The Consortium of Selective School in Essex (CSSE)


The CSSE is an organisation of grammar schools in Essex that collaboratively administer the 11 Plus exam for admission, it was established in 1993. Ten selective schools within the CSSE utilise the same selective test, streamlining the process for children whose parents prefer multiple selective schools and eliminating the need for them to undergo multiple tests. There ten schools which uses CSSE as their exam board are: 

  • Colchester County High School for Girls
  • Colchester Royal Grammar School
  • King Edward VI Grammar School
  • Shoeburyness High School
  • Southend High School for Boys
  • Southend High School for Girls
  • St Bernard’s High School for Girls
  • St. Thomas More High School
  • Westcliff High School for Boys
  • Westcliff High School for Girls

CSSE 11Plus Exam Pattern

It is recommended that students to demonstrate proficiency in reading and responding to texts with a reading age beyond 11. They emphasise the importance of possessing a foundational understanding of spelling, grammar, and punctuation, as well as the ability to apply mathematical concepts.

There are two separate test: English and Maths. 

English Paper

Duration: 60 minutes with 10 minutes additional reading time. 

The number of questions range from year to year. The paper is divided into two sections: Reading comprehension and Continuous Writing.

1. Reading comprehension: this can fiction, non-fiction or poetry. As seen in previous past papers, this section contains components of verbal reasoning question. 

2. Continuous Writing Task: this is the creative writing section of the exam. Students will be given a prompt and will have to write accordingly. They will be evaluated on the creativity of their ideas, the accuracy of their vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and the incorporation of suitably diverse sentence structures.

Maths Paper

Duration: 60 minutes 

Similar to the English paper, the number of questions range from year to year. The paper examines a range of mathematics topic taught in KS2. The questions are free-response questions. Students should be aware that some questions have pre-written units in the answers and answer the questions accordingly.

Past Papers

Free resources, including familiarisation materials and past papers for both English and mathematics, are accessible for download on the CSSE website. For a comprehensive review spanning the years 2015 to 2020, interested individuals can explore and obtain these valuable materials through the following link:

Key Admission Dates

  • 14th May 2024 - CSSE registration opens.
  • June/July 2024 - CSSE Open Days
  • 28th June 2024 - CSSE registrations closes
  • July 2024 - Letter from test centre with information is sent out
  • 21st September 2024 - 11+ test day
  • 14th October 2024 - Results day
  • September/end of October 2024 - Make application to your Local Authority
  • 31st October 2024 - Deadline for secondary school applications
  • 3rd March 2025 - National Offer Day

Join our 11+ WhatsApp Group

  • Regular updates & Key dates
  • Free resources
  • Regular updates & reminders
  • Free resources
  • Supportive parent community

How to prepare for the CSSE Exam

At Oxbridge we offer a number of resources, courses and mocks to help with your 11Plus Prep.
Ideal for students who are self-preparing or Home-preparing, our resources are custom made for success in FSCE, London Grammar and Private School Exams.

We recommend the following resources:

1.   Subject-wise courses:

We offer subject-specific camps: English Camp and Maths Camp. The camps are designed as one-week intensive courses focusing on key topics relevant to the 11Plus exam. These camps provide an excellent opportunity to refresh knowledge, enhance understanding, and boost confidence.
Key features: 

  • Practice essential question types for each subject
  • Timed Quizzes
  • Access our partner resources
  • Practice over 400 questions

2.    Online Practice Books:
Our brand new 'online test books’ help students develop: Stamina, Speed and Accuracy. It is comprised of 3 bundles of tests for each subject (English, Maths) :
•    10-minute tests (Beginner)
•    15-minute tests (Intermediate)
•    20-minute tests (Advanced)
Progression along the test series helps children develop effective time management and tackle increasingly difficult questions. Each test covers a wide range of topics, contains detailed solutions and shows ‘score analytics’ to benchmark performance.

3.    Mock Exams
Mock exams are a great way to prepare for the real exams. They can help you to:

  • Start revising early and avoid time wastage.
  • Improve your knowledge.
  • Familiarise yourself with the exam conditions and pressure.
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

We offer a mix of Online, In-Person and At-Home Mock exams to guide your preparation. We highly recommend starting with mock exams six months prior to your main exam to ease into the test process.

4.    Special Courses
Special courses on vocabulary and courses to improve your accuracy and time-management.

CSSE Prep Bundles

Explore our selection of bundles and discover great savings!

CSSE Physical Mock Bundles (£100)

      CSSE Physical Mock Exam
      3x Physical Mock Exams
      Physical Mock exams based in Ilford
      Full Price £120

      CSSE 11+ Parents' Information Event

      Date: 27th April 2024

      Time: 3-4 pm

      In this session, we will cover:

      - Exam pattern
      - Exam scoring
      - Admission policies (Including catchment and key dates)
      - Top tips for preparation
      -Insights into Mock Exams & Online Subject Camps by OxbridgeInstitute
      - Q&A

      Date: 27th April 2024

      Time: 3-4 pm

      In this session, we will cover:

      - Exam pattern
      - Exam scoring
      - Admission policies (Including catchment and key dates)
      - Top tips for preparation
      -Insights into Mock Exams & Online Subject Camps by OxbridgeInstitute
      - Q&A