The 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Scoring Criteria

Non-verbal reasoning (NVR) plays a critical role in the 11 Plus exam as it measures a child’s visual and spatial reasoning abilities. These scores are integrated with other components to form a comprehensive assessment of a student’s academic potential. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the non-verbal reasoning scoring criteria and why they matter. We’ll explain how these scores are used in selective school admissions and break down the processes that ensure fairness in scoring. 

Our goal is to help you understand how NVR scores affect your child’s academic path and provide tips on how to prepare for this important part of the 11 Plus exam.

How NVR Scores Fit into the Overall 11 Plus Scoring

The 11 Plus exam typically consists of multiple components: Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics, and English.

Each component, including NVR, is scored separately. Scores are often combined to form an overall score, with each component potentially weighted differently depending on the school’s requirements.

Some schools may also have a minimum qualifying score for each section or use a combined score to determine eligibility.

Scoring Criteria for Non-Verbal Reasoning

The 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Scoring Criteria

Raw Scores

Raw scores are the actual number of questions answered correctly. There are no penalties for incorrect answers, so guessing can be beneficial if a student is unsure of an answer.


Raw scores are converted into standardised scores to account for the varying difficulty of different test papers and the age of the students. It provides a fair comparison across all test-takers but can also be confusing for parents and students to understand the conversion process.

Age Standardization

Since children taking the test can vary in age by up to a year, scores are adjusted to ensure younger students are not at a disadvantage. 


Standardised scores usually fall on a scale, often between 69 and 141, with 100 being the average.

Example of a Raw Score Conversion to Standardized Scores:

  • A 10-year-old student scores 35/50 on the NVR test.
  • Raw score = 35
  • Age-adjusted score = 37 (after standardisation for being younger than the average test-taker)
  • Standardised score = 115 (after scaling to fit the standardised scoring range)


A percentile rank may be provided, indicating how a student’s performance compares to others. It provides a clear picture of how a student performed relative to peers but does not reveal specific information on the number of questions answered correctly.


A student with a standardised score of 120 might be in the 85th percentile, indicating they scored higher than 85% of the test-takers.

Qualifying Scores

Selective schools set qualifying scores that students need to achieve or exceed for consideration. These scores can vary by school and region.

Significance of NVR Scores for Your Child Taking the Exam

Schools use NVR scores to identify students who have strong problem-solving skills and can handle the demanding academic environment. These skills are indicative of a student’s ability to tackle complex subjects and think critically.

In highly competitive regions where many students achieve high scores in verbal reasoning and mathematics, a strong NVR score can provide an additional advantage. It showcases a child’s diverse cognitive abilities and sets them apart from other applicants.

Tips to Achieve Good Non-Verbal Reasoning Score

1 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Scoring Criteria

Understand Non-verbal Reasoning 

Understanding common types of NVR questions and developing strategies for each can improve performance.

Practice Constantly

Regular practice with NVR sample questions and past papers can help students become familiar with the types of questions they will encounter.

Develop Key NVR Skills

Developing skills such as spatial awareness, logical reasoning, and pattern recognition through puzzles, games, and specific exercises can be beneficial.

Master the 11 Plus

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Key Takeaways

  • The 11 Plus NVR component tests visual and spatial reasoning.
  • Scores are standardised to account for age and difficulty variations.
  • Percentile ranks help gauge a student’s relative performance.
  • Qualifying scores vary by school and are critical for selective school admissions.
  • Practice and strategic preparation are essential for success in NVR tests.

Understanding the scoring criteria and preparing effectively can help students perform well in the 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning test, increasing their chances of gaining admission to selective schools.