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 Post subject: Scores in Essex
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:47 pm 
Just wondering whether anyone can explain how the scoring system works in Essex. I know that Verbal Reasoning is given double weighting compared with the Maths and English. Someone told me it's necessary to achieve a score of 131 to get into a grammar school, but what exactly does that mean? 131 out of what?

My daughter found the English paper fairly hard, the Maths fairly easy and the Verbal Reasoning somewhere in the middle. What did others think?

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:18 pm 
Everyone I have spoken to saud the English was hard. my son managed to finish all three papers, altough i've got a friend who says her daughter only got just over half way through the VR.

VR does count for 50% of the score and then 25% for Maths and the same for English. The scores are not adjusted for the childs age, but they are standardised. I don't know exactly how this works but too though that the minimum requirement would be 131.

Can anyone explain in lay terms the standardisation?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:16 pm 
my daughter said there were many coding and decoding questions in VR. she only got 5min left for checking, however she didn't find the paper hard. she is good at VR and always had enough time for checking. she also got time left in math and english (she is quick in everything except in eating her diner), but i am a bit worried because sometimes she doesn't see the 'traps' in math questions and likes to do the calculation mentally.

my daughter asked me what i wanted for xmas. i really don't know. i think for most 11+ parents, the most wanted presents will not be delieved until march. let's keep our fingers crossed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:39 pm 
131 - this sounds a bit high for a grammar, but I don't live in your part of the country. I presume that 131 is related to the distribution of scores. If 100 is the mean score on a test. The standard deviation is usually 15 in educational terms, so you would need to be scoring above 2 SD which would be exceptional. The majority of people score between 100 and 115, so 131 is ridiculously high. Surely if they made it this high, they won't have any pupils at all!! Usually a grammar would be looking at about 120ish. It depends on the type of intake, but 131 is frightening as only 2% of the population score outside 2 SD from the mean (I think off the top of my head, so forgive me if I am wrong).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:43 pm 
When you think on average 6800 pupils apply to the Essex grammer schools. Chelmsford County High only takes just over 100 of them, the chances of getting in are remote. They take the top 100 or so pupils, with the highest scores and this is what makes the scores of the pupils passing so high.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:33 am 
Fair enough, but I still think 131 is unrealistically high. I believe that in birmingham there are approximately 6000 also applying for around 5/6 schools. However, the score to pass is around 120ish. I don't think figures like 131 should be bandied about, as it makes some people despondent. I am sure that if a child is scoring around the 120 mark, they have a chance of getting into the grammar school. Again, I say this will little knowledge of the schools in question. However, I do know a thing or two about IQ and the population at large. At a score of 131, the schools are unlikely to fill their places.


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 Post subject: Re: Scores in Essex
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:28 am 
Thanks, Guest. Hope it's not really as difficult to get a place as it sounds :shock: . Do you (or anyone) know roughly what 131 would be as a percentage? I've no idea whether my daughter is anywhere near achieving 131, but I do know what percentages she was getting in practice papers, and I was told that an average of 85% would probably ensure a grammar school place.

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:37 pm 
It does depend on what the other children score in the test. If your child can get 85% then they stand a good chance of getting in. It also depends on whether the score is standardised for age too. A score of 131 has got to be over 90% though. I don't think many score that highly in an actual 11 plus test as they are usually harder than a commercially bought test. They have to be hard in order to differentiate between the children. If everyone was able to get 95%, there would be little point having an 11 plus test. I think that you have to remember that we are talking about 10 year old children here and quite often 10 year olds don't read the question, don't recognise words that we as adults would think were easy words, etc, etc. Your child will be competing against other 10 year olds - some will be very very clever (but only a very small minority), but in my experience of grammar schools, there are some children who go who are only above average and definitely not exceptional.

Be confident that if your child doesn't get in, then it may be better for him/her to be top of the class in a comp, than bottom in a grammar. Grammars are quite pressurized and it doesn't suit everyone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:21 pm 
True, though in our case our catchment comprehensive has been in "special measures" (ie failing) for over six years (yes, years, not months!) and the GCSE results are very poor.

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:20 pm 
Well, in that case, good luck for getting your child into grammar - I hope you succeed!


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