Welcome to our 11+ blog titled, What score do you need to pass the 11+?


bookBUY 11+ exam papers


book 11+ mock exams


How is the 11 plus pass mark 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

– Pass marks for each grammar school, including

– Any 11 plus pass mark adjustments for that 11 plus school year.


When do the 11 Plus results come out?

  • In 2020, Kent’s 11 plus test results were sent out on 2nd Nov.
  • Essex’s 11 plus test results were posted on 2nd Dec. 2020.
  • From 3rd Dec. 2021, the online link opened CSSE 11+ Results for 2021 Entry

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 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.
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.

See our useful guides called Where is my local grammar school?

Where’s my local London Grammar Schools?

Guide to out 11 plus past papers

What is the 11+ Exam?

The 11+ Exam (or “11-plus”) is a selective entrance exam generally taken at the beginning of Year 6, generally in September. The content varies between different areas of the country but will generally be based on some or all of the following types of questions: English, maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning. It may involve sitting two or even three eleven plus examinations. Sometimes the tests will be of a different kind, e.g. non-verbal reasoning and a verbal reasoning test and in other cases, the tests will be the same, e.g. two verbal reasoning tests. There are two main exam boards for the 11+ Exam:

(1) GL Assessment (previously known as NFER) administer the 11+ exams for the majority of grammar schools in BerkshireBexleyBuckinghamshireDevonGloucestershireKentShropshireWalsallWarwickshireWirralWolverhampton. The GL 11+ exam cover English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning (spatial awareness). Each school can choose any combination of these to best fit their selection criteria.

(2) CEM developed by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University administer the 11+ exams for BirminghamCumbriaDorsetLancashire, Medway, Northern Ireland and Wiltshire. The CEM 11+ exam covers verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. (The verbal reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL English exam; the numerical reasoning exam includes many of the skills tested in the GL maths exam.)

Schools in Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford and Yorkshire use a mixture of GL and CEM.

In both GL and CEM exams, there is a strong emphasis on core skills in English and maths; including spelling, punctuation, grammar, comprehension, and vocabulary; including arithmetic skills, problem-solving, and data manipulation. Non-verbal reasoning assesses spatial awareness, pattern-spotting and logical skills.

grammar school entrance guide

Grammar schools 2021

Interestingly, grammar schools schools were one part of the state-funded education system from around 1944 to the late 1960’s. The other part of this stated funded system was state schools. However, after this era, many of these schools became independent, charging fees. Subsequently, other former grammar schools were abolished or became state-funded comprehensive schools.

Some of these Grammar schools that retained their selective intake recently gained Academy status. Therefore making them independent from the Local Education Authority.

Only 163 of these Grammar schools still remain in England today. There are however no remaining Grammar schools in North East England or Wales and 69 Grammar schools in Northern Ireland. Currently, Grammar schools are only found in 37 local English authorities, of which 7 are in the Greater London area. Consequently, more than half of these Grammar schools are therefore seen as selective, with only 1 out of 5 local children get selected on ability.

Grammar schools 2022

In 1998 the government at the time also put a ban on any new all-selective grammar schools being formed. They did, however, make provision for future local ballots on the existence of grammar schools. This has, therefore, become a contentious subject within government and social circles. In 2016 the Prime Minister lifted the ban on Grammar schools. Consequently, in May 2018 it was announced that Grammar schools will create thousands of new places. It will certainly be interesting to see how the selectivity of these schools will be influenced.

Most noteworthy is that you don’t necessarily have to live within a certain catchment area to gain access to a Grammar school. Some schools recruit outside of their local authority and some also offer boarding facilities. However, most Grammar schools these days give preference to children with an easily commutable distance of the school. Therefore, for some of these schools, the commuting distance can be the tiebreaker.

It would be easiest to list the remaining Grammar schools according to the different regions in England. Below are further subdivisions of these regions. Various types of subdivisions exist. These also include boroughs, for London as well as metropolitan counties, shire counties and unitary authorities.

1. North West England grammar school centres

  • Cumbria
  • Lancashire
  • Liverpool
  • Trafford
  • Wirral

2. Yorkshire and the Humber

  • Calderdale
  • Kirklees
  • North Yorkshire

3. East Midlands

  • Lincolnshire

4. West Midlands

  • Birmingham
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Walsall
  • Warwickshire
  • Wolverhampton

5. East of England

  • Essex
  • Southend-on-Sea

6. South East England

  • Buckinghamshire
  • Kent
  • Medway
  • Reading
  • Slough

7. South West England

  • Bournemouth
  • Devon
  • Gloucestershire
  • Plymouth
  • Poole
  • Torbay
  • Wiltshire

8. Greater London

  • Barnet
  • Bexley
  • Bromley
  • Enfield
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Redbridge
  • Sutton

Our popular 7 Step Guide to the 11 Plus

1) Ask yourself, is now the best time to start your 11+ Prep for 2019?

2) If so, here are some useful Grammar School application tips. You need to consider 11 Plus Exam By UK Region.

– If you are considering those grammar schools in Outer London then we have a useful London Grammar school list.

– Otherwise, England’s other grammar schools are accessed from this regional grammar school list.

3) Are the grammar schools of interest CEM 11+ exam Grammar schools. If so focus on School Entrance Tests’ 11 plus practice tests of CEM 11 Plus type.

4) Otherwise it’s likely you are considering Grammars using GL Assessment. Thus you should focus on School Entrance Tests’ 11 plus practice tests of GL 11 Plus type.

Ten Minute Mental Maths Tests

Firstly, Ten Minute Mental Maths Test 1 and secondly Ten Mins Mental Maths Test 1 Answers

Also, Test 2; Ten Minute Mental Maths Test 2 Answers and some morechallenging Maths test tips.

Lastly, Ten Minute Mental Maths Test 3; Ten Minute Mental Maths Test 3 Answers and 11+ Maths practice.

Then next select the most relevant 11 plus exams from our comprehensive list of 11 Plus Past Exam Papers.

And move on to regular practice with these 11 plus practice papers , our free online 11 plus papers and free 11 plus papers with answers

And finally, here’s School Entrance Tests’s own tips for passing the 11 plus and further 11 plus tests:

When is GCSE Results Day 2021?

Verbal Reasoning 11+ topics

Here are in our opinion the 11 plus Verbal Reasoning topics that are most likely to come up in your 11 plus Maths questions:

  • Anagrams
  • Similes
  • Complete Sums and Words
  • Compound Words
  • Follow Logical Instructions
  • Find Hidden Words
  • Insert Letters
  • Connect Letters / Words / Numbers / Symbols
  • Make Words
  • Make Larger Words
  • Move Letters
  • Number Series
  • Grouping Words
  • Opposite Meetings
  • Words Questions
  • Related Numbers / Words
  • Same Meaning
  • Odd Words Out
  • Word Connections
  • Word-Number Codes
  • Words with Multiple Meanings

See our useful guides called Where is my local grammar school?

Where’s my local London Grammar Schools?

> > Last updated August 2021 < < <

Leave a Reply