I've already written a full guide on how to approach marking and teaching 11+ story writing.  It's a little dense for actual 11 year old students, so I have also prepared this easy to use check-list. To gain a mark of 80% or higher, an 11+ composition piece should contain at least the following:

  • Around 5-10 'amazing' words and an additional 5-10 'decent' words. Click for examples.
  • 5-7 linguistic devices e.g. alliteration, metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia, repetition, juxtaposition, sibilance, personification, irony.
  • 1-2 semi-colons, 1 colon.
  • A good mix of sentence types: simple, compound and complex.
  • A good, plausible plot, which clearly follows the story mountain (introduction, build up, climax, resolution).
  • An interesting and expressive description (usually) of setting or characters.

To get top marks, you can have no more than one or two mistakes in the whole piece.  Watch out for spelling mistakes and for common grammar mistakes.

UPDATE 2017: The consortium papers have begun splitting their writing task into two 20 minute tasks: a creative writing task and a discursive essay. For the checklist and sample questions for discursive essays, please click here.