I would like some clarification regarding the type of papers used for watford grammar and the other schools. I know there is a verbal reasoning and a Maths paper. What is the format- is it standard or multiple choice.
They are NFER papers in standard format. For the last two years the Maths paper has involved 50 questions in 50 minutes, with Verbal Reasoning being 100 questions in 45 minutes. Prior to that, VR was 80 questions in 50 minutes.
My young informant tells me the maths paper is of similar difficulty to a KS2 maths test. I don't mean the KS2 format (calculator part and mental maths part), but rather that the hardest questions don't require the level of analysis and intuition of the questions on the last page of a Habs paper, for example.
It's possible that the threshold will be higher this year, if the schools adjudicator overturns the schools' sibling criteria, because then siblings of test-selected children would also be competing for the selective places. The schools are all putting forward criteria with only minor changes from last year, but no-one can be sure how the adjudicator will interpret the new Admissions Code, and we won't know until September. Still, I expect the most vulnerable will be the sibling criterion at Rickmansworth and the cross-sibling arrangements between the Watford Grammar schools.