11+ Verbal Reasoning

11+ Exam papers in Verbal Reasoning is by far the most common exam used in most 11+ exams. Almost all local authorities and private or independent schools use some form of Verbal Reasoning paper as part of their 11+ exam. With at least 21 question types proper preparation is needed. For more information Click here


Our titles offer practice material suitable for the GL 11plus exam, CEM 11plus exam and private school Verbal Reasoning tests.

Verbal Reasoning | Non-Verbal Reasoning | CEM 11+ | 11+ English | 11+ Mathematics


What is 11+ Verbal Reasoning?

Verbal Reasoning is, as the name suggests, problem-solving and reasoning based around words and language. It is an attempt to measure a child’s ability to “think and reason” rather than just test how many words they know. However, to do well in a Verbal Reasoning exam, a child needs to have a good vocabulary. It is generally accepted that children who read widely will develop their vocabulary and are more likely to do well in Verbal Reasoning. This subject may not be taught in school but parents, working with their child at home, can teach them the skills and techniques central to improving standards in the 11+ Exam.


There are at least 21 Verbal Reasoning question types that are commonly used in the 11+ but they will be presented to pupils in an assortment of ways. Practicing as many different types of question can be very beneficial for any child. These 21 different question types are those that are most often used by Local Education Authorities and private schools as part of their grammar school selection process. (While 21 types of question is a commonly quoted number there are probably many more than 21 types.)

Question types include those requiring your child to find words with the closest meaning or words with the nearest opposite meaning - antonyms and synonyms. They may also be asked to complete words using one or two letters and to tackle questions involving logical deduction. Breaking codes or completing analogies are other possible question types.

Some Verbal reasoning questions may have a maths content to them so a good standard of knowledge is essential in both Maths and English. Revision and practice in both of these subjects is crucial because without a solid understanding of these core subjects it will be difficult for a child to tackle the more demanding questions that are set in all 11+ Verbal Reasoning exams.

The Learning Together range of books and downloadable practice tests cover all 21 question types. More details about content can be found on the pages related to each book or test.


Our How to do Verbal Reasoning book explains many of the required Verbal Reasoning concepts.