Taken last year’s grammar school 11+ entrance exam? What will this year’s 11 plus pass mark be?

Our focus is on the 11 plus exam pass marks. Specifically, how the11 plus pass mark will be calculated. Find the specific grammar school 11 plus practice papers for your chosen independent school(s) below:

We cover the 11 plus pass mark, eleven plus pass mark, what is the 11 plus pass mark, and the pass mark for 11 plus.


What will this year’s 11 plus pass mark be?


How is the 11 plus exam marked?

  1. Firstly, each 11 plus paper is marked. This gives raw 11 plus scores. The raw scores for each 11 plus paper are based on the number of correct 11 plus answers.
  2. These raw 11 plus scores are then standardised. This is done to reflect each 11 plus applicant’s age at the time they sit their 11 plus test. Thereby ensuring that no 11 plus pupil is disadvantaged.
  3. Now since there are typically several, separate 11 plus papers, an 11 plus weighting is applied. Each 11 plus paper’s score is weighted. This creates a total 11 plus weighted score. Here is an example 11 plus formula (for the Medway 11 plus):

TOTAL weighted 11 plus score =

(English 11 plus standardised score x2) + Maths 11 plus standardised score x2

+ Reasoning 11 plus standardised score x1

4. Every year a minimum total weighted 11 plus score is set. This determines the grammar 11 plus pass mark. For example, this year’s Medway 11 plus 11 plus score is set at 26%.

5. Please note that this minimum 11 plus score is only known once this year’s 11 plus scores have been calculated.


Our FREE 11 plus exam practice resources


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11 plus query?

Ask ROB, our resident 11+ test design expert , your questions by emailing passedpapers@gmail.com Rob Williams An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Rob Williams is a Chartered Psychologist with over 25 years of experience working and designing tests. Rob has worked for all three of the main school entrance test publishers: GL Assessment grammar school entry exams; ISEB independent school entry papers and CEM Select private school entrance papers.




What is the 11 plus pass mark?

Well, let’s see what does previous years’ 11 plus pass mark data tell us?

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School20420432192
King Edward VI Aston School20520530120
  Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys21521524120
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls20920930150
  Edward VI Five Ways School20020036180
King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls20520932160


How will this year’s 11 plus exam’s pass mark be calculated?

Raw marks go through a standardisation process. This is to maintain the integrity of the 11 plus assessment process. Also to ensure that the process is fair to all grammar school applicants. This standardised score is then used to determine:

  • All 11 plus pupils results in rank order
  • 11 plus Pass marks for each grammar school, including 11 plus pass mark adjustments for that 11 plus school year.

FREE 11 Plus Practice Tests with answers.

Plenty of free 11+ past papers at the links below to guide your 11+ tuition for the 11+ exam.


Key annual 11+ exam dates

1 – When is the 11 plus exam each year?

  • The 11+ exam dates 2023 depend upon the grammar school county in which you apply. This is because it is not a nationally co-ordinated set of exams like GCSE’s or A-Levels.
  • 11 plus exam registration opens each year in April/May. With a June/July entry deadline for parents to register their child for the 11+ exam.
  • The 11 plus exam occurs in the first two weeks of September at most grammar schools.


When are the 11 plus exam results days?

Kent 11 plus results day

The many Kent grammar schools typically release their annual 11 plus results in the first week of November. School Entrance Tests recommends reviewing this Kent 11 plus familiarisation guide . You will find the sample Kent 11 plus questions particualrly useful.


Essex 11 plus results day

Whereas Essex’s 11 plus test results are usually posted online in the first week of December.

For further details see Essex 11 plus publisher CSSE Website.

  What percentage are different regional 11+ pass marks? Happy students.


What score do you need to pass the 11+?

  • Well, that all depends on what Local Educational Authority (LEA) you take the test in.
  • Each 11 plus region has its own pass marks for entry into a grammar school.
  • In fully selective regions where there are many grammar schools, (i.e. Lincolnshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent) the pass mark is lower than in areas with fewer grammar schools (Greater London).
  • In addition, different schools within the same LEA may have different minimum pass marks.


How are 11 plus results standardised?

  • Also, 11 plus pass marks are standardised using a complex statistical process.
  • Put simply, this means a child’s score is adjusted to reflect their age and the difficulty of the paper.
  • Standardisation ensures fairness because older children would otherwise have an advantage.
  • Some grammar schools select candidates by ranked order.
  • Places are given to the children who performed best on the test.
  • Other schools have a minimum pass mark and use other criteria, such as distance, faith, siblings, to select candidates.

In conclusion, it is impossible to say exactly what percentage you need to pass the 11-plus. However, as an approximate figure, a child will need to score about 80—85% to pass. Obviously, in more competitive areas this figure may be higher.


Address 11 plus learning gaps a.s.a.p.

Obviously deciding when to start tutoring depends largely on the abilities of the individual child. He or she may only need a few hours of exam practice. In this case, a few months may be adequate. However, if there are much greater gaps in their learning, then you may require several months of regular weekly tuition. In regions where the 11 plus covers curriculum subjects, such as English and Maths, it is sometimes necessary to use a subject-specific tutor from an earlier age. This is to address known weaknesses in these subjects. For example, many 10-year old boys struggle with English papers where they have to write their own composition ‘from the heart’. So getting a tutor who can help stimulate your child’s creative writing is probably a good idea. Conversely, some children struggle with core areas of mathematics, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, so a dedicated Maths tutor may be needed.  

Get familiar with the 11 plus test papers

The good news is that all 11 Plus Preparation to get into grammar school will also help your child’s schoolwork. In particular, core subjects such as Maths and English. The bad news, of course, is that tuition doesn’t come cheap! In theory, Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning papers are designed to test a child’s innate ability and are more difficult to prepare for. However, the reality is that children do need to familiarise themselves with the types of questions in these papers to do well. This is particularly true of test papers from GL Assessment which still remains the biggest supplier to local authorities and schools. There are  

Top 11 Plus Tips for Busy Parents

Increasingly popular with local authorities, Durham’s CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) entrance tests are much newer and more difficult to prepare for. According to its website “CEM aims to reduce any disadvantage created between children who are tutored for tests and those who are not.” It continues: “Our assessments are designed to enable all children to demonstrate their academic potential without the need for excessive preparation.” Nevertheless, the CEM entrance tests cover the same subject areas (Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning) as the GL Assessment tests and the standardized pass-mark is the same (121). The key difference is that in the CEM exams Verbal Reasoning and English are grouped together. CEM exams are also divided into separately timed sections. Hence, it’s important that children learn how to manage their time correctly as it’s not possible to return to sections once completed.  

When should you start your 11+ prep?

While the beginning of Year 5 is usually a good time for your child to start tuition, it goes without saying you should begin the groundwork much earlier. This is necessary for two reasons. Firstly, so you can fully identify the weaknesses your child may have when it comes to taking the 11 Plus. Secondly, you will need a bit of time in order to find the right tutor. Inevitably, the best tutors can be booked up many years in advance, so the earlier you start to look for one the better your options will be. When choosing a tutor, you need to ask about their qualifications and their success rate in getting children into Grammar schools. You also need to see how they get on with your child and how much they charge for their time.  

How much 11+ tutoring is needed?

Once you’ve decided when to start tuition the next big decision is how much tuition to get. Once again there is no precise answer about how much is the right amount. During term time, most tutors will hold a weekly session of between 60 to 90 minutes with additional homework set each week. During the holidays the tutor may also recommend extra sessions. This is especially important in the summer period leading up to September’s 11 Plus exams. The key is that the additional work required for the 11 Plus needs to be manageable for your child. Because if it’s not, then this will simply add to their stress levels before the examinations which are counter-productive. If your child is receiving homework from school then it is more difficult to complete a tutor’s homework too.  

Our top 11 plus test prep tips

Keep calm during your 11 Plus Preparation Undoubtedly, preparing for the 11 Plus is a stressful time for everyone concerned – parents included. The key is to stay calm and not let children sitting the exams see you are stressed too!

Top 11 Plus Tips for Busy Parents

If the tuition isn’t going well then reassure them they will be fine and just to do their best. One thing to avoid is ‘burn out’ where the child can’t focus on the task at hand because of too much stress. At every stage, you have to evaluate your child’s tolerance for coaching. You also need to make sure your child takes frequent rest breaks. This takes the child’s mind off things. Finally, you need to prepare children for their 11 Plus preparation. This means staging at least one mock exam in close to full examination conditions. Obviously, it’s not possible to replicate the experience of hundreds of children in an exam hall. However, it’s important to carry out the mock in silence, for the exact length of time and with all the necessary materials to hand. Only then will they start to feel fully prepared for their forthcoming 11 Plus examinations. Good luck!  

Practice with 11+ mock exams

Many children tend to panic under pressure when faced with the need to answer so many questions in a relatively short amount of time. This is quite understandable. Yet you can easily train your child for the scenario by practising it beforehand. Find full-length 11-plus tests or ask your child’s tutor to prepare them for practice. Have your child attempt these mock tests multiple times. Keep the setting of such mock tests formal. Better still, invite other children to the house or take your child to a setting where he or she may sit mock tests alongside other kids. Use questions of varying difficulties to thoroughly test your child. Once the test is over, seek professional guidance or a tutor’s help to grade it accurately. After the test is completed, it’s really important to ask how your child felt about the whole experience. Give them a chance to break down their psychological experience as much as their academic performance. Did they feel confident? If so, great, but why? If they felt stressed, unfocused or even upset, try to help them work through why this was. Identify incremental steps together for how they can avoid or better control these feelings next time. This type of performance analysis is vital in enabling your child to perform consistently under pressure.  

Use creative 11 plus prep approaches

Even if you’re not the main educator in your child’s 11-plus preparation, parents can play a vital role in helping ready them for the exam. Many children are intimidated by the sheer pressure of the exams, or simply lose interest due to too pedagogical an approach. These are precisely the areas where you can help your child. Ask him or her about their progress in 11-plus preparation. Provide moral support. See if they are distressed by the pressure. Help cheer them up. Better still, find the right creative techniques to help them grasp the requisite basics. You can, for instance, use spelling and punctuation games, storytelling scenarios and real-world mathematical problems to engage their interest. It’s important that they see this as a journey in mastery, one in which they forge their own path.  

How do I find the best 11 plus tutor?

Every student has unique abilities and unique learning needs. It’s no secret that the help of a teacher or tutor who knows their stuff can be invaluable and give your child the boost they need. But if you are going to invest time and money in finding an 11-plus tutor it’s vital that you find the right fit. The right tutor makes the preparation process an exciting experience and encourages a focus on the process as much as the result. This enables your child to develop a strong and flexible approach to the exam and to their learning. Again, the exact approach will vary from child to child. Thus it’s important to find a tutor that works for you. Whilst taking recommendations from other parents can be useful, it’s important to look at all of the available options.


Is a specialist 11 plus tutor necessary?

Yes. We recommedn that you look for specialist 11 plus tutors who’ve gained positive reviews from parents and successfully prepped students for the 11-plus. Don’t take recommendations as gospel. Many tutoring services will be happy to offer trial sessions at a lower rate so you can get a feel for the tutor before committing to full-priced lessons and always feel free to switch tutors if that may ultimately help in your child’s exam prep in the long-run. It’s vital to understand all of the factors involved in the 11-plus preparation and to note that even with the best tutor in the world, as a parent, you will always play a significant role in your child’s experience. Success is the goal, but a happier student is always likely to perform better than a student who feels under pressure or lacks interest. You are a key component in instilling this happiness.


11+ exam introduction

The 11+ exam is important as it is the first major exam that students take which will have a significant impact on their education. Passing the 11+ is crucial for getting into the majority of leading grammar schools in the UK, as well as some independent schools. There are two main exam boards for the 11+: the CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) and GL (Granada Learning).

  • The exam board that you will be sitting this year depends on the county of the schools you are applying to.
  • Although the exam board you will be sitting is usually dependent on the county, there are some exceptions to this.
  • Therefore, it is important to ask the school you are applying to which exam board they require.
  • The CEM assessment consists of Numerical reasoning, Verbal reasoning and Non- verbal reasoning.
  • In contrast to this, the GL assessment consists of English, Maths, Non-verbal reasoning and Verbal reasoning.
  • Due to the difference in topics between the two exam boards, there are different methods to revise for each exam board.


How the 11+ exam has changed

Unlike last year, the 11+ has not changed much this year despite the effects that the pandemic has had on education and schooling. Exams will be in person this year in contrast to the exams being online last year. Furthermore, there has been little to no change in the content. That said, most counties have delayed the date for the examination. Due to the exams being pushed back, results day has also been postponed. Some schools will still be carrying out interviews in addition to the usual exams, although this is not the case for all schools.  

How best to prepare for the 11+ exam

To ace your 11+, you must make sure that you use your last few months leading up to the examination as effectively as possible. Here are some steps that you can follow to ace the 11+ this year:

  • Create a list of all the topics that will be coming up in the test for each section. Then complete a handful of exam-style questions for each topic and put a tick or cross next to the name of the topic depending on how confident you feel on it. This is crucial as it will prevent you from wasting your precious time on topics that you have already mastered rather than spending time on the topics that you actually struggle with. It is also important to update the list after you’ve mastered a new topic!
  • Little and often. It is important to revise topics frequently no matter how little you do. This is because it helps solidify the information in your mind. One good way to ensure that you are revising little and often is by doing ten-minute tests. There are lots of books by CGP and Bond which have these ten-minute tests for each section to check your understanding of the topic.


11 plus exam preparation tips

  • It is also vital to do frequent 11+ mock exams. Mock exams are great to practice exam technique as well as to get used to exam conditions. Mock exams allow you to work under the time limit meaning that you practice working under time pressure. These examinations can also be used to track topics that you commonly lose marks on which you can then focus on. Alongside this, results from mock exams can be a good indicator of how well you are doing.
  • Arguably the most difficult aspect of the 11+ is vocabulary and verbal reasoning. The best method to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills is by reading books and articles. Whilst reading, it is very useful to write down any words that you don’t know the meaning of… then to learn what they mean and how to use them in a sentence. This is a great way of perfecting your English for the 11 plus exam 2021.


Why use 11 plus exam tuition?

One of the best ways to prepare for the 11+ is by getting a tutor or using an app that provides 1:1 tuition. Although tuition isn’t necessary to pass the 11+, it gives you a huge advantage and helps you prepare for the exam. Tuition is especially useful if you are applying to competitive schools. If you can’t afford 1:1 tuition, EasyA is the only app to provide it completely free.    

Will this year’s eleven plus exam have a higher pass mark?

All students sitting the 11+ this year will be in the same situation so although it may seem unfair, it is a level playing field. Furthermore, you can capitalise on this situation by preparing and revising – something a lot of students simply haven’t learned how to do.


Our key 11 plus exam posts

Explaining the 11Plus GL Exams infographic