11 Plus Schools

Birmingham Historic Pass Marks

The information on this page was contributed by our Forum Moderator KenR, to whom we are most grateful.

Through various posts on our 11+ Forum over the last few years we have been able to document the respective pass marks for the various KE Foundation Grammar schools. This information is provided to assist parents in deciding on their school preferences.

Shown below are the pass scores for each KE Grammar School relating to entry into the respective schools from September 2005 through to September 2011 (viz. exams taken in November 2004 to November 2010).
The rounded average age standardised scores per paper or section are shown in the second row.

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2014 2015 2016
KE Camp Hill Boys 347 341 343 346 351 353 232 233 243 224
116 114 115 116 117 118 116
KE Five Ways 330 329 328 330 333 336 223 222 206 210
110 110 110 110 111 112 112
KE Camp Hill Girls 323 329 321 325 330 328 222 210 210 216
108 110 107 109 110 110 111
KE Aston 324 327 324 328 328 331 217 213 207 209
108 109 108 110 110 111 109
KE Handsworth Girls 317 319 318 317 319 321 211 213 209 209
106 107 106 106 107 107 106
Bishop Vesey’s Grammar 215 216 219 220
Sutton Coldfield Girls Grammar 207 210 215 218

A few points to note:

  • The scores above are the pass marks for the last successful candidate gaining entry. Not all candidates achieving that score would be offered a place due to distance factors, so one further mark would be required for guaranteed entry in that year.
  • The 11+ exams for Bishops Vesey (Boys) and Sutton Coldfield Grammar (Girls) were included in the KE Foundation exams for the first time for the November 2010 exam via an examination consortium. In the same year the KE & Birmingham consortium exams were age standardised across 2 papers rather than than the three Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning sections. As a result the age standardised pass scores are lower than in previous years. To work out the average age standardised score per section or paper, divide the 2005 to 2010 entry results by 3 and the 2011 entry results by 2.
  • The trend is broadly similar year on year with Camp Hill Boys being the highest pass mark and Handsworth Girls the lowest (relatively, but still tough to get into). Sutton Grammar was the lowest for 2011.
  • It is slightly easier for girls to get places in KE Grammars due to the fact there are more places. The “lowest” boys pass over the last 4 years was 324 (Aston) whereas the lowest girl pass was 317 (Handsworth).
  • It is important to use your preferences wisely, in particular if you really want to maximise the chance of a KE Grammar education for your child, irrespective of the journey time, them make sure that you include KE Aston (Boys) and KE Handsworth (Girls) as respective choices in your preferences for your son or daughter somewhere on the LEA preference list.
  • Parents in neighbouring LEAs to Birmingham with limited preference choices (e.g. Worcs and Dudley) should think very carefully about their choices. We have seen examples of children who have narrowly failed to get a place at say Five Ways or Camp Hill Boys who were not able to get a place at Aston or Handsworth, even though they passed, because that particular school was not included as a preference.
  • Most importantly don’t put a local comprehensive as a higher preference if you really want your child to have a KE Grammar education. There is no penalty for putting KE Grammars (or LEA Grammars) as your 1st or 2nd choice. Every year there are parents whose child passes the KE Grammar exam but is then not offered a place because they put another school as a higher preference.

Further information on how the total candidate score is calculated

  • There are 2 papers. All of the questions in both tests are consolidated into either an English, Verbal Reasoning or Non Verbal Reasoning or Numerical classification and marked. The raw scores are then converted into 3 standardised scores for each respective category and then Age Standardised. See article on Age Standardisation
  • The actual number of questions may vary year by year, but in 2005 for example there were 100 English and Verbal Reasoning questions, 82 Numerical questions and 70 Non Verbal Reasoning questions.
  • The 3 Age Standardised Scores are then added together to give a total composite score. You can see, for example, that the minimum composite pass score was 347 for Camp Hill Boys in 2005 – this was the lowest total score for the last child to enter the school in September 2005. This is equivalent to an average Age Standardised score of 116 for each of the categories. (3 × 116=348). Obviously 347 (or 348) is the key and you can achieve this via a variety of ways e.g. 107+ 112+ 129
  • An Age Standardised score of 116 is equivalent to about 86th candidate percentile for each particular paper, i.e. 14% of candidates taking that paper achieve a score of 116 or higher.
  • For typical 11+ exams, the maximum standardised score is usually 140, however for the KE exam set by the University of Durham we understand this can be higher. The minimum is 70 and the average (50th percentile) is 100.


CALL 020 8204 5060