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How to pass the Sutton 11+

A Comprehensive Guide to Passing the Sutton, London 11+ Exam

For many families in Sutton, London, the 11+ exam is a significant milestone in their child's education journey. With several grammar schools in the area offering excellent academic opportunities, success in the 11+ exam can open doors to prestigious educational institutions. In this guide, EmpowerEd Education delves into the details of the 11+ exam and provides insights into each grammar school in the Sutton area.

Sutton 11+ exam

Understanding the SET 11+ Exam

The Selective Eligibility Test (SET), commonly known as the 11+ exam in Sutton, is a crucial assessment for students aiming to gain entry into the area's top grammar schools. The SET typically consists of two main papers:

  1. Mathematics Paper: This paper includes questions based on the Key Stage

  2. 2 curriculum, designed to assess a student's mathematical ability, including arithmetic, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. Questions range from straightforward calculations to more complex problems requiring logical thinking.

  3. English Paper: This paper tests a student's comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills. It includes reading passages followed by multiple-choice questions and may also require students to write short responses or essays.

The Second Stage Exam

For students who pass the initial SET, some schools in Sutton require a second stage of testing to further assess candidates' abilities. This second stage typically involves:

  1. Advanced Mathematics Paper: This paper is more challenging than the first stage, including complex problems that require deeper mathematical understanding and advanced problem-solving skills.

  2. Advanced English Paper: This paper focuses on higher-level comprehension and writing tasks. It often includes more intricate reading passages, requiring detailed analysis and interpretation, as well as advanced writing tasks to assess creative and analytical writing skills.

Preparation Strategies

Preparation for the 11+ exam is crucial and should ideally begin well in advance. Here are some effective strategies to help your child succeed:

  • Start Early: Begin preparation at least a year before the exam date to allow sufficient time for comprehensive review and practice.

  • Understand the Exam Format: Familiarise yourself and your child with the format and content of the exam, including the types of questions and time constraints.

  • Practice Regularly: Utilise practice papers, sample questions, and mock exams to help your child become accustomed to the exam format and build confidence.

  • Focus on Weak Areas: Identify your child's strengths and weaknesses and focus on improving areas where they may need additional support.

  • Encourage Reading and Vocabulary Building: Reading regularly and expanding vocabulary can enhance verbal reasoning skills, critical for success in the 11+ exam.

  • Maintain a Balanced Approach: While exam preparation is essential, ensure your child maintains a healthy balance between study, recreation, and relaxation to avoid burnout.

Grammar Schools in Sutton, London

Sutton is home to several esteemed grammar schools, each with its own unique characteristics and admission requirements. Here's a brief overview of each grammar school in the area:

  1. Wilson's School: Wilson's School is a selective boys' grammar school with a strong academic reputation. Admission is based on performance in the 11+ exam, with a focus on mathematics, English, and reasoning skills.

  2. Sutton Grammar School: Sutton Grammar School is another highly regarded boys' grammar school in Sutton. Admission is competitive, with the 11+ exam serving as the primary basis for selection.

  3. Nonsuch High School for Girls: Nonsuch High School for Girls is a selective girls' grammar school known for its academic excellence. Admission is based on performance in the 11+ exam, with emphasis on verbal reasoning, mathematics, and English comprehension.

  4. Wallington County Grammar School: Wallington County Grammar School is a boys' grammar school renowned for its rigorous academic curriculum. Admission is competitive, with success in the 11+ exam determining entry.

  5. Wallington High School for Girls: Wallington High School for Girls is a selective girls' grammar school with a strong focus on academic achievement. Admission is based on performance in the 11+ exam, with assessments in verbal and non-verbal reasoning, mathematics, and English.


Passing the Sutton, London 11+ exam requires diligent preparation, dedication, and support. By understanding the exam format, implementing effective study strategies, and exploring the options provided by the grammar schools in the area, you can maximise your child's chances of success. Remember, while achieving admission to a grammar school is a significant accomplishment, it's equally important to foster a love for learning and personal growth throughout the journey.

Get in Touch for a Free 11+ Mock Exam!

At EmpowerEd Education, we understand the importance of thorough preparation for the 11+ exam. To help your child succeed, we offer a free 11+ mock exam designed to simulate the actual test environment. This mock exam will provide valuable insights into your child's current abilities, highlight areas for improvement, and build their confidence. Contact us today to schedule your free mock exam and give your child the best chance of success in the Sutton 11+ exam.

For more guidance and support in preparing for the 11+ exam, consider enrolling your child in EmpowerEd Education's specialised tuition programmes. Our experienced tutors provide personalised instruction tailored to your child's needs, helping them excel academically and achieve their educational goals. Contact us today to learn more about our services and start your child's journey towards success in the 11+ exam and beyond.



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