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How is the 11+ in Buckinghamshire marked?

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

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In order to pass the secondary transfer test (11+) in Buckinghamshire pupils need to gain a score of 121 or more. This does not mean that pupil need to get 121 marks on the paper though. The eleven plus is marked using standardised scoring.

What is standardised scoring?

You may remember being at school and getting 7 out of 10 on a spelling test or 65% on a French test. These are known as raw scores and they tell you how many questions you answered correctly compared to the number of questions on the test. What standardised scoring does is take every pupils raw score and then convert these on a common scale so that pupils can be assessed against every other pupil who took the same test. This is what happens with the 11+ in Buckinghamshire. For the 11+ the median score (50th percentage pupil) is 100. Pupils who perform better than the middle pupil are given a score above 100 on a sliding scale, and those who perform worse than the middle pupil get a score below 100, again on a sliding scale.

The graph below illustrates what this looks like in reality (data taken from The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools website). The example used is actual data from the 2021 entry exam.

11+ test results

My child is one of the youngest in the year, does standardised scoring account for this?

The simple answer is, yes. The eleven plus utilise something called age-standardised scoring. This means that if your child is born earlier in the year they will need to score higher than a pupil born later in the year. In a typical class a pupil can be up to 12 months older than another pupil in the same class. In almost every case this gives the older pupil a developmental advantage, and they tend to almost always score higher in non-standardised testing in primary schools. Because of this, the 11 plus uses standardised scoring to minimise this impact and create a ‘level’ playing field for all pupils. Ultimately this means that a younger pupil may gain a lower raw score than an older pupil, but have a higher standardised score.

What does age-standardised scoring look like in the 11+?

In the example below we have used a paper that has 50 questions on it. The raw score is the student’s actual score, e.g. 40 out of 50, and the age in months is shown across the top. If the standardised score needed to pass was 121 (as in the eleven plus) you can see below which students will have passed the paper depending on their raw score and age.

Age standardised scoring in the Buckinghamshire 11+


In summary,

  • Pupils need to score 121 or more to pass the 11+ in Bucks,

  • The 11+ is marked using standardised scoring,

  • A pupil’s age is taken in to consideration, with younger pupils given a slight score weighting,

  • The average score on the 11 plus is 100.

For information about how we could help you child prepare for the 11+ please visit us at or click here for more information about our course

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