It was confirmed on 24th July that the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Tests (11+) will be postponed as follows:

  • 27-30 October (out of county children) and
  • 2-5 November (children attending Buckinghamshire primary schools and Partner schools)

Bucks Eleven Plus Tests 2020

Autumn 2020 will see a third cohort of pupils sit the ‘new’ Bucks Secondary Transfer tests (commonly called the Bucks 11+). Although many parents are aware that the exam has undergone changes in recent years, they may not be clear on what will now be tested.

Prior to 2014, the Bucks 11+ tests were provided by GL Assessment. Using 21 specific question types, the exam tested verbal reasoning skills. When Durham CEM took over as exam provider in 2014, it introduced maths and non-verbal reasoning to the paper.

Following the announcement in December 2017 that GL Assessment would once again provide the exam, there were rumours that the paper would revert back to the previous 21-question-type format.

However, the paper continues to examine maths and non-verbal reasoning alongside verbal reasoning. Many of GL Assessment’s 21 verbal reasoning question types have made a return in the past few years, along with a few new additions, and it is possible that even more question types may be added in future.

Overview of the 2020 tests:

Test details:

  • 27-30 October (out of county children) and
  • 2-5 November (children attending Buckinghamshire primary schools and Partner schools).
  • Likely to be sat in ‘sessions’ to allow for social distancing.
  • Two short familiarisation papers will be taken in the days leading up to the exam.

Test registration:

  • Children attending Bucks primary schools do not need to register as they will automatically be entered for the tests unless a parent withdraws them.
  • Parents of children attending out-of-county and partner schools must register their child during the application window, the deadline of which is at 3pm on 25th June 2020.
  • Details of how to register your child is available here.
  • All children in Buckinghamshire primary schools and partner schools will usually sit the test in their own school. Other children will take the test at one of the grammar schools or another central location.

Test format:

Children will take two papers with a short break in between, comprising:

Paper 1:

  • Comprehension
  • Technical English
  • Verbal reasoning

Paper 2:

  • Non-verbal reasoning
  • Spatial reasoning
  • Maths

Test features:

  • Each test lasts about one hour, including time for instructions and examples
  • Separate test paper and multiple choice answer booklet
  • Timed sections within each test paper
  • Children cannot move between sections until instructed to do so
  • Instructions delivered via audio file
  • Tests marked by an optical mark reader (scanner)


  • Results are usually published in mid-October, though the precise date has not yet been publicised.
  • A standardised Secondary Transfer Test Score (STTS) score of 121 must be achieved in order to qualify for entry to a Buckinghamshire grammar school.
  • The STTS is calculated by age-standardising the three subject scores and then adding them using the following weightings: 
  • Verbal reasoning & English: 50%
  • Mathematical: 25%
  • Non-verbal reasoning: 25%. 
  • Grammar school places will then be offered according to the admissions policy of each school.

Further information:

To find out more about the content of the tests, including the types of questions to expect and how to support your child at home, check out the recording of our free parents’ webinar on our YouTube Channel.

For some extra support with your child’s preparation, have a look at our tuition and mock options here.

The full details from Bucks Grammar Schools can be found here.

Information on the Secondary Transfer Testing process can be found here.

To get a clear idea of the type of questions your child may encounter, DOWNLOAD sample 11+ questions written by our in-house experts.