Difference Between 11+ and 13+ Exams

By: | Updated: Jan-27, 2023
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Studying is a verb that brings a lot of mixed feelings when mentioned. Many people hate studying, but some people enjoy it and see it as a pleasant after time. However, exams are a different thing, they can only bring stress and not excitement. Studying is all about learning something new, and exploring this world through knowledge passed down from generation to generation. That is true enjoyment, but it is frequently mixed with studying for an exam.

Studying for an exam is nothing more than studying how to satisfy a certain quota, nothing else. It is a very mundane task that brings no joy, but it is still something young people endure every day. It is becoming even worse now with all the new exams that children must take. It is very important to make clear distinguishments between these tests, and that includes the 11+ and 13+ exams. Here are the key differences between these two tests that will help you and your kid.

Difference Between 11+ and 13+ Exams

Past tests

The best way to see the difference between these tests is to compare the last tests. Luckily, finding past papers for the 11 plus and the 13 plus is easy with the right sources. You will see that 11+ exams include only math, English, and reasoning while the 13+ exams include more subjects. Even though 11+ has only 3 subject areas, that does not mean it is easier to pass. If anything, that means the questions are highly specialized compared to broader questions on 13+.

The best way to know the difference between these questions is by taking a look at past exams. Usually, with these past 11+ and 13+ exams, you can also get mock exams that simulate the real deal. That way, you and your kid can get a fresh look at a brand-new test and start preparing. Studying for these kinds of tests is, unfortunately, more of a system-solving puzzle rather than your child using their brain.


The 13+ exams include a mandatory science exam with one additional exam of your kid’s preference. The other subject can be history, ancient Greek, or another language, so choose wisely. The questions on the exams are not that innovative, your kid needs to get used to the norm.

This is a standardized test so your kid will require standardization for the test. This means getting ready for questions that are most likely to appear rather than learning the subject for the sake of it. No matter how much your kid likes these subjects, they will need to learn what is most important for the test.

Different schools

Different schools require different exams, meaning you need to watch out for this parameter. Maybe your child will do better with the 11+ exam but the school may appreciate the 13+ exam more. The opposite case can also happen, which is why you need to take a look at the school’s requirements.

13+ exams usually offer more variety because of their broader nature, meaning more options. However, if you want to take your child to a more specialized school, that may require the 11+ exam rather than 13+. These are just broad suggestions, you can only know for certain by checking out different schools.

Your child

No matter the difference between these tests, it is very important to take your kid’s interest first. You will need to sit down and talk with your kid about their interests and see which test suits them the most. This means asking them what interests them and talking about the possible school options. Show them these schools and do not be broad, give them details about both the test and the different schools.

Your kid will most likely get a better grasp on these tests if they can see it for themselves. At first, they are most likely not going to be interested in anything. They will probably hate studying for it but you need to find the balance and let them know this is important. This is not achieved by pressuring them and harming them, it takes patience and effort to set these healthy habits. Once you set these healthy habits, you can start practicing for the exams.


Practicing for the 11+ and 13+ exams is a bit different, you will need different tactics. In both cases, mock tests are the best way to go combined with the right amount of studying. The correct amount of studying depends on your kid’s habits and current knowledge. More practice does not always mean better results, it is not a matter of quantity. This is a matter of quality, it is always a matter of quality when it comes to studying.

If you are preparing for the 13+ exams, it is better to choose the fourth exam as soon as possible. That way, you are saving time by not needing to study other subjects in order to compare them. It is very important not to make studying stressful for your kid, or they will carry these memories. In the future, there will be a lot more important exams and they will carry the burden of stress if you are not careful.

Difference Between 11+ and 13+ Exams

It is very important to understand these core differences and utilize the mentioned tips regarding the 11+ and 13+ exams. These exams are something that always brings stress to the whole family, but it does not need to be this way. By learning more about these tests and using the right tools, you can make sure there will be no problems with passing them. It is very important to make sure that your kid is also taking this as smoothly as possible, for their sake.

These are the core moments not because of the exam scores or something like that. This is a sensitive moment because kids learn how to learn at this age and associate feelings with that. This can bring a lot of bad consequences in the future if you do teach them how to study the right way. Luckily, with this article, you will be able to provide them with the best possible tactics to get over these exams successfully and stress-free.

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