Back to blog

Birmingham Consortium 11 plus: guide for 2022

Region guides

Looking for clarity on the 2022 Birmingham Grammar Schools 11 plus testing and admissions process?

In this blog, you will find:

  • An accurate, up-to-date breakdown of the Birmingham 11 plus test content for 2022.

  • Frequently asked questions, answered.

  • Expert guidance on how best to prepare.

We have collated everything you need to know about 11 plus preparation and the test itself to ensure you and your child are fully prepared. Entry to their first choice school awaits!

The Birmingham 11 plus test 2022 at a glance

  • Registration opens: 9th May 2022

  • Reasonable adjustment deadline: 15th June 2022

  • Registration closes: 30th June 2022 (4pm deadline)

  • Exam date: 17th September 2022 (Saturday)

  • Out-of-borough exam date: Usually within a week of initial test date

  • Exam board type: GL Assessment

  • Results: 21st October 2022

  • National school offer day: 1st March (or next working day)

  • Admissions information: Admissions Birmingham Council 0121 303 1888

  • Appeals: Undertaken by schools; Birmingham Council information here

Which Birmingham Grammar schools use the 11 plus test for admission?

What is the Birmingham 11 plus test?

The Birmingham 11 plus test is the exam that all students wishing to attend one of the schools listed above must sit. For 2022, the test will follow the GL format: the same test is used by all eight grammar schools in the consortium. Places in these schools are highly sought after, and passing the test alone does not guarantee admission.

What is covered in the test?

The test is made up of 2 papers, with the first paper covering maths and non-verbal reasoning, and the second paper covering reading comprehension and verbal reasoning. Each paper is approximately 45 minutes long. There is no written task element in the Birmingham 11 plus.

Birmingham 11 plus mock tests on Atom Nucleus

What format are the tests?

These are paper-based tests and all questions on the papers follow a multiple-choice format. Students are given two booklets: a question booklet and answer sheet (it is good practice for your child to double-check they have both parts before they begin the test). Answers should be marked with a clear line as shown below: answer sheets will be marked by a computer.

Multiple choice.png

What is the pass mark?

The pass mark may vary year on year depending on the success rate of the previous cohort i.e. if a cohort finds the questions exceptionally challenging, the pass mark may be lower than it was the previous year. The test is academically challenging; it is designed with the top 25% of students in mind.

11 plus exam prep webinars. Learn how to maximise your child's progress - sign up today

How competitive is the Birmingham 11 plus test?

There is significant competition in Birmingham to attend one of the eight grammar schools in the area and it is common practice to start preparation several years in advance of the exam: students should be intimately familiar with the format, questions styles, and timing pressures of the exam.

Those wanting to register for the test who live out of the area are able to do so.

There is an appeals process if unsuccessful in gaining a place at the school of choice, however the success rate for turnover of decision is minimal.

When should I start preparing my child for the Birmingham 11 plus test?

A common age for introduction to the process is the summer term of Year 4 or early autumn Year 5. If your child requires general curriculum focus in addition to specific 11 plus preparation, starting earlier than this may be advisable.

As the test is designed to challenge and assess secure understanding of academic content and problem solving, working within or above age-related expectations is essential. Your child should have a solid fluency with age-appropriate curriculum before moving onto exam style formats and questions.

The timing element can be a deciding factor in test-day success for many children: your aim should be for your child to be at ease with the exam and its format before the real thing – ensure they have practised pacing themselves.

How can I help my child prepare for the Birmingham 11 plus test 2022?

Here are some top tips on how to best prepare your child for the 2022 exam.

Build strong foundational knowledge: the 11 plus assesses a huge amount of content. Atom Nucleus offers tailored learning journeys (specific to your school of focus), with over 90,000 teacher-created questions.

Preparation is key: familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is absolutely key. Access to quality, unlimited practice material ensures confidence when tackling the test. Atom gives your child access to unlimited mock tests that mirror the content, format and structure of the Birmingham 11 plus exams.

Birmingham non-verbal reasoning.gif

Practising full-length tests will ensure your child goes into test day feeling confident and prepared to ace their exam!

Access to immediate support: when working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with their misconceptions in order to truly be secure in an area of study. Atom gives your child access to video tutorials, help sheets and examples for each question to build confidence and competence in all the areas covered in the Birmingham 11 plus exam.

Engage with their progress: celebrate your child's improvement in their areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of your child’s areas of strength and development is helpful. Atom's Parent Portal offers data-driven insights into your child's progress to help you prepare effectively.

Overall progress and targets achieved:

See progress and targets achieved on Atom's Parent Portal

A detailed breakdown of progress by subtopic, compared to the average student in their year:

See a detailed breakdown of progress on Atom's Parent Portal

Set Custom Practices to target your child's most challenging subtopics, with functions to personalise timings and question types:

Setting a Custom Practice for your child on Atom's Parent Portal


We know how crucial this time is. If you have any questions about the Birmingham 11 plus test, our education experts are on hand to support you and your family every step of the way:

Get in touch

If you're looking for exclusive tips and resources to help your child master key subjects, excel in exams, and build academic confidence, join Atom's email list:

Get expert tips and resources direct to your inbox for Key Stage 2 education and entrance exam prep

Atom

Learning

Follow Atom Learning

Atom Learning Ltd. is registered and incorporated in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 10867907 VAT number: 316903508 Copyright Atom Learning Ltd. All rights reserved.