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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:52 am 
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Hi

Most people are aware that the standardised test score required to attain a place in a Bucks grammar school is set at 121.

How does the standardised score compare to the actual test result irrespective of the age of the child?

Is it possible that the actual test scores can change from year to year depending on the cohort taking the test, and the cut-off point is determined by the maximun number of places available in the grammar school of most demand?

This would explain why some grammar schools are underscribed, lower number of entrants for the test within the school catchment area, and why it has been suggested in another posting that this years actual test mark was a ridiculously high 91%.

Regards

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:30 am 
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Hi Mike

As you know, standardisation is the subject I love to hate. I can tell you these facts though:

- The pass mark is not set at 121. It can change, but has not done in recent years.

- A DPA request to Bucks last year showed that a September-born child who scored 121 had achieved a raw score of 68/80, i.e. 86%.

- The cohort seems to have been almost exactly the same size this year as last year. If figures published in the Telegraph last weekend are accurate (and the article claimed that the admissions authority was the source), then less than 20 additional children took the test this year.

- The pass mark this year is 31%, the highest for some years. For the past 4 years it has been either 29% or 30%. That represents around 70 extra children who passed the test.

Mike wrote:
Is it possible that the actual test scores can change from year to year depending on the cohort taking the test, and the cut-off point is determined by the maximun number of places available in the grammar school of most demand?

Are you suggesting that by some miraculous process, Bucks go through all 7,000+ test papers, sort them by first preference school, take the top 180 for the most popular school, and set the pass mark for the remaining 6,800 accordingly? Something tells me they don't do that ... :D

The reason that there are empty places at Bucks grammars is because the size of the cohort has fallen in recent years, in particular in the south of the county. The following quote is from the minutes of the Bucks Admissions Forum meeting in May:

Quote:
Roy Page requested an update on demographic trends in the county and their impact on school place planning and children’s services generally. There was still no decision about the location of the proposed new housing in the Aylesbury area.

There was concern about falling pupil numbers in the south of the county. However, numbers in the north were due to rise which could mean a shift in school place pressure points.

It was agreed that an update on the situation be sought from the Divisional Director – Commissioning and Business Improvement.

Action: Debbie Munday

Given that everything else in the system is fairly stable, for the raw pass mark to rise to 91%, this would have to be the brightest cohort in living memory, and then some.

Although we don't know what the raw pass mark was this year - and won't unless someone makes a DPA request to Bucks - I am quite sure that such a request would produce the same figure of 68/80, or 86% that has remained pretty much the same for years.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose ... :wink:

S-A

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:52 am 
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Hi Sally-Anne

Would it be correct to say that a September born child with a raw score of 68 out of 80 would have been given a standardised score of 121 in previous years ?

Regards

Mike

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:58 am 
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Hi Mike

We don't know for sure, but I think it will have been around 68 - perhaps one point higher or lower in some years.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Perhaps some people will ask for their childs raw score from this year's cohort. Particularly useful if you have a september child who scored 121 as this would have been the highest raw score required to reach 121.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:36 pm 
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Taking it from a different direction, I have just had some information that may help - many thanks to the source.

An OoC child with an October birthday also took the test in October, and is therefore "baseline" for age standardisation.

The child scored the maximum 141 on one test, which equates to 1.7625 standardised marks per question.

Dividing the pass mark of 121 by 1.7625 gives 68.65. (Percentage symbol removed!)

It is slightly unscientific, but makes for a good guess-timate.

Plus ca change ...

S-A

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 Post subject: Mel x
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:02 pm 
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Hi Guys

Sally Anne I too am always wondering how they arrive at the scores and would like to know my dd's raw scores just t get an idea. In your example how can it be that the child could get 141 if they got only 68 correct (assuming you don't man it as a percentage?)especially if they are an October birthday

:?

Mel


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:19 pm 
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Mel x,

I believe S-A meant that if 141= 80 (or 79 or 78 ) /80=100%

then a score (on the same paper) of 121= 68.65/80 =85.8%

Therefore a child would need to score 68.65 out of 80 to get the pass mark of 121. (Approximately, and in theory.)

HTH


BW


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:41 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
Sally-Anne wrote:
Taking it from a different direction, I have just had some information that may help - many thanks to the source.

An OoC child with an October birthday also took the test in October, and is therefore "baseline" for age standardisation.

The child scored the maximum 141 on one test, which equates to 1.7625 standardised marks per question.

Dividing the pass mark of 121 by 1.7625 gives 68.65%.

I don't think that you can get from raw marks to standardized ones by multiplying by something. After all, a raw mark of zero would be standardized as 69. However, I think that if you plotted a graph of raw vs standardized scores for a group of children of the same age taking the same test, all the points would be roughly in a straight line (but not going through the origin).

An additional complication is that all the really high marks are grouped together as 141.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:42 pm 
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Hi

If the highest standardised mark is 141 and the standardised pass mark is 121, then the percentage standardised score for a baseline child would be 85.8%.

If this percentage was applied to the raw score, then the pass mark would between 68-69 out of 80.

However, on another thread it has been suggested that the raw score mark is around 91% for the same 121 standardised score.

Regards

Mike


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