‘Buck your ideas up’ – Buckingham Schools Delivers Impossible 11+ Exam

On a day that pupils had worked tremendously hard for, a day which holds the potential to impact the rest of their lives and the education and career pathway they take, someone clearly had not worked hard enough. Students sitting the 11-Plus exam in Buckinghamshire were left devastated when questions seemed impossible to answer.

Students were given the incorrect answer sheet for the multiple choice verbal reasoning section of the 11-Plus exam. This meant that the selection of answers did not correlate to the question paper leaving students both confused and upset.

Exam provider GL Assessment said it would give every child one mark for each of the two “erroneous questions”.

It will also discount the last six questions in the section to ensure no one is “penalised” for not finishing.

The affected test was the entrance exam for 13 grammar schools in the county.

A mother whose child sat the exam, and did not want to be named, previously said the error “beggars belief”, and added: “It was impossible to answer and kids began raising their hands.”

A GL Assessment spokeswoman said: “The solution involves awarding all children a mark for each of the two erroneous questions, thereby ensuring no advantage or disadvantage for those two questions, and discounting the last six questions of the section in which the errors occurred, so that no individual child is penalised for not being able to complete the test.”

She added the move had been “independently approved by an external statistician”.

A joint statement from the test provider and Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools said: “Our analysis, which included a comparison with last year’s paper, showed that the errors caused minimal statistical impact on the results overall, particularly on the ability of children to complete the test.”

The organisations apologised to parents, carers and children and thanked them for their “patience”.

The disruption this caused to both students confidence in the exam and ability to complete the exam is clearly something that cannot be measured. At Bright Young Things we push for obtaining the highest results, exam preparation and familiarity with sitting exams is half the battle, especially overcoming stresses, keeping calm and applying yourself! We offer mock exams at your preference, and would always advise to be on top of exam techniques and preparation whether it is with us or not. We hope all Buckinghamshire 11-Plus students are doing well following the events, and in the following year are admitted to the a school of their choice.

(reports from BBC news)