11+ Comprehension, North London Collegiate School (NLCS): Practice Papers & In-Depth Guided Answers: Volume 2

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Are you seeking the perfect exam preparation material for North London Collegiate School (NLCS) 11+ entrance exams?

This essential resource - the second in the series - includes four bespoke comprehension papers designed to mirror the school's unique exam style. Accompanied by model answers and thorough explanations, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the skills necessary to excel in these critical assessments.

Accolade Press equips students with the tools and strategies required to secure top marks in the competitive environment of North London Collegiate 11+ exams. Accolade Press ensures students have every tool at their disposal to emulate these point-scoring techniques and tactics.

  • Four comprehension papers crafted to reflect the distinctive style of North London Collegiate, ensuring thorough preparation for exams in 2023, 2024, and 2025.
  • A diverse range of extracts to ensure a range of skills are tested.
  • Comprehensive model answers provided for every question, frequently accompanied by alternative solutions to illustrate how students can achieve high marks through various approaches.
  • Detailed explanations accompany each model answer, not only clarifying how the responses fulfil examiners' expectations but also guiding students through complex concepts and vocabulary found in the answers.
  • Authored by a skilled tutor with an exceptional history of success in 11+ admissions.


Sample Extract:

Paper One


In a small town along the Mississippi river, a quick-witted young boy named Tom outsmarts a grumpy shopkeeper in order to get a handful of candies he can't afford.

* * *

At the general store, where townsfolk gathered to gossip and purchase what-nots, stood a plump wooden barrel filled with little multicolored candies that gleamed like gems. Young Tom eyed them near the shop's corner, waiting for the cantankerous shopkeeper Old Man Sterns to turn his back. Tom was a crafty boy, a fact often bemoaned by the town's adults but admired by the other children.

As luck would have it, a commotion erupted when two women bickering over a spool of thread vied for Old Man Sterns' attention. Tom seized this opportunity, sidling up to the counter with pockets empty and heart set on mischief. He tapped the shopkeeper's arm, pulling him away from the dispute.

"Mr. Sterns, sir," began Tom innocently, "I was lookin' to buy some of this thread for my Ma, but it seems there ain't any left."

Old Man Sterns frowned at the women, deciding their argument could wait. "All right, boy," he grumbled, "I got more thread in the back. Follow me."

Tom trailed Old Man Sterns past the candy barrel, nonchalantly fingering the candies with one hand as the shopkeeper remained preoccupied with the disarray of thread at the back. Finally, he emerged with an abundance of thread and shoved it into Tom's hands. "Now, git on, and tell your Ma not to wait so long next time!"

Tom hid his grin, but then feigned disappointment. "Well, Mr. Sterns, sir, I was hopin' to buy a handful of those fancy candies with the extra money my Ma gave me. But seein' as I had to spend it on this extra thread, I reckon I'll have to leave empty-handed."

Old Man Sterns raised a bushy eyebrow, suddenly intrigued by the prospect of making a sale. "How much extra money you talkin' about, boy?"

Tom rubbed his chin, pondering. "I'd say 'bout half the price of one of your regular handfuls, Mr. Sterns."

The grumpy shopkeeper, his greed now aroused, peered around to confirm that no other customers were paying attention. He looked back at Tom and whispered, "All right, boy, a half-priced handful it'll be. But it's our little secret, deal?"

Tom nodded, grinning wide while trying not to let on how triumphant he truly felt. Old Man Sterns reluctantly grabbed a small handful of candies and plopped them into Tom's open hand. The boy thanked him with exaggerated politeness and darted out of the store.

The old shopkeeper watched him go, grumbling under his breath. What he didn't realize was that Tom had filled his pockets with candies during the search for thread – twice as many as he would have gotten had he paid the full price. As Tom rounded a corner, he revealed his pocketsful of gleaming loot to his friends, who piled around him in awe. Even at his young age, the quick-witted boy had learned that outsmarting someone was often more satisfying than simply getting what he wanted.

Extract from "The Mischievous Tales of Tom" by Mark Rainwhistle


1. Why do you think Mark Rainwhistle named the shopkeeper "Old Man Sterns"? What connotations does this name have? [2]

2. Why do you think the narrator describes Tom as having a "heart set on mischief"? [2]

3. In the second paragraph, Tom seizes an opportunity to swindle Old Man Sterns. What event distracts the shopkeeper and allows Tom to act on his plan? [2]

4. Looking again at paragraphs 3 to 6, what do you find interesting about the language and sentence structures used in these passages? [6]

5. In the description of the candy, the author uses phrases like "gleamed like gems" and "fancy candies" to describe the sweets. How might these descriptions set the scene and contribute to the story's atmosphere? [2]

6. What do the words "quick-witted" and "triumphant" imply about Tom's character and his role within the narrative? [2]

7. In the final sentence, the narrator states that "... the quick-witted boy had learned that outsmarting someone was often more satisfying than simply getting what he wanted." Explain the impact of this phrase and what you find interesting about the language used. [4]



1. Why do you think Mark Rainwhistle named the shopkeeper "Old Man Sterns"? What connotations does this name have? [2]

Mark Rainwhistle likely named the shopkeeper "Old Man Sterns" to create a sense of the character's age, authority, and personality. "Old Man" suggests that Sterns is an elder figure who might be out of touch with the younger generation, while "Sterns" evokes the adjective "stern" which implies a serious, strict, and somewhat unfriendly demeanor. The name successfully portrays Old Man Sterns as a grumpy, cantankerous figure who lacks warmth or understanding, making him the perfect foil for the clever, mischievous Tom.

End of Sample
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