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What to expect in the 11+ Mathematics paper

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This Guidance has been written by a current member of staff at a Southend Grammar school and is intended to give an indication of the structure of the mathematics paper for the 11 plus test in this Local Authority. Please note that this information is for guidance purposes only and has not been endorsed by the CSSE.


The total length of the Maths paper is 1 hour.


There are a total of 60 marks available across the test but it is recommended that you spend at least 5 minutes checking your calculations at the end. This will mean that you should spend on average 50 seconds per mark on each question. You will need to work quickly and accurately to finish the Maths test paper in the allotted time.

Show your working 

Many of the questions are worth 2 marks or more so it is essential that you show your working. Showing your full working will improve your accuracy and it will allow you to gain full marks. In preparation for the Maths paper you will want to practice showing your full working for questions.

What will be tested 
There are a wide range of topics tested in the Maths paper and you should expect questions mainly from the following topics:  

Times tales, 4 basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), factors, negative numbers, square and cube numbers, prime numbers, sequences, solving equations, function machines, decimals, fractions, mixed numbers, percentages, ratio, frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts, venn diagram, averages (mean, median and mode), probability, 2D shapes, polygons, angles, bearings, area, perimeter, volume, coordinates, transformations (rotations, reflections, translation), symmetry, mass/weight, time, timetables.

What you will need 
The test will be non-calculator and so you will only require basic stationary. Please ensure you have sharpened pencils and a ruler to help draw your diagrams accurately.

Last minute exam tips
The Maths test is challenging for all students and you will need to do what you can. If you are stuck on a question, and you can’t remember how to do it, then you should move on to the next question and come back to it at the end. There will be plenty of questions you can do in the test so be confident and use your time wisely.