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Lancashire Grammar Schools 11 plus: a parents’ guide for 2022

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Lancashire Grammar Schools 11 plus: a parents' guide for 2022

Are you looking for clarity on the 2022 Lancashire Grammar Schools 11 plus testing and admissions process?

In this blog, you will find:

  • An accurate, up-to-date breakdown of the Lancashire 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 Lancashire 11 plus test 2022 at a glance

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

What is the 11 plus test for the grammar schools in Lancashire?

Three of the four Lancashire grammar schools use GL Assessments as their 11 plus exam provider. These schools are Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.

Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School has recently changed its 11 plus exam provider to CEM.

All applicants to any of the grammar schools in Lancashire will need to take the 11 plus test to be considered for entry.

What is the format of the 11 plus test?

Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School, Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School:

These three schools will require applicants to sit three test papers in English, mathematics and verbal reasoning. Each has a time allocation of 45-50 minutes.

Lancashire mock tests Atom Nucleus has mock tests available that replicable the 11 plus exam for Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.

Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School:

This school will require its candidates to sit two test papers, each with a time allocation of approximately one hour. There will be a mix of content in each of the two papers but students will generally be tested on verbal ability, numerical reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

All of the 11 plus tests are paper-based 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?

Places at the grammar schools in Lancashire are determined by the child’s performance in the 11 plus entrance test against other applicants who participate in the same test. This means that the required standard will only be set once applicants have set the test, with places allocated to those who have achieved this required standard.

The 11 plus test is designed to be academically challenging. Generally, students whose academic level puts them in the top 25% of their cohort are good candidates for the 11 plus.

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

How competitive is the Lancashire 11 plus test?

Lancashire’s population puts it within the 10 largest counties in the UK. However, as there are only four grammar schools in the county, competition for places can be high.

All of the schools apply oversubscription criteria if the number of candidates who achieve the qualifying standard in the exam exceeds the number of Year 7 places they have available (the Planned Admission Number, or PAN). All schools prioritise children who live within their designated catchment area as part of this criteria – check the boundaries of each school’s catchment area through our school guides (linked above).

When should I start preparing my child for the Lancashire 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 a 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 on to 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.

5 day free trial for 11 plus

How can I help my child prepare for the Lancashire 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 Lancashire 11 plus exams.

Lancashire 11 plus mock tests on Atom Nucleus

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 Lancashire 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, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you may have about the Lancashire Grammar Schools 11 plus:

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