Most results are expressed as a standardised score. Standardisation is common practise in formal exams and is designed to remove any variable elements from test scores and allow children to be compared equally. However, it is fair to say that very few people fully understand the process!

There are a number of variables that impact how this score is calculated, which you can find out about here, as well as answering some common questions about your next steps.

How are the 11 Plus exam results calculated?

  Different test papers

Your child will have sat more than one test paper with different numbers of questions and different time taken in each. Rather than just adding up the totals, a statistical process is applied to give each paper equal weight before the total score is calculated.

  Age of the student

Exam boards and schools always take into account the age of your child when sitting a test. This is essential because children can be almost a year different in age and since children increase their vocabulary on average by 1,000 words per year this could have a significant impact on 11 Plus results.

  Difficulty of the paper

Some 11 Plus exams have a pass mark. If the pass mark is always 121, the examining body must ensure that the paper is of the same difficulty as it was in previous years otherwise many more students may pass the exam without places being available for them. This process basically ensures that the top performing students pass and fill the places that are available.

What does standardisation actually look like?

Below is a section of a standardisation table which examining bodies use to calculate the score.

In this example the paper has 40 questions. The raw score is the student’s actual score e.g. 30 out of 40 and the age in months is shown across the top. If the pass rate was set at 124 you can see below which students will have passed the paper depending on their age and the raw score.

11 Plus standardised scores

More information on standardised scores from one exam board are available.


What happens now?

  • My child has passed…

Congratulations it’s time to apply for a place! Check with your county’s school admissions website for all the details. Passing unfortunately doesn’t mean you will automatically get a place in your preferred school. Schools will have different policies on allocating places, and higher preference may be given depending if you have siblings already at the school, how far you live from the school and whether you receive free school meals. The hard work is done though so now it’s time to wait!

  • My child didn’t pass…

If your child didn’t reach the pass mark then you may still be awarded a place through the appeal system. Each school publishes their requirements for appeal so check directly with them to see if your child qualifies. The 11 Plus is a highly competitive exam and thousands of students apply for places every year. In many cases for every 8 applications 1 place is offered so your child is not alone. There will be many other rich sources of education for your child available in your local area and it’s important to consider all these options early on to avoid children feeling that they have failed or that they won’t have a successful secondary career. The most important thing is that you find a school that is right for them and where they will be happy. We are always here to support you so please come and speak to any of the centre team.

  • Next steps

Wherever your path might take you, moving up to secondary school is an exciting and challenging time. Your tutors at Explore Learning are here to help you make the jump fearlessly! So come along to our Succeed in Secondary course designed to support you on this journey and make the leap with confidence.


Ready for your next step?

Whether you would like more advice on 11+ tuition and exam results or would like to give your child that extra bit of support to thrive in secondary school, we’re here to help.

Our friendly teams are on hand to guide you through your next steps – find your nearest Explore Learning centre today!