Parents, what’s harder? Preparing your child for the 11+ exams or waiting anxiously for the day of the results?

The 11+ can often be a stressful period for a 10 year old who has spent almost all of their childhood playing with friends, watching TV or enjoying the fresh air. However, unsurprisingly, it can be more intimidating for parents, who not only have to convince their child to focus on the work and not on the lucrative PlayStation, but have to also wait patiently throughout September and into October for all the results to come through. Then there’s the secondary school options form to worry about, before the second stage exams for different selective grammar schools, followed by the results day on the 1st March.

Yes, mums and dads, I know it can be a pretty difficult set of weeks and months to struggle through.

Luckily, however, if you reside or your child attends a school in Kent or in the surrounding areas, you’re in for a treat. The Kent 11+ exam may just be your glimpse of light in a very dark room!

What is the Kent Exam?

The Kent 11+ exam enables children to sit one generic test that provides potential entry into numerous grammar schools in the county. The exam usually takes place in the first week of September, and comprises of problems related to Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

Who can sit the exam?

Children attending a school in certain areas of Kent are required to sit the exam in their very own school, which can be a relief for some who prefer to take exams in known locations. Meanwhile, other children, who either live in Kent or reside nearby, are allocated a centre (usually a grammar school) to sit their exam. Rest assured, the complexity of the exams is the same regardless of whether you attend a school in Kent or not!

When are the results published?

This year, grammar school hopefuls will be advised whether they are suitable for entry into a grammar school on the 17th October 2019. Parents will be informed of their child’s result through post, although they may access their child’s results during the day, usually after 5pm.

What do the results mean?

Parents will receive their child’s standardised score, as well as a comment advising them on their child’s grammar school situation. The overall score of all the tests are 423, in which each paper, split into Maths, English and Verbal and NVR Reasoning, is allocated 141 marks each. The traditional ‘pass mark’ varies year on year, although it generally fluctuates in the region of 320. However, each paper does require children to obtain a mark of at least 106, although this can also differ every year. Parents should also be aware that grammar schools who require children to show interest in a place through the Kent exam have their own criteria. For example, some schools, such as the Weald of Kent School, allocate places based on distance, whilst other schools, such as Judd School, offer places using a standardised score ranking system.

Good luck parents and children alike, and remember, grammar schools aren’t the last pit stop on the road to success!

By Aaron Sanjeevan, Saint Olave’s Grammar School