Pupils wishing to apply for places at any of The Grammar Schools in Birmingham are required to sit the entrance test. Places at the schools are offered in accordance with each school’s admission policy, with reference to the score obtained in the entrance test.
All costs associated with the entrance test, including the test itself, are paid for by the grammar schools - the test is not to be used as a practice or ‘mock test’ by candidates with no intention of applying for a place at any of The Grammar Schools in Birmingham.
Should you decide to register for the optional entrance test and it is deemed that your home address is not within a reasonable commutable distance to The Grammar Schools in Birmingham, you will be contacted by the Admissions Office to provide further information to support your application to sit the test – this will include a request for evidence of your intention to relocate, such as a recent offer of employment in the area.
The entrance test for 2024 entry will be held on Saturday 16 September 2023. It is likely that two sessions will be held (AM and PM) and you should therefore plan to keep the whole of 16 September free from other commitments. If the test is held over two sessions, your child will be allocated to a session and you will receive confirmation of this in early September.
The test is provided by GL Assessment. Candidates will sit two papers, each approximately 60 minutes long (which includes time for instructions and example questions). Each test paper is divided into smaller individually timed sections that test English Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and Non-Verbal/Spatial Reasoning. There are no sections of writing within the test - all questions are multiple choice and children record their answers on a separate answer sheet. The weightings for the test results are 50% for English/verbal reasoning, 25% for non-verbal reasoning and 25% for mathematics. 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. Familiarisation questions can be found at the bottom of this page which show 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).
- Children should bring their own stationery (two HB pencils, an eraser and a sharpener). We request that these are brought in a clear pencil case or clear food bag/zip lock bag. No other stationery such as rulers or highlighters are permitted.
- The test instructions, example & practice questions and timings are delivered via audio CD. Prior to each section beginning, candidates are advised how long they will have to work on that section. Candidates can only work on the current section and cannot revisit a previous section or move on to the next section until told to do so. In sections lasting more than five minutes, candidates will be advised via the audio CD when they have five minutes remaining.
Watches/timers/stop clocks of any kind are not permitted in the test. A clock will be present in the room.
- 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.
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.