The entrance test for 2021 entry will be held on Saturday 12 September 2020.
The test is provided by CEM and is made up of two papers, each approximately 50 minutes long. Each test paper is divided into smaller individual sections that test verbal ability (reading & comprehension and literacy skills), non-verbal ability and mathematics. There are no sections of writing within the test - all questions are multiple choice (with the exception of one maths section which does not offer candidates a choice of answers - see the familiarisation examples at the bottom of this page) and children record their answers on a separate answer sheet. The scores for each section are standardised to take into account differences in age, meaning younger children are not disadvantaged compared to children in the same cohort who could be almost a year older. A familiarisation guide can be found at the bottom of this page that shows the style of questions to appear in the test and how answers must be recorded.
Other information about the test
- There is a short comfort break between the two test papers. Children may bring some light refreshments for the break period (no nuts/nut based products, chewing gum or fizzy drinks).
- All stationery is provided and children will not be allowed to bring or use their own. Each candidate will be provided with pencils and an eraser, with spares and sharpeners available in each room.
- Simple analogue/digital watches are permitted, but these must be placed on the desk during the test and must not beep or have any alarm functions set. Any watch with calculator functions or smart watches are not permitted. There is no guarantee that there will be a working clock in each test room, however time reminders are given out via CD (e.g. you have one minute remaining).
- Mobile phones, calculators smart watches, tablets, ipods will not be allowed in or around the test rooms. Any failure to comply with this may lead to disqualification.
- Your child does not need to wear school uniform when attending the test.
- Parents/Carers cannot wait on-site during the test.
- Space is available within the question booklets for children to do any working out. Rough/scrap paper cannot be used. Question booklets are not marked - only the separate answer sheets are marked. It is important that your child is aware of how to answer the questions on the separate answer sheet.
- Children will be able to use toilet facilities before the test and during the break. In the event that a candidate has to use the facilities during the test, any time spent away from the test room is lost.
- Children may bring something to read prior to the test, e.g. a book or magazine. Puzzle books are not allowed.
A range of publications designed to assist preparation for school admission tests are available online and from leading bookshops.
Neither the Admissions office nor any of the schools keep past papers.
Intensive coaching or tuition is not in the long term best interests of your child. The Grammar Schools in Birmingham is in no way connected to, nor does it endorse or recommend, the services of any organisation or agency purporting to offer tuition and/or revision courses for children to assist in preparing them for school entrance tests.
Many children are anxious about sitting tests. You can help by not putting pressure on your child.
You can download a familiarisation guide (PDF) here.