The 11 plus verbal reasoning section of the grammar school entrance exam is dedicated to testing a child’s vocabulary, reading and code-breaking skills. Therefore, most of the questions require an aptitude for problem-solving and critical thinking.

Establishing a broad vocabulary, as well as developing deduction skills is absolutely essential for achieving 11 plus exam success. Verbal reasoning tests not only require basic knowledge of words but also an ability to think constructively, including an in-depth understanding of how these words apply within different contexts.

As different education authorities have the power to determine which disciplines and individual topics are included in their 11+ entrance exam, the tests may vary across the country. However, examples of 11 plus verbal reasoning topics might include:


  • Jumbled sentences
  • Cloze passages 
  • Cloze sentences 
  • Synonyms/Antonyms



  • Insert a letter
  • Two odd ones outs 
  • Related words
  • Closest meaning
  • Hidden word
  • Missing word
  • Letters for numbers
  • Move a letter
  • Letter series
  • Word connections
  • Number series
  • Compound words
  • Make a word
  • Letter connections
  • Reading information
  • Opposite meaning
  • Complete the sum
  • Related numbers
  • Word number codes
  • Complete the word
  • Same meaning