What subjects are tested in grammar school entrance exams?
Each grammar school will test a variety of the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning and Non – Verbal Reasoning. Grammar schools which are in a consortium will use the same exam as each other, meaning that pupils have to sit one exam for multiple schools rather than a number of exams.
In English, pupils might be tested on their reading and comprehension skills, their spelling, or their punctuation and grammar. Often, they will be tested on all of these things. In most cases, pupils will be given a text to read and answer questions about. This will also test their knowledge of different grammatical features such as adverbs, adjectives, verbs, nouns and connectives.
In Mathematics, pupils will be tested in both mathematical reasoning and arithmetic. This allows grammar schools to see how good a pupil’s mental maths skills are and how they apply their own knowledge to new problems.
Verbal reasoning generally involves problem solving with words and letters. It tests a child’s understanding of vocabulary and their ability to recognise words. Verbal reasoning will often involve some form of ‘coding’, whereby letters and numbers will be linked and pupils will have to solve a problem using this information.
Non – Verbal Reasoning doesn’t involve any words, all the questions are done using pictures. Commonly, pupils will have to look at a sequence of patterns or pictures, and either figure out which is missing from a selection or judge which is the odd one out.