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Selective or Super-Selective School?

The 11+ Exams are about wishing to enrol your child in a selective or a super selective school. The problem is that most parents do not know the difference and what it requires?

Grammar schools select children on the basis of their academic performance, in particular the 11+ Exam. However, some schools can take in few students on the basis of excellent extracurricular activities, which include excellent performance in music, sports and languages. According to a national figure, almost half of pupils who attain the basic pass mark in the 11+ exams still fail to gain a grammar school place because of the fierce competition.

Although grammar schools are quite stringent in the acceptance of pupils and ensures only the highest achieving students succeed. A Super selective school is even more stringent in their entry requirements and admits just the top few percent of pupils who apply. In some cases pupils may need to score as much as 99 percent in the 11+ to secure a place. Moreover, super selective schools are highly looked upon by people and they receive far more applicants than places available.

Some of the benefits of joining super selective schools are:

  • The schools focus on a particular achievement and create a strong learning environment, in which they help their pupils achieve good results.
  • Children are likely to be with like-minded peers who have a strong attitude to learning and a desire to do well.
  • Children have a wider range of academic subjects to choose from at GCSE and A level, including single sciences, further math’s and more languages.
  • A more traditional approach of education is offered, with firm discipline considered essential.
  • Super-selective in particular pride themselves on their academic results, and many of them have good links with the top universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

Selection Process?

The majority of selective schools allocate places on the basis of academic ability, assessed by the  11+ exams. This usually combines elements from four main areas: Math, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

Subsequently, the chances of your child getting into a selective school depend on where you live. In some areas like the outer boroughs of London, where there are fewer grammar schools, several thousand children regularly apply for as few as 180 places, so places go to the top performers. For example, at Queen Elizabeth’s Boys school and Henrietta Barnet Girls School, on average, only the top performing three per cent of children, get a place. In contrast, areas with more grammar schools, like Buckingham, have a much higher pass rate, around 3 out every 10 child is successful. For super-selective schools, children only stand a realistic chance of gaining a place if they have a near perfect score.

Improving Your Child’s Chance

Although 11+ Exams are designed to be hard to tutor for, and many schools discourage pupils from being tutored, it’s very difficult to get through the test without some preparation. In some areas, and particularly for super-selective schools, there’s a definite culture of tutoring with some children beginning extra-curricular sessions as early as Year 3.

Solid skills are required to prepare a child, this means good tutoring at the very least, by someone who has very good experience and a track record as the child needs to have a good understanding of all the concepts covered in the exam. And remember they only have ONE chance at this. Maths papers, for instance, typically include subjects that your child won’t learn about until Year 6, and as the test is taken at the very beginning of the autumn term, you can’t rely on your child covering them at school. It’s also important that your child is familiar with the format of the paper, and develops good time management skills, as the test usually involves completing a large number of questions in a tight timescale.


The Learning Hub has a long legacy of students being awarded a place(s) at some of the top schools in the country and here are some of the many testimonials, to help you further to make your decision. In fact, we are proud to state that we have many lever arch files to confirm all this.

 ‘We got our son to The Learning Hub, we were really pleased with his progress and his confidence shot through the roof. He is now going to Queen Elizabeth’s Boys School..’ A.P.

‘We opted for the tutoring route and it certainly helped build up son’s skills and confidence.’ J.G.

 ‘We thought it was beyond his reach but The Learning Hub made it happen.’ Mr & Mrs A.

‘The Learning Hub is a fantastic place which I’ve enjoyed. I really appreciate how you have helped me pass my 11+ exams. AA.

‘You’ve helped me when I really needed it and looked after me really well.’ B.

The Learning Hub has a successful 15-year track record in helping over a thousand children being successful in their 11plus exams with many going onto gaining a scholarship. For further information, please contact the centre directly on 020 8908 0123 (Open Tuesday to Saturdays) or send an email to

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