 4t C. 4c + 4t D. 4(c + 6t) E. 4 + c + t


  1. E
  2. E
  3. B
  4. 3 Pens
  5. D
  6. E
  7. 71
  8. C
  9. 87cm
  10. D