What is the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test (SET)?
The Selective Eligibility Test (SET) is the first-round entrance test used by the following schools in the Sutton area:
- Sutton Grammar School
- Wallington County Grammar School
- Wallington High School for Girls
- Greenshaw High School
- Wilson’s School
- Nonsuch High School for Girls
The test consists of a Maths and English paper, both lasting between 40 – 50 minutes. Both are multiple-choice, and candidates must mark answers on separate answer sheets. The Maths and English skills and topics your child needs to practise are similar to other 11+ exams, but the SET has a unique style and structure which you should familiarise your child with if you plan on applying to one of the six schools above. These schools are highly competitive, so your child will need to score highly in the SET to get through to the second stage.
If your child passes the SET, they will be invited to sit a second-round exam a couple weeks after the first exam. The exception to this is Greenshaw High School which does not have a second-round exam this year, so they will offer places based solely on children’s results in the SET. Make sure you check individual schools’ websites for the dates of their second-round exams and their admissions criteria.
Dates and application information 2023
Year 6 students sit the test in September. Registration opens earlier in the year, so make sure you check the websites of your schools of choice so that you do not miss the deadline.
- Register for the SET
- Sit the SET
- If successful in the SET, sit a second-round exam (with the exception of Greenshaw High School)
- Complete a CAF (Common Application Form) for secondary schools and submit it via your local authority
Dates for 2024 entry
Registration for testing opens via school’s website: 1st May 2023
Registration closes: early August 2023
Selective Eligibility Test: 12th September 2023
Second-Stage Test: 30th September 2023
Applications to secondary schools close: 31st October 2023
National offer day: 1st March 2024
Free sample questions
Free sample questions and multiple choice sheet examples are available from individual school websites or from our page here: Free 11+ Selective Eligibility Test (SET) Sample Papers (PDF)
The Sutton SET format
The Selective Eligibility Test (SET) is made up of two papers: Mathematics and English.
The two papers both last about 40 – 50 minutes. They are multiple-choice and have a separate answer sheet where candidates must mark their answers.
The Mathematics test contains about 50 multiple-choice questions. The test covers key aspects of the KS2 maths National Curriculum.
A rough guide to topics covered:
- Arithmetic – operations, number properties, decimals, BIDMAS
- Algebra, simple linear equations
- Fractions and Percentages
- Measurements – unit conversions, area and volume
- Graphs – Venn diagrams, line graphs, pie charts, pictograms
- Statistics – mean, median, mode, range
- Geometry – 2D shapes, angles, coordinates
- Word questions
This test is divided into sections:
- Comprehension on text A
- Comprehension on test B
- Comprehension comparison on texts A and B
These comprehension questions will test your child’s understanding of the passages, ability to make inferences, understanding of a writer’s style and tone, knowledge of literary devices, vocabulary knowledge, and grammar.
Sutton second-stage test
All grammar schools in Sutton except for Greenshaw High School hold a second-stage test.
Because the admissions criteria differ between schools, children may be considered for the second-stage test at certain schools but not others.
What's on the second stage test?
The second-stage test will consist of two papers as follows:
- English (1 hour): this paper will be an extended writing task, usually based on a prompt
- Maths (45 minutes): this will be a standard maths paper.
The tests will not include verbal or non-verbal reasoning, and are not multiple choice.
BRAND NEW practice tests for 2023 Stage Two Sutton exams
Sutton SET top tips for your child
- For Maths, make sure you are familiar and confident with the KS2 Maths syllabus, as this is what the questions will be based on.
- This is especially important for the SET since the SET is a challenging entrance exam. You will need to apply your knowledge of KS2 Maths to unfamiliar situations.
- Read the questions carefully! Just because the questions are multiple-choice, it doesn’t mean they are easy.
- In the comprehension section, there is often more than one option which looks as though it could be correct, OR you may have to select more than one answer. Make sure you follow the instructions and don’t fall for red herrings!
- Pay attention to the time! As with any exam, time management is key, but it is especially important in the SET English paper since this is made up of multiple sections.
- Read and listen to any instructions about timings carefully.
- Don’t leave any blanks! It is always worth filling in an answer, even if you are unsure.
- Move on if you are stuck. The SET paper is time-pressured, so it is important not to spend too long on one question. You should aim to answer every question, but don’t worry if you have to guess a couple.
How to prepare for the 2023 SET exam
The most useful way to prepare is to do practice papers. This will help to familiarise your child with the style of the exam and the sorts of questions which appear, and also give them practice at completing the papers under time pressure.
For expert practice papers updated to reflect the latest version of the SET format, have a look at the papers in our shop. We include answers for all of our papers and step-by-step explanations for the Maths questions.