## Wednesday, January 25, 2012

### The Eleven Plus Border Line Zone

Is it possible, please, to think of a Local Authority that has grammar school places for 22% of all the children in the year group who will be completing their primary school? What is the minimum quotient that is needed for your child to win a grammar school place?

Playground chatter would maintain that last year the eleven plus was harder to pass than the year before, but this year the pass rate could be easier. But how is the cut-off point arrived at? The mathematics is reasonably easy and could, possibly, be understood by your eleven plus child.

The line separating the top 22% is at the 78th percentile. You will probably recall from your mathematics lessons at school that percentiles can be used as an alternative way of comparing marks.

If the border line between pass and fail is too narrow then some remarkably able children may fail to reach grammar school. Your local authority may have to examine the border line zone very carefully every year. The examination may or may not be any easier or any harder – but the border line zone may become narrower or broader.

In practice examination results tend to revolve around the number of grammar school places – and not about an eleven plus examination being too easy or too hard.