English

CSSE English 11+ Practice Papers

Six CSSE English Papers covering:

  • Comprehension, Applied Reasoning and Continuous Writing
  • 120 Bonus Applied Reasoning questions, spanning 12 mini papers
  • Creative Writing and Instruction Writing checklists
  • Creative Writing mark criteria - to help score the creative writing pieces
  • Common literary devices with examples 
  • Answers with references to comprehension line numbers 
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CSSE English
CSSE English 11+

CSSE 11+ English: Past Paper Results

We have obtained the raw CSSE 11+ scores for the previous two years past papers. If you have purchased these papers from the CSSE, you can refer to the results table below to benchmark your childs score against the children who sat the actual exam.

2020 Entry Scores

0 to 10

11 to 20

21 to 30

31 to 40

41 to 50

51 to 60

Female (2355)

1%

7%

28%

42%

21%

1%

Male (2634)

2%

10%

31%

42%

14%

1%

2019 Entry Scores

0 to 10

11 to 20

21 to 30

31 to 40

41 to 50

51 to 60

Female (2698)

0%

2%

13%

38%

39%

7%

Male (2937)

0%

5%

20%

39%

32%

4%

2018 Entry Scores

0 to 10

11 to 20

21 to 30

31 to 40

41 to 50

51 to 60

Female (2481)

0%

2%

9%

29%

48%

11%

Male (2901)

0%

3%

14%

35%

40%

7%

CSSE 11+ English: Did you know.....


  • The CSSE English papers are a mixture of free-text and multiple-choice questions
  • No Antonym or Cloze questions have appeared in any of the 2014-2020 papers, only Synonyms
  • Out of 2355 girls to sit the 2020 entry paper, only 1% scored over 50+ marks in English
  • Out of 2634 boys to sit the 2020 entry paper, only 1% scored over 50+ marks in English
  • The 'Reasoning' sections have always included a variant of 'insert a letter to complete a word'
  • 'Instructional' writing hasn't appeared in any of the 2017 to 2020 entry papers
  • For the first time in the 2020 entry paper, section two included an option to write a story based on a photograph
  • The comparison table below analyses past CSSE papers vs our practice papers 
CSSE English Analysis

*SPaG = Spelling and Grammar

CSSE 11+ English: Structure

Reading Time - 10 mins

Children are expected to read the extract and the comprehension questions during this time. They will not be permitted to start writing their answers to the comprehension questions before the 10 minutes has finished.

The extract is taken from a literary piece of work which is aimed at readers above a primary reading age. It is likely to be from classic fiction, although not always.


Comprehension - 10 to 15 questions, 30 mins, 40 marks in total

There are a series of questions based on the extract. The questions become progressively more demanding as they require increasingly greater interpretation of the extract and its language.

Children can expect:

  • Questions based on ‘facts’ within the extract. These ‘facts’ might be based around how a character or scene is described, or specific information given within the extract.
  • Questions based in interpretations of characters or events.
  • Candidates may be directed to specific words or phrases for them to analyse.
  • Candidates’ knowledge of higher-level vocabulary is tested through synonym multiple choice responses.
  • Locate specific words in the extract to match with a given list of synonyms.
  • Identify features of the extract which indicate its age, its purpose, its readership, its tone; through this, candidates demonstrate their understanding of nuance in language and style.


Applied reasoning - 5 questions, 10 mins and 5 marks in total

A short series of word puzzles will be provided to test candidates’ vocabulary and knowledge of homophones, homonyms, spelling and word classes, etc. Our English book contains an additional 12 mini papers of varying levels of difficulty of Applied Reasoning questions to provide extra practice for the CSSE exam.

 

Continuous writing - 2 questions, 20 mins and 15 marks in total

Candidates will be asked to write two texts. Past papers indicate that one is based on creative techniques; the other is based on writing for a specified purpose. Above all, candidates are meant to demonstrate that they can manipulate language and write engaging, original texts.

 

For the creative text, candidates may be asked to write about something which will enable them to demonstrate their descriptive skills. For example, they could be asked to write about a character, a place or an event. Review our table above to see what has been asked in previous CSSE past papers.


Candidates should include adjectives, speech, description, metaphors, similes, etc. in the right context. The highest marks go to candidates who use such techniques appropriately rather than overloading their texts with overly-elaborate language.