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11 Plus Tutor

Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School Entrance Exam

Exam prep groups for 2022 exams are filling up fast – enrol now!

The BRGS entrance exam (or 11 Plus) is a CEM test (Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring). It tests skills in verbal, non-verbal & numerical reasoning. This type of exam is separated into small, timed sections, usually delivered by audio instructions. The content of CEM exams changes from year to year in order to reduce its predictability. For pupils to succeed in CEM exams, they must:

Since 2009, A Star Tuition Group has developed an exam programme that is tailored for Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School (BRGS). We are extremely proud of our success rate so you can be assured that your child is in safe hands!

Our Pupils Have Started at BRGS – Sept 2021

Here are some of our lovely pupils who have started at BRGS. We wish them every success

Zac in new uniform


James in new uniform


Freya in new uniform


Ava in new uniform


100% pass rate – BRGS entrance exam

Every one of the students who took the BRGS 11 plus exam with us in 2018 passed with above-average scores. Well done to each and every one of them.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce Sammy Vicari has just gained a place at BRGS! Not only that, but Sammy’s score of 114 was well above the required standard so we are feeling especially proud today! Wishing you every success at BRGS Sammy. You have a bright future ahead!

Ava is another one of our very clever pupils who has just passed the BRGS entrance examination with flying colours. Ava also achieved well above the pass mark and we are all over the moon! Enjoy your success Ava – you deserve it!

Bethany is another one of our talented pupils who has passed her 11 plus-congratulations Bethany! Bethany’s impressive score of 110.5 significantly exceeded the pass mark so we’re especially proud of her!

Dorothea can now add passing the BRGS exam, with an amazing score of 128.8, to her long list of achievements. We’re absolutely delighted & wish Dotty continued success at grammar school!

Proudly announcing even more 11 Plus exam success! Poppy has absolutely smashed the BRGS entrance exam with a very high score of 112.9 and is now looking forward to continuing her education at a grammar school. Poppy is an A-Star superstar and we are over the moon for her… Go Poppy!

Another very proud moment for us. Zach also passed his BRGS entrance exam and his family are absolutely thrilled ! Zach is a very mature little boy who worked incredibly hard, even over the Summer holidays, when he remained focussed & determined to succeed. Zach’s really looking forward to starting at BRGS in September and we all wish him the best of luck!

Our Unique Approach

We take the stress out of 11 plus preparation for the pupils & the parents.

Our pupils quickly acquire the knowledge, skills & technique essential for 11+ success – our 100% pass rate proves that our approach really works!

  • Expert teaching
  • An effective reward system
  • Able, happy, motivated pupils
  • Homework that consolidates learning

All this ensures that our pupils enjoy their 11+ journey – they even love doing their homework!

Exam Preparation Groups

Pupils on the BRGS Entrance Exam programme attend a one hour session, twice per week. They work in an exam group with other pupils who are preparing for 11+ exams. 

Our courses run for 12 months, usually from the start of Year 5, and we strongly recommend booking early to make sure your child has sufficient time to prepare!

Homework is important to us!

After every lesson, your child will have homework that consolidates their learning. In addition, we provide further practice materials that focus on developing core English and mathematics skills as well as improving speed and accuracy in verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

When to start?

The earlier the better! The key to success in the 11 plus is a high level of confidence and ability in core Maths and English skills. These skills will not only be tested in the exam itself but are key to ensuring your child is able to thrive in a grammar school setting.

We know from experience this process cannot be rushed. That’s why we recommend that your child starts preparing at least 12 months before their entrance exam – at the beginning of Year 5.

Help your child Achieve Academic Advantage.

For verbal reasoning, there is a wide-ranging set of skills tested including reading, comprehension, spelling, grammar and vocabulary skills.

Our pupils are taught how to read ‘actively’ and quickly in order to be able to select accurate answers. Additionally, we practise English cloze and shuffled sentences – new skills found in CEM formats. The most difficult skill to practise is the acquisition of new vocabulary. Word knowledge is tested in different question types e.g. synonyms, antonyms, comprehension and cloze.

Students need a very wide range of vocabulary knowledge for CEM Tests and it’s risky to presume that they will already know enough – so plenty of time is given to this.

Top tips: Read every day and play word games like Scrabble or Sudoku!

Non-verbal reasoning is about shapes and patterns and a few different question types can crop up. Questions can be about:

  • Similarities & differences

  • Pairs, series & grids

  • Reflection and Rotation

  • 3-D shapes & symmetry

Our pupils are taught the strategies for answering different question types. They are given plenty of practice, focusing on the question types they find trickiest. As their skills & confidence develop, they can then begin to build up their speed; a balance of speed & accuracy is vital for exam success!

Top tips: Do activities like jigsaw puzzles, origami or tangrams to develop problem-solving skills!

The Maths curriculum is varied and vast. That’s why we include regular core & reasoning practise in our 11+ programme.

In general, the 11 + Maths test will cover topics that your child will learn up to the end of the primary school curriculum. For that reason, it’s crucial that your child has fully understood everything that they’ve learnt in the classroom so far and is prepared to learn some topics for the first time. It is common for children to struggle with accuracy in their basic maths when they are under pressure. That’s why it is essential that their basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills, as well as their knowledge of core maths concepts, are up to scratch!

CEM Numerical Reasoning exams are divided into:

Short Maths – testing core knowledge/skills & quick mental calculations
Long Maths – testing how candidates solve problems and apply reasoning

Top Tip: Practise your times tables every day!

After The Exam

The entrance exam is not the climax of your child’s educational journey … it’s only the beginning!

We can continue to support your child as they make the transition to grammar school.

Our post-exam class revisits primary concepts as well as introducing new secondary Maths and English skills. This ensures your child is fully prepared to face the challenge of Year 7.