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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:25 pm
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I'm starting to gem up on grammar schools and keep reading about qualifying scores yet cannot find out what this actually is! Does each school have their own minimum score? If so where can you find out what it is? Can anyone shed any light?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:56 am 
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The 11+ exam is 'norm-referenced'. This means that children are ranked against each other and not by an absolute list of pass/fail criteria. The reason for this lies in the fact that it is essentially a competition. Suppose you had a tick list of 100 questions and everyone got all of them right. Under the opposite system, known as 'criterion referencing', everyone would then pass the exam and if a school only had 50 places you would have 50 children passing with the top score but not getting a place. Equally, maybe no one would pass the exam and then you would have an empty school. So the standardisation process plots children's actual scores against each other for every school they have applied for and the 'pass mark' is actually a fairly arbitrary figure which will vary each year depending on the spread of marks and the number of children applying. The score you are given is not an 'actual score' (say, 106/185) but a standardised one, which may say something like '128'.

An additional feature of the 11+ is age standardisation which is designed to remove the relative advantages of birth month when children are essentially being pitted against each other in a competitive exam. So a child born in September will be ranked against a cohort of other September children only, and so on, before some whizzy formula is applied to the entire cohort to ensure that the 'top' children get a qualifying score, regardless of their age within the cohort.

And finally, each of the grammar schools in Gloucestershire sets its own score. There is a heirarchy which you probably already know about, so one school sort of sits at the top and all the others take their cue from this one. This school calls the shots really as many parents consider it the most desirable, so it is able to use market forces to demand the highest scores. There is no coherence between scores given out by the different schools as they use different scales - for example Crypt uses numbers in the 100s and STRS the 200s. It is a bit of a learning curve for parents to be honest but you are on the right forum for any specific questions you have. :D


Does that make sense?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:25 pm
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Thanks Amber, I appreciate your reply. Not sure I totally 'get it' but it has answered my question of why I can't find what the qualifying score is. I think from the reading I've done so far I'll put all the grammar schools on the CAF form in my preference order plus a non grammar for insurance. Then it's down to my DS and the other 'competitors' on the day whether we get a place.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:09 pm 
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Hi Skip - that is about it ! Only thing I would suggest is to take note of the comments about the hierarchy of GS in the area.

When filling in the CAF it is no good putting the school who ultimately takes the highest scorers lower down the list as it will be a wasted slot.

When you fill in the CAF you will be offered at a place at the highest school on your list for which you are eligible, even if you could have been offered places at the schools below you will not get offered a place.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:04 pm 
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Even though there is a hierarchy you should put the schools in the order you want!

Just because a school 'perceives' itself as the best it doesn't mean its best for your child. So you may decide not to list some at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:17 pm 
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Another thing is if you are in two minds about a school, you should tick to "share" the results with it, because if you don't you won't be able to revisit it as an option, ie, if you would prefer Crypt and live nearer to Marling, I would suggest you tick to share with both so that you are keeping your options open.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:29 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Even though there is a hierarchy you should put the schools in the order you want!

Just because a school 'perceives' itself as the best it doesn't mean its best for your child. So you may decide not to list some at all.


agreed this is very important, think OP should look carefully at which GS they may want / be happy and also which comprehensives they can have a good chance of getting a place at


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:25 pm
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Location: Cheltenham
Another thing...

As of autumn last year, they are not giving out scores any more at all. Your results come in one of 3 formats:
1) You have passed and are within the top 120 applicants (or however many the school's published admissions number is), so if you want a place you can have one. Put the school on your CAF, and you'll get a place (unless you can be offered a place at a school you've put as a higher preference, of course).
2) You have passed and your rank is 147 or 253 (or whatever) so if you apply for a place you may or may not get one depending on what the people above you in the rankings decide to do. If you get an email/letter like this they will give you data for the last few years on how far down the rankings they ended up offering places. This varies a lot between one school and another, according to the aforementioned hierarchy.
3) You have not reached a qualifying standard so you won't get a place (unless you appeal, maybe).

I also agree with the two pieces of advice already mentioned - "share" with any school you think there's the remotest chance you might want to consider applying to, and on your CAF put the schools in your real order of preference. Oh, and include at least one school on your CAF that you're sure of a place at - usually your local comp but could be a grammar if your ranking is within the PAN.

Good luck!


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