Queen Elizabeth’s School (QE Boys) Barnet : A 2025 11+ Entry Guide

Are you considering applying for a place at Queen Elizabeth’s School this year?

If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Queen Elizabeth’s School located in Barnet, Hertfordshire (also commonly known as QE Boys), is a highly respected and top-performing grammar school for boys. The school doesn’t have a catchment area and admits boys from all over London and beyond. With an intake of around 180 pupils each year, it’s highly sought-after – with fierce competition for places.

To help you and your child prepare, here’s everything you need to know about the application process, test format and tips for success.

Let’s begin.

A brief introduction to Queen Elizabeth’s School

Queen Elizabeth I granted the school a charter in 1573. Ever since, this leading boy’s grammar school has prided itself on its well-deserved reputation for academic excellence and pastoral care.

Queen Elizabeth School has always focused on producing confident, responsible and able young men. They foster resilience and independent thought that stays with students throughout their adult lives. 

As one of the highest performing schools in the UK, Queen Elizabeth’s has consistently outstanding Ofsted ratings. In fact, it’s listed as “outstanding” in all five of Ofsted’s judgement areas, and The Good Schools Guide even praised the school as “one of the most inspirational learning environments” they’d come across, offering an education “even private schools struggle to compete with”. What’s more, in the 2022 Sunday Times Parent Power rankings, it was listed as the top boys state school in the country (for the third time).

This excellence also translates into school’s exam results. In 2023, over 89% of A Levels were awarded an A grade. In the academic year 23/24 , 62 pupils were offered places at Oxford and Cambridge universities – exceeding the previous Queen Elizabeth record of 47 offers.

Does Queen Elizabeth’s School charge fees?

 No, Queen Elizabeth’s School is state funded. This means there aren’t any fees for a child to attend.

What’s the application process for Queen Elizabeth’s School?

To apply to Queen Elizabeth’s School, you must complete an online registration form.

 This “entrance test request form” will be available from Wednesday 1st May 2024. It registers your son to sit the school’s September entrance exams.

 The deadline for these requests will be Friday 12th July 2024 at midday.

The school also holds an Open Day in July, which provides an opportunity for prospective parents and students to visit the school, meet teachers and pupils, and see the facilities.

The entrance test itself (consisting of multiple choice papers in Maths and English) is scheduled for Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th September 2024. More precise arrangements are sent by the school to anyone registered for the exam.

If your son is offered a place, you must also submit a “Common Application Form” (which means you’ve formally applied to the school) with your Local Authority.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, it’s best to email the school directly at: admissions@qebarnet.co.uk

Who sets the test for Queen Elizabeth’s School?

GL Assessment is responsible for developing the test materials and papers used by Queen Elizabeth’s School.

 As a prominent provider of educational assessments, they focus on evaluating a diverse set of skills, such as numerical ability, critical thinking, and problem-solving.  The QE Boy’s school have a particular focus on advance numerical problem solving, inference based comprehension and robust testing of spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.  

These tests are created to ensure fairness and impartiality, with no preferential treatment given to students based on their background or school affiliation.

Where can I find Queen Elizabeth’s School sample test papers?

While previous years’ papers aren’t released by Queen Elizabeth’s School, GL Assessment offers familiarisation papers for both Maths and English. These papers are available on their website.

The school also provides sample papers that might help your preparation, although they don’t follow the exact format of the exam.  For example, the actual format, number and difficulty of questions may differ from those contained in the sample papers.   

Because Queen Elizabeth’s doesn’t provide actual sample past papers, the best way to prepare is to familiarise your son with as many different styles of paper as possible.

Here are a few tips for making the most of practice exam papers:

  • Familiarise yourself with sample papers: While you don’t know what questions will come up, it’s a good idea to familiarise your child with as many different papers as possible, as early as possible. This will help them feel more comfortable and confident on the day.
  • Identify areas for improvement: Use the past papers to identify areas where your child needs extra support and guidance. Look at the questions they struggled with (analysing any mistakes together) and work on those areas.
  • Practice regularly: Make sure to practise consistently, using past papers and other materials. Regular practice will help build your child’s confidence and improve their performance.
  • Time management: Make sure your child practices managing their time effectively. They should learn how to allocate their time appropriately for each question and section of the exam.
  • Seek feedback: Consider getting feedback from a specialist tutor (like us at Achieve Learning!) on your child’s performance. This can help you identify further areas for improvement and give you a better understanding of how well your child is prepared for the exam.

What’s the format of the Queen Elizabeth’s School test?

The test for Queen Elizabeth’s School consists of two multiple-choice papers in English and Maths. These tests last roughly 50 minutes each, although the exact format and question types can vary from year to year. 

Both papers are taken in the same session, and scores are age-standardised and then ranked. The marks for Maths and English are combined to give an overall test result for each candidate. 

Overall, the test is designed to assess a student’s mathematical reasoning, problem-solving skills and overall English skills.

What’s the pass mark for the Queen Elizabeth’s School entrance paper?

In the past, any child who scored a minimum of 210 across both English and Maths was considered for a place at the school. For 2024, however, this increased to 220. 

It’s important to know that even meeting the minimum test requirement doesn’t automatically guarantee a place.

In 2022, there were over 3,000 candidates for just 180 places. The average scores for English and Maths were just over 100, with an average combined score of 200. For 2022, a minimum score of 234 was actually required to gain admission – showing how tough the competition really is.

You can find more admissions information (including further guidance on September 2024 entry) on the school’s website.

If you’re considering applying to schools in the South West Hertfordshire Consortium (as well as Queen Elizabeth’s School), check out our previous guide to 2024 admissions.

How can I help my child prepare for the Queen Elizabeth’s School 11+ exam?

We’ve already looked at tips on the best ways to use past papers, but there are plenty of other ways you can prepare for the Queen Elizabeth’s School 11+ exam.

There’s no doubt it’s a highly competitive test. Given the sheer number of applicants and high scores required, it’s important to focus on careful, consistent and targeted long term preparation.

Work on English and Maths Key Stage 2 content in the first instance, we would advise particularly for Maths that all the content (Year 6) has been mastered well before the actual exams. Your child should have a strong foundation in Maths, with a focus on problem solving and working with speed and accuracy. For English, focus on comprehension, spelling, punctuation, and grammar, as these are all tested in the exam. In fact, historically there have been two separate comprehensions in the test, so developing strong reading skills is vital.

  • For Maths, practice regularly and to focus on the areas where your child may need more support. This could include timed practice tests to help your child work on speed and accuracy, as well as providing opportunities for problem-solving. Regular practice with workbooks, online resources and games (to keep things fun!) will all help. In addition, encouraging your child to use real-life examples, diagrams and models (as well as breaking down problems into smaller, more manageable parts) will help identify key information and figure out complex problems.
  • For English, reading comprehension is fundamental. Encourage your child to read widely and practice summarising what they’ve read. Additionally, working on spelling, punctuation, and grammar through regular practice writing exercises (whether that’s journals, creative writing or school essays) will help your child develop the skills they need to succeed. There are so many online resources, quizzes and games available (to make practice a little more enjoyable) as well as worksheets tailored to specific age groups and skill levels.

Discover how Achieve Learning can help your child excel, no matter what exams you’re preparing for. We have over 18 years’ experience providing expert 1-1 guidance and support.

Take advantage of mock exams and practice papers and get in touch with our experienced tutors to discuss tailored support for your child. Book a free assessment today to learn more.