Our GoStudent Guide to 11+ Verbal Reasoning


  1. How can I improve my verbal reasoning for 11+?
  2. Why is verbal reasoning important?
  3. What is 11 plus verbal reasoning?
  4. What is the maximum 11+ score?
  5. How do you pass a verbal reasoning test 11+?
  6. Can you fail a verbal reasoning test?
  7. What does a low verbal reasoning score mean?
  8. How can I prepare my child for the 11+ verbal reasoning?

If your child is preparing to take the eleven plus exam, then they’re going to have to know about 11+ verbal reasoning. We’ve made it easier by detailing below what is on the 11+ reasoning exam. While many parents have helped their child through other primary school subjects like maths, English and science, chances are they are pretty clueless about 11 plus verbal reasoning practice questions and verbal reasoning 11+ papers. If this sounds like you, we’d suggest you read on for our 11+ exam tips and even an 11+ practice verbal reasoning paper.👇child taking 11+ verbal reasoning exam

How can I improve my verbal reasoning for 11+?


Preparation is key. Here are some ways to help your child get ready for their 11+ verbal reasoning paper:


Why is verbal reasoning important?


The first thing to mention is that the 11+ verbal reasoning test is one that involves skill rather than knowledge. It’s based on your child’s ability to apply critical thinking and problem-solving techniques. 🤔 11+ verbal reasoning proves challenging because it is not something that is generally taught in primary schools. Therefore, even if your child has been a high performer academically up until this point, they’re still going to need your help to tackle this part of the 11 plus.


What is 11+ verbal reasoning?


The 11 plus consists of four subjects:

If you’re wondering ‘What is included in verbal reasoning 11+?’ We’ve outlined what is on the 11+ verbal reasoning exam with twenty-one types of questions in the table below. The table contains all of the 11 plus verbal reasoning topics plus verbal reasoning examples 11+. Cover the solution to see if you can do these 11 plus verbal reasoning practice questions:

Question type



Add a letter

Q: cal(_)oil hal(_)all

A: calf, foil, half, fall.

The missing letter is f.

11 plus odd one out x2

Q: jumper cardigan button trousers hole black

A: button hole


Related words

Q: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


If JOIN is MRLQ what is GRRU


This code requires you to choose the letter three after the letter in the word.

Similar meaning

Q: small relaxed big little open

A: small little


Hidden word

Q: My mother became a doctor.

A: herb


Missing word – three letters removed

Q: Their HOAY house was amazing.



Changing letters for numbers

Q: A = 3 B = 5 C = 6 D = 8 E = 9 F = 10

(A x C) – (B + D) = ____

A: B

(3 x 6) – (5 + 8) = 5 = B

Move a letter

Q: flower let

A: left


11 plus letter sequences

Q: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Example: GS HR IQ JP KO ____


The first letter is going forward in the alphabet and the second letter is going backwards.

Word connections

Q:  Tall is to (live short see) as narrow is to (wide low heavy)

A: short and wide


Series of numbers

Q: Continue the sequence:

3, 6, 9, 12, 15, _____

A: 18


Two words that make another word

Q: (hand table pen) (belt bag sun)

A: handbag


Make a word

Q: grape (trap)     table

  stone (_____) sunny

A: stun


Connections with letters

Q: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


AB is to DE as GH is to _____



Reading information

Q: Dave is Will’s mother’s brother and John is Will’s father’s father. Al is John’s son. Using this information decide which is true:


John is Will’s grandfather.

Will is Dave’s uncle.

Al is John’s brother.

Dave is Will’s brother.

A: John is Will’s grandfather.


Opposite meaning

Q: (easy today fish) (kind difficult yellow)

A: easy difficult

Complete the maths

Q: 25 + 4 = 17 + ____

A: 12

Related numbers

Q: (3[10] 7) (5 [21]16) (8[___]15)

A: 23

Verbal reasoning codes


         1234  3214   3267

What does 1234 stand for?


Complete the word

Q: timed (dim) timer (rim) deals (_____)

A: sea

Word with two meanings





What is the maximum 11+ verbal reasoning score?


The highest score in the eleven plus exam is usually 140 or 141. ⭐ The breakdown of scores is never discussed. The raw marks are never given but converted to standard age scores for parents. These are based on complex criteria including average score and age. In 11+ verbal reasoning tests there are generally 85 questions to be answered in 50 minutes.⏱

11+ verbal reasoning papers are a learning curve for your child to get used to. Take a look at this 11+ verbal reasoning paper walkthrough to give you an idea of how the exam is set up:

(PDF) 11+ Verbal Reasoning Practice Test



How do you pass a verbal reasoning test 11+?


Pass marks differ from region to region. Some rank the scores and others have a minimum pass mark. Having said that, generally, the overall pass mark for the eleven plus is 80-85%.  As you are given an overall score, your child could fail one paper and pass another. But our advice is to try to revise effectively for each paper. 

Here are some links to officially endorsed 11+ verbal reasoning papers from  the GL exam board for sale and free familiarisation material here.
Here are some more 11+ verbal reasoning papers and answers:
CEM Style Sample paper  
CEM Style Sample paper answers

GL Style Sample paper 1
GL Style Sample paper 2
GL Style Sample paper 3
GL Style Sample paper 1, 2 and 3 answers


Can you fail an 11+ verbal reasoning test? 


11+ verbal reasoning tests are a challenge for all concerned and the pass mark adjusts each year depending on the overall 11+ scores of the cohort. With the right support and preparation, your child can get the best chance of getting a good score. 


What does a low verbal reasoning score mean? 


A low 11+ verbal reasoning score could mean the following:

  1. Poor preparation for the format of the test, for example how to fill in the answer sheet correctly.
  2. Bad time management including spending too much time on difficult questions and not knowing when to move on to the next question.
  3. A person has applied their own knowledge to answer the question rather than following the rules of the question.


How can I prepare my child for the 11+ verbal reasoning?


GoStudent understands how best to teach verbal reasoning tests technique to your child so that they can perform their best on the 11+ test day. Book a free trial lesson with a GoStudent 11+ verbal reasoning tutor today.And when it’s all over, why not reward everyone involved! 🎁