The 11+ English Comprehension section of the grammar school entrance exam can vary across the country. However, 11plus CEM (Centre for evaluation and monitoring) and GL Assessment often include a fiction or non-fiction comprehension text, followed by a series of multiple choice questions.

This section of the 11+ entrance exam is designed to test a child’s ability to extract information and infer meaning from a passage. Therefore, in order to really conquer 11+ English comprehension questions, children need to be reading as much as possible! Not only does reading expose your child to different types of literature, it will also help your child to expand their vocabulary and understand the importance of structure, direct and indirect speech and so much more. To help get your child into a habit of reading on a regular basis, check out the chalk’n’duster Recommended Reading List for a range of engaging Comprehension books at the 11plus standard. These texts have been specifically selected by our expert tutors for their engaging content and use of ambitious vocabulary.

Whichever type of passage your child is presented with in this section of the exam, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, the multiple choice questions can be categorised into two general types. The first type includes simple text retrieval questions (such as finding a key date, name or location, etc) and the second type requires logical reasoning to infer meaning (for example, identifying the thoughts and feelings of a character or interpreting language features, etc).

As timing is particularly tight within 11+ English Comprehension, it useful to encourage your child to practice reading and understanding both fiction and non-fiction passages as quickly and effectively as possible. This includes English exam practice such as skim reading and underlining key information as they go, to help when referencing back to the text. If you are looking to gain an insight into the key techniques for answering Comprehension style questions, our pioneering interactive  lessons with corresponding worksheets are a fun and engaging way for Year 5 children to learn and retain the necessary skills for the 11+ exam.

Considering independent schools for your child? The majority of independent school entrance exams tend to include a creative writing task, where your child will be required to construct a creative passage that displays a confident use of writing skills. If you feel like your child could benefit from developing skill-based elements such as application of vocabulary, sentence openers and punctuation, then take a look at our Creative Writing Course!


Whichever stage your child is at, the most important thing to remember is that CND offer support and a wide range of personalised programmes to produce the best 11+ preparation for your child.

If you are looking for more information regarding the format of this section and the 11+ style questions, then the FREE 11+ English Comprehension practice papers, produced by our expert tutors in accordance with current 11+ testing criteria, would be perfect for you.

Thinking of additional ways to simply boost your child’s Comprehension skills or complement their existing studies? The chalk’n’duster 11plus preparation tools are an excellent way to further their 11 plus preparation!