How Many People Pass the 11 Plus Exam?

The 11 Plus entrance examination is done by grammar schools in the UK to select students who will do well in secondary schools and beyond. Because of this, the test is super competitive, and not a lot of pupils pass the 11 Plus test.

Now, you might be wondering, how many actually make it through the 11 Plus exam?

Is It Difficult to Pass Secondary Schools 11 Plus?

How Many People Pass the 11 Plus Exam?

Whilst the 11 Plus is designed to be challenging, the perceived difficulty is subjective and can depend on various factors:

Selective Nature of Grammar Schools

The 11 Plus exam is used as an entrance examination for grammar schools, which are selective secondary schools that focus on academic achievement. 

The existence of grammar schools alone introduces competition. And in areas with fewer grammar schools, the demand for limited spaces can be intense, making it challenging for pupils to secure admission.

This high level of competition, driven by parental aspirations for their children to attend prestigious state schools, intensifies the difficulty. 

Academic Ability

The 11 Plus exam assesses a diverse range of skills. This includes verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, mathematical abilities, and English language comprehension. So, students need to excel in multiple areas to pass. 

This emphasis on academic skills and the inclusion of an IQ test component requires students to possess a high level of intellectual capability and problem-solving skills, making the exam inherently challenging.

The content and format of the 11 Plus exam can vary across different regions and schools. Some may focus more on certain subjects, and the types of questions can vary widely.

Regional Variations

Different regions in the UK have their own versions of the 11 Plus exam, for example, the exam in Buckinghamshire may have a different structure than the Kent test.

On the other hand, exam boards such as CEM and GL Assessment design and administer the exams, each with its own criteria and scoring system.

Varying pass rates and different minimum pass marks across grammar schools mean that students must not only perform well but also meet specific criteria and a complex statistical process of test scores set by each school. 

The pass rate, or the percentage of pupils who pass the 11 Plus can be influenced by the difficulty of the exam, the academic abilities of the student cohort, and regional differences in the education system.

Can an Average Child Pass the 11 Plus?

How Many People Pass the 11 Plus Exam?

Whether an average child can pass the 11 Plus exam depends on many factors, including the child’s aptitude, preparation, and the specific requirements of the exam. 

The 11 Plus exam is designed to identify academically gifted students. Its content often extends beyond the standard curriculum taught in primary school such as verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. Whilst some children may naturally excel in the areas covered by the exam, others might find it more challenging. 

The level of competition can also play a significant role. In regions where grammar schools are highly sought after, the bar for success may be set higher. 

But, it’s important to note that many average students successfully pass the 11 Plus with adequate preparation and support. Effective study strategies, understanding the exam format, access to resources, and encouragement from teachers and parents can positively impact a child’s performance. 

Practice tests, including online practice tests and past papers, help prepare students for the exam format and improve their exam technique. Many parents opt for additional support such as tutoring to enhance their child’s study habits and overall academic success.

Some may even argue that the concept of an “average” child is subjective, and each student has unique strengths that may contribute to success in specific areas of the exam. So, whilst the 11 Plus is designed to be rigorous and the pass rate is high, with appropriate preparation and support, it is feasible for many average children to perform well.

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What Is the Average Score for 11 Plus?

The average score isn’t the same for all schools or regions using the 11 Plus. Each school or exam board decides the pass mark yearly, considering main factors like age and difficulty.

Generally, a score of at least 110 on all papers is considered a pass, but this varies, and exam results are often standardised. The standardisation process adjusts raw scores to ensure fair comparisons with older children and other factors. 

In areas with more grammar schools, the pass mark may be lower due to more available spaces. In competitive regions with fewer grammar schools and more applicants, the pass mark tends to be higher. 

As such, the decision to pass the test involves careful consideration of multiple factors, including the student’s ability, regional differences, and the specific requirements of the chosen school.

What Percentage of Kids Go to Grammar Schools?

In the United Kingdom, where grammar schools are more prevalent, the percentage of children attending grammar schools can differ significantly from one area to another.

In some regions, particularly those with a long history of grammar school education, a higher percentage of children may attend a grammar school. This is especially true in areas such as Buckinghamshire, Kent, and parts of London.

Grammar schools typically have selective admission processes, often involving entrance exams like the 11 Plus. This selective nature means that only a percentage of students who take these exams are admitted. The average pass rate is around 80%, but this pass rate can change from year to year and across different schools. 

To obtain the most current and accurate information on the exact percentage of children attending grammar schools, it’s best to refer to previous years and recent educational statistics, government reports, or local education authorities in specific regions.