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11+ Maths Questions Types

Eleven-Plus Preparation Specialists

Here we will look at some of the most common question types that you will encounter in the 11+ exam.

Simple Functions:

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.

Example question:

‘Farmer Giles has 7 chickens, each of which lays 2 eggs. He takes three eggs from the pile. How many are left?’

Here, he would have 11 eggs left, as 7*2 is 14, and he takes 3, leaving 11.

These questions are simple and often rely on basic real world scenarios. They are the ‘bread and butter’ of maths at this level and you ought to have practised sufficiently to have no issues with them.

Numbers Questions

Numbers questions could include square roots, negative numbers, squares, or cube numbers. Also within this category would be prime numbers. Essentially, these questions are investigating your knowledge of the different types and categories of numbers as much as your ability to ‘perform maths’ – you therefore need to ensure that you’ve done the learning beforehand, as these questions can make for easy marks.

An example might be:

‘Which of the following numbers is not a cube number? 8, 16, 27, 64.’

Here, the answer is 16 as 2*2*2 is 8, whilst 3*3*3 is 27 – so 16 can’t be a cube number.

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Fractions and Decimals

You’ll need to thoroughly understand fractions, and how to add, subtract, multiply and divide them – as well as convert them into decimals. You should also be aware of how to convert decimals into probability, proportions, and percentages. As an overview, remember that the following are all the same:

1/10 is 0.1, which is 10%. This could also be described as a ‘tenth’ if written out as a proportion. Remember that with ratios, a ratio of 1:10 does not equal 10% vs 90%; that would be a ratio of 1:9.

Times Tables

You can pick up quick marks by knowing your times tables confidently. If you’re aiming high, don’t stop at the 12 times table: you might find the occasional question which involves a multiplication by 13 – knowing your 13 times table too could save you some time if you’re a potential scholarship student.

Measurement Questions

You’ll need to be confident measuring height, width, and depth, as well as areas and volumes. You’ll also need to know how to calculate the mass of objects. You should also be confident on scales, and converting distance from a diagram to real-life. Additionally, you should be able to measure speed. Common questions will involve you having to measure the time taken to get from one point to another, find out which vehicle is faster, or measure the area of a room or garden path.

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Questions on Shapes and Space

These questions concern themselves with concepts like symmetry and transformations. Transformations can include rotations and reflections. You will also need to understand the different kinds of angles – e.g. acute angles or reflex angles. Lastly, you must be confident on the names of all the different shapes – these are incredibly easy marks to pick up as there is no actual ‘maths’ to be done – you just need to remember the name!

Understanding Data

This set of questions will see you being provided with information and then having to make deductions from it. Expect to encounter tables, charts, or grids. You will need to be confident with the concepts of frequency, averages (mean, median and mode) and probability. These questions can become relatively complex, although may also feature as much simpler questions at the start of the passage. Remember, you may often be asked to add to data yourself – e.g. by filling out the rest of a table, working backwards from a mean value, or by adding another bar to a bar chart. Make sure to practise all permutations of these questions so that you are confident on them.

Problem Solving

These questions might involve a story puzzle – perhaps asking you how to arrange a group of people in a certain way, or find a way to cross a series of people across a river in a particular order, or could require you to fill in missing numbers. They are designed to be difficult and will feature at the end of the paper.

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