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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:11 pm 
Hi all

I have just been told my DS1's CATS results from his school. I'm wondering if anyone knows if these are a reliable indicator of likely performance in the eleven plus exams (specifically, for my family, the Consortium exams). As they are a standardised score I wondered if they're similar tests to those that our children will be asked to sit in September. Apparently at school they tested Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

Thanks in advance for any helpful feedback. RR


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Quote:
I'm wondering if anyone knows if these are a reliable indicator
Discussion about reliability of CATs here:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=17357&p=207889&hilit=CATs#p207889

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:27 pm 
Hi Etienne and many thanks for the reply.

I find that thread confusing (my poor brain!) as it seems to relate to another area/schools that I'm not familiar with and seems to be a few years old. I understand the posts that say that CAT scores may not be totally reliable for these reasons:

1) CAT tests are standardised against an entire population, whereas grammar school/11+ type tests are standardised against the test group, which is likely to be a higher ability cohort.

2) CAT tests are (supposedly) testing 'innate ability' rather than 'learnt skills' and therefore the results may not bear any true relationship to 11+ testing which is subject to heavily tutored results.

150+ people have viewed this question...so I'm thinking this is a topic of interest to many, if there's any more information or advice anyone can give on the topic.

Thanks so much, RR


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:01 am 
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I'm afraid the link I gave above no longer works. Here is the correct link:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... ication#b4

I wouldn't be overly concerned that the discussion took place in another area and was a few years old.

It should also be noted that not all 11+ tests are standardised for the cohort - some use national standardisation.

The important point surely is that NFER (the publishers of CATs) stated:
Quote:
It is important to appreciate that, however carefully educational tests are constructed, an element of error is likely to appear in the results they produce. For individual children, marks and scores should not be taken completely at their face value; they provide only an estimate of a pupil’s ability. This is …. not so clear when a numerical value is given; its accuracy and precision can easily be overestimated. (GL Assessment / NFER)

The answer to your original question ("I'm wondering if anyone knows if these are a reliable indicator of likely performance in the eleven plus exams") is -
they may or may not be .......!

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:43 pm 
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For the consortium exams the VR score will be an indicator, but probably not a reliable indicator. The VR score can be improved through familiarisation with the different question types and acquisition of vocabulary.

The most reliable indicator I found was how they did in practice papers the last few weeks before the test, not their VR score from school.

However, there are so many factors involved (nerves, not noticing the last set of questions on the back page, noise putting them off, spending too much time on one question, how they feel on the day, what questions come up etc.) that luck does also play its part.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:41 pm 
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I am in a different area, Bucks but here the tutor I and a few friends used said if we take the year 5 CATs score for VR and add around 10 marks for extra work and practice in year 5 in prep for the 11+ we will get the 11 + score. For a good view of us this came true. Of course they will always be exceptions like the brightest girl in the year failing as she didn't finish the paper on time but she got in on appeal.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:48 am 
Thank you mushroom and jabba. Are there any other parents out there whose children sat the Consortium exams in recent years and who can tell us whether their school CATs results were comparable to their children's final results in the test? I know it's just circumstantial evidence/hearsay but it's very interesting to those of us preparing for the tests this year.

Thanks so much. RR


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:01 pm 
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RR, Are you planning to do the Sutton mocks? They will give you a very real idea of where you are and any areas you need to focus on. First ones are this weekend. They are very good indicators of likely performance in 11+ exams because they are actually eleven plus exams. My dd's did CAT's test for Year 7 after sitting eleven plus exams and found them laughably easy so I would not rely on them. But that is just two opinions. DG


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:00 pm 
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My son took his SLough Consortium 11+ beginning of January at the same time as his current school did CATS. He got pretty much the same mark for VR and NVR in both sets of tests. Four weeks later after a MASSIVE increase in the antonym/synonym areas, he increased his score by around 11 points in the Bucks VR test.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:29 am 
Thank you for the information shared.

No, DG, we haven't booked the Sutton mocks, only because the dates were impossible for us. We have booked a mock exam in June on the recommendation of a friend whose dd did it last year, but I think it's run by a private company so I'm not sure how true-to-real-eleven-plus the papers will be. I thought at least it would give our ds practice of sitting in a big exam hall with lots of children he doesn't know.

I think for us, as for so many others, the big issue will be timing on the VR paper. 100 VR questions in 45 or 50 minutes is a lot to get through and maintain accuracy. :roll:


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