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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:41 pm
Posts: 158
Thank goodness parents have now received their child's scores. I am seeing a lot of posts with people asking about their chances, and I am somewhat concerned about the various opinions offered. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

If your child's score is well above the figure provided by CSSE as that required to gain a place, then your chances are good, possibly very good. If your child's score is below that offered in the past four years, then the chances are slim, but not impossible. Other than that, it is anybody's guess at this stage the likelihood of success as we have such limited information. We do not know the number of candidates taking the exam this year, the profile and addresses of the candidates, the preferences and behaviour of parents/children. The scores posted in this forum have always been an unrepresentative sample, and this year the scores seem even more distorted.

I strongly urge you to attend the open afternoon/evening at the school(s) that you are considering as I would expect more information to be provided. After that, choose the schools that you and your child generally prefer and best of luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:28 am
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For what it's worth, I totally agree with you aang.

Whilst all of us seek some crumb of solace and hope on here, during what's undoubtedly, a very stressful period, it's imperative that where possible, parents take up the opportunity to attend the schools' open evenings.

I've long been very dubious about the usefulness or otherwise, of the supporting information CSSE said they'd send out. I was emphatically told that it would be a graph of the last few years' results and it clearly isn't what I was told it would be. So perhaps I and many others who were told the same, can be excused for looking at all of this, and the figures, with extreme caution, some even with cynicism.
I even asked CSSE how one could logically/realistically compare the last few years/ results with so many new factors thrown into the mix? I know I'm not alone .

I'm not sure what else CSSE could have produced as a guide, though? I realise they've had a difficult task this year but for many, this has caused so much confusion.

These figures are a guide - they really only give you a rough idea of what the marks were during 4 years when there weren't so many changes and factors all in one go, unlike 2012. Granted the English format changed in 2010 (please correct me if I'm wrong) but there have been changes this year which could see fluctuations in marks and standardised scores. Who knows how far off, the CSSE past scores are, now that the 2012 marks are in?

Please treat the figures on the accompanying sheet with caution and please visit your chosen school(s) on their open evenings.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:53 pm
Posts: 194
I'm sure, like me, those of us that think our chiłd's score is borderline, have still booked themselves on the tour/s of the school/s we are interested in.

But some of us are floating in the dark here.

My DS is above the 'lowest mark offered in the last 4 years', but below the mark that 'has got in every one of the last 4 years, though not necessarily on offer day'.

So firmly in the orange zone on the chart.

Telling me what the lowest score admitted in EACH of the last 4 years may well have been useful to me, as while I would still be applying, it would be easier to manage my DS's expectations.

It's not ME I'm bothered about. It's my DS.

Given his score, I fear that we may be uncertain which school he will end up attending until June, July or even August next year, because he has said that he will hope for a place off the waiting list until the day he has to start at the local comp!

So of course I'm trying to get a realistic picture of what is the likely outcome, so as to gently manage my DS's expectations, so that the only person stressed out is me!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:15 pm
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It is true that there are different factors every year in the exam and this year the fact is was held two months earlier is one. The results are all standardised to mean every year in order to ensure a consistency in results. So, if the "pass" mark for Southend schools is 303 then this year's 303 is statistically the same as other years taking into account the difference in each year's exams.

The variable this year is in where cut-offs will be given the change in catchments.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:14 pm
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I just wanted to add another dimension to the discussions. If you didnt already know your son/daughters standardised score (as in previous years) you would put your choices in order of preference. The fact that you know them in advance is to a certain extent helpful but also seems to be clouding everyones decisions to apply for certain schools. If you have 6 choices then realistically what have you got to loose in putting your 1st and second preferences on there even if you a little of the mark ? ........just a thought.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:53 pm
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That's very true, MoatMum. In previous years, there were less spaces on the CAF form - 4 years ago when I applied for Secondary for my DD in Essex, we only had 3 spaces on the CAF form.

With 6 choices, well, I for one don't have 6 reasonable, sensible choices WITH the Grammar as my first choice - I can come up with a maximum of 4 other Secondaries that are feasible for my DS to get to on time by public transport. So no harm will be Fove by putting the Grammar school first.

How many of us worrying about possible borderline scores actually HAVE six sensible, reasonable schools with a good track record with their top set students to put on the form? I'm willing to bet not many.

So what is there to lose by putting a Grammar as your first choice? It won't harm your application for the second (or third in the case of those going for two Grammars) thanks to the equal preference rules.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I say!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:21 am
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Moatmum wrote:
I just wanted to add another dimension to the discussions. If you didnt already know your son/daughters standardised score (as in previous years) you would put your choices in order of preference. The fact that you know them in advance is to a certain extent helpful but also seems to be clouding everyones decisions to apply for certain schools. If you have 6 choices then realistically what have you got to loose in putting your 1st and second preferences on there even if you a little of the mark ? ........just a thought.



I agree wholeheartedly. There may be some people who will no longer be considering grammars and can now ensure they put the best (for them) comps on the CAF, and there will be those who were not considering super-selectives, but now might. Outside of that I'm not sure the info provided is a great help, so real order of preference is the only way. You won't be penalised for putting a school 2nd if you don't get first choice.


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