Everything you need to know about grammar school entrance exams in Trafford
Facts and Figures
Trafford is home to seven state-run grammar schools: Urmston Grammar, Stretford Grammar, Sale Grammar, Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, St Ambrose College and Loreto Grammar School.
Four of these are single-sex (Loreto is girls-only and St Ambrose is boys-only, whilst Alty Boys’ and Girls’ are obviously single-sex) and two are faith schools (Loreto and St Ambrose are both Catholic schools).This means that your child can sit for a maximum of five schools.
Urmston, Stretford and Sale Grammar Schools, together with Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, have formed the Trafford Grammar Schools’ CEM Consortium. This means that your child will sit only one exam, set by Durham CEM, and you can opt to have their results shared by all four schools.
Altrincham Grammar School for Boys (AGSB), Loreto and St Ambrose set their own exams. St Ambrose and AGSB use GL Assessment format, whilst Loreto sets GL Assessment English and Verbal Reasoning together with its own Maths exam which closely follows the Key Stage 2 SATs format and content.
Entrance exams for Trafford’s grammar schools take place early in the autumn term of Year 6. Most parents begin preparing for the exams one year in advance. Contact us to book a free assessment, tuition or a practice entrance exam.
The qualifying score (pass mark) for the Trafford CEM Consortium Schools and for Altrincham Grammar School for Boys is 334. It is important to note that the scores for each school will be adjusted (to take account of calendar age, for instance) and so your child may pass for one of the consortium schools but not the others.
The Format of the Exams
There are two main formats in use: GL Assessment and Durham CEM.
Urmston, Stretford and Sale Grammar Schools, together with Altrincham Grammar School for Girls use Durham CEM format. These multiple-choice exams cover Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning, as well as comprehension. Download a free CEM-style practice paper from our download store.
The CEM exam is comprised of two papers of approximately 45 minutes each and is administered via audio soundtrack. Book a practice CEM-style exam with Better Tuition.
Altrincham Grammar School for Boys uses GL Assessment. There are three papers comprising of Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning and Maths. There is also a creative writing paper which is considered if your child narrowly misses the qualifying score of 334. Book a practice GL Assessment-style exam with Better Tuition.
St Ambrose College uses GL Assessment and the exam consists of three papers: Verbal Reasoning, Arithmetic and English. Book a practice GL Assessment-style exam with Better Tuition.
Loreto uses GL Assessment for its Verbal Reasoning and English papers, which are multiple choice. The school writes its own maths paper, which is in standard format (not multiple choice) and resembles a Key Stage 2 SATs paper in style and content. Book a practice Loreto-style exam with Better Tuition.
Visit our download store to download free and low-cost GL Assessment-style papers in Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning.
More Information About Entrance Exam Topics
You can find out more about GL Assessment-style Verbal Reasoning here: Verbal Reasoning. CEM-style Verbal Reasoning covers (amongst other things) synonyms, antonyms, shuffled sentences, missing letters and cloze (missing words) as well as comprehension. To help prepare for CEM-style Verbal Reasoning questions, we recommend our Better Tuition Word Power Vocabulary Workbook, which you will find in our download store. You can also download free CEM-style papers to have a look at some typical question types. N.B. CEM does not have a set format and question types vary.
Whether the format is GL Assessment or Durham CEM, there are eight main types of Non-Verbal Reasoning, which you can read about here: Non-Verbal Reasoning. You can also download a free NVR paper from our download store.
Your child will be expected to reach a high standard in Maths. Here is a list of maths topics that you will find useful for grammar school entrance exams, but do note that its not comprehensive and that your child may be faced with unfamiliar questions, in order to assess how easily s/he grasps new concepts. You can also download a free GL Assessment-style Maths paper from our download store, as well as two free CEM-style papers which include Long Maths and Short Maths.
In both GL Assessment English and Durham CEM, your child will be expected to demonstrate excellent comprehension of written texts. In GL Assessment, there is generally a section in which spelling, punctuation and grammar errors must be identified. When preparing for this part of the test, we recommend Better Tuition’s Finding and Correcting Spelling and Punctuation Errors workbook. You will find it in our download store, as well as two free CEM-style papers which include Comprehension and a free GL Assessment-style English paper.
Dates and Deadlines 2017
Urmston Grammar School, Stretford Grammar School, Sale Grammar School and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls
These schools form the Trafford Grammar Schools CEM Consortium: children will sit only one exam for all four schools.
Papers: Two papers, each taking approximately one hour to administer and covering Maths/ Non Verbal Reasoning/ Verbal Reasoning CEM FORMAT – read more about this here.
Deadline for applications: 26th June 2017 – see online registration form here.
Exam date: Monday, 18th September 2017
Open Evenings: Dates for 2017 Open Evenings at Urmston, Sale, Stretford Grammar and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls can be found here on our blog.
Altrincham Grammar School For Boys
GL ASSESSMENT FORMAT
Papers: Maths/ Verbal Reasoning/ Non Verbal Reasoning/ Creative Writing
Deadline for applications: July 20th, 2017 – see online registration form here.
Exam date: Saturday, 16th September, 2017
Open Evening: Thursday, 29th June 2017, 5.00-7.30pm
Loreto Grammar School For Girls
Papers: Maths/ English/ Verbal Reasoning
Exam date: Saturday, 23rd September 2017
Deadline for Applications: The online registration form will go live on 1st July 2017.
Open Day: 1st July 2017, 9.30am – 1.00pm
Please note that Loreto’s maths exam is NOT multiple choice.
Saint Ambrose College For Boys
Papers: Arithmetic/ Verbal Reasoning/ English
Deadline for applications: 31st August 2017 – see online registration form here.
Exam date: Saturday, 23rd September 2017
Open Morning: 1st July 2017, 9.30am – 1.00pm
You can find entrance examination tips on our blog and useful links here. Call Paul or Christine on 0161 748 3912 to book a free assessment, tuition sessions or a mock examination.
How can Better Tuition help my child prepare for entrance exams?
Better Tuition‘s team of qualified teachers has supported hundreds of children in preparing for these important exams with targeted, expert tuition at our Urmston tuition centre (including a FREE, no obligation assessment); practice entrance exams; help and advice via our website and a popular summer school, ensuring your child stays focused in the run-up to the autumn term. Check out our useful links page for plenty of online activities focused on helping your child prepare for these important exams.
You can find all sorts of tips and information on our blog and throughout our website, together with useful links here. Contact us today to book a free assessment or tuition in our professionally resourced Urmston tuition centre. Download our free and low-cost practice papers in our download store.