If you are considering applying for a place at a Kent grammar school, then you must register your child for the Kent 11+ Test. The test assesses whether a grammar school is a suitable option for your child and also whether they will be offered a place in a Kent Grammar school.

With such an important exam as this, it is important that parents always check detail of application system, dates, exam content and so on with the LEA or selected school. Do not rely on forums or blogs as a way to obtain this information.

How do I register my child for the Kent 11 plus exam?
You can register your child when they are in year 5 at their primary school. If you live outside of the Kent 11+ area you can still have your child sit the Kent test.

Presently you can register for the eleven plus exam in a number of ways.

Register online or register by post:

You will need to download a Kent Test registration form and this should be available on the Kent Council website.

Keep checking the council website in case there are any changes to dates or procedures.

You can also call 03000 41 21 21 or email kent.admissions@kent.gov.uk to request an application form.

Children with special educational needs taking the elevenplus exam.
If you feel that your child has special educational needs or requires some sort of special arrangements then you must tell your child's primary school if you plan to register for the Kent Test. You will be asked to confirm this request for special circumstances when you apply for the Kent grammar school tests. Talking to your child's headteacher is always useful.

The school and LEA will then work together to decide if your child requires special consideration and if alternative test arrangements need to be made for your child. These special arrangements for a child with special educational needs who is taking the Kent 11plus test might include short rest breaks, additional time to complete the exam or putting the test questions into a different format such as large print size.

If the council cannot make the test accessible to your child then a panel comprising of local headteachers will review our child's school work and attainments in school in order to make the assessment.

What are the dates for the Kent 11 plus exam?
Your child will take the test in year 6 at primary school.

If your child already goes to school in Kent they will usually sit the test in September.

If your child goes to school outside of Kent they will also usually sit the test in September.

What is tested in the Kent 11 plus exam?
Currently the test consists of three elements but always check the detail of content with the LA or your child's primary school as content may change:

a reasoning paper (multiple choice)
a literacy and numeracy paper (multiple choice)
a written exercise.

Multiple choice test papers allow for speedy marking by an automated marking machine. The written exercise is not marked but can be checked to review borderline cases using the other two tests. This review is carried out by a panel of local headteachers.

What date will I receive the results of the Kent 11+ exam?
This will depend how you registered for the Kent test.

If you registered online you will be emailed the results usually in October. Clearly no exact time can be given as this will depend on many factors including your email service provider. The council will also send these results by first-class post if you registered by post 

What score is needed to pass the Kent 11 plus test?
The score needed to pass the Kent test will be different every year. If a large number of children score well then the pass mark will be higher. The reverse will be true if lots of children got very low scores, then the pass mark would be lower.

The pass mark is arrived at through a statistical process called standardisation. This where the child’s raw score is adjusted very slightly to allow for a child's age when they took the test. This system allows for a child’s results to be compared with the performance of other children of the same age.

An average standardised score equals 100. Score can range from perhaps 70 at the lower end to 140 at the upper end.

What if my child passed the Kent 11 plus test?
When you apply for a secondary school place you can name your preferred grammar school or grammar schools.

The school(s) that you have selected will consider your application. Even though your child may have passed the Kent test this does not guarantee your child will be offered a place. It is very possible that more children will have qualified for places than the number of places available. In this case the school will use its admissions criteria to decide which children to offer places to. Acquaint yourself with these admissions criteria because if you are not offered a place at a grammar school you can appeal this decision as to how you meet these criteria or you can explain why you think this grammar school is a suitable option for your child.

What if my child failed or did not take the Kent test?
All grammar schools will most likely turn down your application, and you'll be offered a different school. A good score in the Kent test is almost essential to obtain a grammar school place for your child. However you have the right to appeal against the grammar school’s decision and you will be given a chance to explain why you think a grammar school will provide the best education for your child.

Do not rely on this blog for definitive information about the Kent test and grammar school selection in Kent. Check all details with the school or with Kent County Council education department.