June 16

Read to Succeed at the 11 plus


The English paper of the 11 plus exams consists of comprehension questions - often more than 60% of the whole test; So it's vital to prepare. It's not just for the English paper though, increasingly we have seen maths questions include word problems which require a thorough deciphering before one can attempt the numbers. English reading comprehension success depends greatly on the number of books your child reads. Of course, there are other key skills to be learned, but the first step is to read lots of books.

Higher reading age and appropriate texts

The books, however, must be appropriate for the level of the 11 plus exams. This should include classics as well as modern titles. Avoid Disney books that were intended for six-year-olds. Your child’s reading age should be at least two years above the national average at the time of sitting the test. 

Just to give you an example, In a recent 11 plus exam, the comprehension text was from Harper Lee’s novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ - a text used in GCSE papers.

Recommended reading list

Below you will find our recommended reading list. Please look through the list and select titles that may interest your child. Most books are suitable for advanced children while some are suitable for children beginning their 11 plus preparation in year four. Needless to say, the more books they read the better it is; it will expose them to lots of vocabulary, different writing styles and strengthen their comprehension skills.

NOTE: Don’t get overwhelmed by the length of the list; your child doesn't have to read every book in it. But the more they read the better!

The reason we’ve provided an extensive list is so they can choose books they enjoy. This will take the burden out of reading and make it more enjoyable.

Don’t rush to buy all the books... 

Join the library. You’ll find most of the titles there. And for those not available try this great website for free eBooks


This is a great website to download free classics in eBook format.

Download our FREE recommended book list to improve your child's English reading comprehension.


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What is the 11 Plus?

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