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 Post subject: how much does age affect the result?Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:49 pm

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 52
Location: birmingham
Hi. Can anyone tell me how much of a difference is made to a child's standardized scores according to how old they are in the academic year? I know the raw scores are weighted, but does this make a difference of one mark or ten to the final result??

I'm asking on behalf of a friend with a DD who's birthday is right at start of Sept, who has only just missed out on KE grammar place. A teacher at her primary told me she wasn't surprised this girl had missed a place simply because of her age - she's the oldest child in the year. I was pretty shocked as she's a clever girl.

She would have got a place with 2 more marks: if she had been born in July would the age weighting have given her these 2 marks???

Pretty confused here, not sure what to think.

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:12 am

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 230
It's not an easy question to answer: basically, the principle of standardisation is that if you take a group of children born in any single month, the average percentage should be standardised to 100 i.e if the average mark was 60%, this would equate to a score of 100. In addition, the standard deviation is taken into account, with 1 std deviation = 15 points, so if the std deviation of children taking the same exam was 10, a child would get a score of 115

As I understand, the raw scores from an exam are complied, the examining board use a standardisation table which matches the actual average and standard deviation - these tables have been built using lots of historic data over many years.

The process is not at all transparent, and it would appear to be highly complex, however, the reality is that these are pretty robust and simple analytical techniques.

Clearly it is hard to generalise, but I think that the difference between a September born child and an August born child for a standardised score of 100 is approx 2-3% - however this may vary considerably on a case by case basis.

Standardisation comes in for lots of criticism on this forum, however, it is hard to think of a fairer system. If scores were not standardised older children would be at a considerable advantage and GS would be full of older kids - who could argue that this is fair?

I am not conected with the 11+ in any way. I am interested as I have a November born DS and I was unclear about age standardisation so I did some research

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:12 am

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
The answere is that it doesn't. That may seem difficult to believe and (if your maths is good)( I can prove it) but trust me it is true.

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:19 am

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
The fact is that maths has ben so badly taught in this country for decades that we parents cannot undertsand the responces. It is not that we are thick , rather that we have been conditioned to accepting any old rubbish 'They' want to sell us. Fact is your child will only be compared with others of the same age. FACT

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:16 am

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 230
The fact is that maths has ben so badly taught in this country for decades that we parents cannot undertsand the responces. It is not that we are thick , rather that we have been conditioned to accepting any old rubbish 'They' want to sell us. Fact is your child will only be compared with others of the same age. FACT

I completely agree with you. Actually the maths is not that difficult once you understand the priciples, so long as you have a basic understanding of statitistics

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:30 am
To Tranquility,

Quite a bit more than 2 possibly in the KE test although I have no current statistics on it. I have for the Sutton Schools for one year and on that year an August born child scoring exactly the same raw score in all sections of the test as a September born child would end up with about 10 extra marks.

That said, I believe that the disadvantage of age standardisation from which the older children suffer is more than made up by their maturity in approach and general all round confidence. The few August children I see (not many because they are often not even thought bright enough to go through the 11 plus process) are often a nightmare to tutor.

I used to think age standardisation would keep some of my older ones out but this has not turned out to be the case and I no longer factor age into my considerations as to whether a child will or will not pass.

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:42 am

Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:36 pm
Posts: 123
fm wrote:

That said, I believe that the disadvantage of age standardisation from which the older children suffer is more than made up by their maturity in approach and general all round confidence. The few August children I see (not many because they are often not even thought bright enough to go through the 11 plus process) are often a nightmare to tutor.

I absolutely agree with that. My son is the second youngest in his year group, my 2 daughters are at the older end of their cohorts. The differences in their school experiences (despite the fact that they are pretty much all as bright as each other) have been very interesting.

If he had been born 4 weeks later he would have had another year before he sat the 11+ and that would have made a massive difference to the outcome IMO - a greater advantage than the age standardisation gives.

I am very proud of him though, he's been working at a level 5C/4A since year 5 - if he were in the year group below he'd be considered a 'high flyer' by his school.

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:52 am

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:59 am
Posts: 893
Location: Cloud 9
Hi,

2 years ago my daughter (June birthday) scored exactly the same raw score on both papers as a friend's son (September). This was in Eastern Warwickshire and during the year of the NfER test, before CEM.

Standardised scores & positions were:

September birthday: paper 1 - 110, paper 2 - 120 = 230 = 80/739
June birthday: paper 1 - 118, paper 2 - 125 = 243 = 37/739

What is interesting to note is that the child who ranked 1st has a September birthday. I have also noticed that the majority of the girls in my daughter's class have birthdays between September and February. Even with this method of standardisation, very few have Summer birthdays.

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 Post subject: Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:19 pm

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
Someone posted Warwickshire results for 2006 to 2008 broken down by birth month, I haven't looked at 2006 or 2007, but for 2008 the birth month doesn't make any difference to success rate. There's a very slight trend to lower number of candidates for the later months, perhaps supporting fm's point about perceptions of their ability - although my instinct from comparing it to birth rates is that if anything it points to optimistic perceptions about the ability of older children rather than pessimistic perceptions of the ability of younger ones.

Mike

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 Post subject: Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:26 pm

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 52
Location: birmingham
Thanks everyone for info and answers, but, Sassie's Dad, I'm confused by the idea that the child's age doesn't make any difference

I think I've missed something here!

Can you explain this a bit? I used to be quite good at maths, so am very happy to try to understand!! Thanks

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