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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:16 pm 
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Hi everyone! I am looking into entry in Altrincham grammar school for boys and girls for my son and daughter. I know about its great reputation but I have a number of questions. Incidentally I did contact them directly but they were very reluctant to give information to these answers.

1) Does anyone know how many applications they typically receive(last years info would be great)
2) The number of spaces available(in and out of catchment area)
3) Will enrolling my kids into a feeder school such as Bowdon preperatory school and Altrincham preparatory school for boys DIRECTLY increase their chances of enrolling? I am not concerned at the claims of the school but whether Altrincham grammar school will place an advantage on the application.
4) Can anyone who's child has been enrolled to this school give an idea of expected pass marks? I know this is classified but I am going to have a guess of 75-80%. Am I in the right area?

Any help greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:54 pm 
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There is quite a bit of info on each of the websites.

The catchments work quite differently. The boys' school has quite a small catchment (all on the website). It's quite complex as to how the convert the raw scores to the actual scores but generally about 75% of places go to boys in the catchment. About 25% go to out of catchment, and those places are awarded in rank order (so highest scoring boy gets 1st of those out of catchment places etc). Pass mark is 334 out of 423 for catchment boys, the out of catchment score varies each year but I think last year was 342 (so boys not in catchment who got 342 or above got a place). It's usually 180 I think but they're taking an extra class this year so about 210 places.

The girls is much more straightforward. Their published catchment is 8 miles. Looked after children and siblings get priority, then places are awarded on distance. They usually fill their places well before they get anywhere near the edge of catchment. It's usually around the 5 mile mark. Same pass mark as the boys, usually 180 places too.

Think it varies year on year the number who take the exams. Altrincham Girls now combined with Sale which skews the figures but have heard each school usually has about 1500+ applicants.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:54 pm 
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Iofthetiger wrote:
Hi everyone! pass marks? I know this is classified but I am going to have a guess of 75-80%. Am I in the right area?

Any help greatly appreciated.


Tiger have a look at the Manchester Grammar papers on its website if DS can get 50% on those paper in year 5, your definitely on track for any Grammar. Some of the papers for the weakest indies a 50% score on a MGS paper probably translates into 100% on those papers.

50% raw score equates to a score of 300 on the test. Out of 1500 sitters about 510 (34%) will achieve a standardised score of between 280 and 300. Another 510 will get above average say 301 - 320.

In the second standard deviation above average there will be about 210 in the range 321 -360

Finally about 30 kids (very able) will score above 360. 1 possibly 2 will get over 400 in thw whole of Manchester - I would suggest near 70% would be getting you a very very good score possibly 348 or something like that. 80 - 90% and your into 375 territory and higher.

Watch out for the impact of those 30 additional places. Same situation at Queen Mary's Grammar Boys. Head there predicts that cut offs could be as low as 310 from previous mid 320's. So 334 could come down into the mid 320's as a result


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:18 pm 
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Petitpois, thats actually not correct in my view. I know you're not local and live in the Midlands, so I'm not sure how you know Manchester Grammar's papers are a good indicator of performance in Altrincham exams.

The entrance exam for the Manchester Grammar School is completely different to the entrance exam for Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. Certainly a 50% pass mark in Year 5 would almost certainly NOT be enough to get into either Altrincham Boys or Altrincham Girls.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:19 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
Mandy21 wrote:
Certainly a 50% pass mark in Year 5 would almost certainly NOT be enough to get into either Altrincham Boys or Altrincham Girls.


It almost certainly would imo.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:33 pm 
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Manchester grammar papers are at the harder end and are a good "indicator". 50% won't do much on any standardised exam, where ever you are. However a 50% score in Yr5 would be a decent indicator. Mine got 59% in year 5 and we had added benefit of family debrief. Mine has just sucessfully done 11+ for grammar and indies. We used manchester grammars as our template as family had nailed mgs and altrincham exam so we know what top end performance looks like. They also helped by getting us past papers from some of the weaker indies, one of which was so easy it was a joke.

The knowledge of SD scores has been built up from midlands and south regions, and real data protection requests, for my own DC and plenty of others. There are some pretty useful posters on here if you scratch the surface. Walsall consortium has about the same number of takers as altrincham. I feel very lucky that we had resources available up there that were fundamental to our success down here.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:04 pm 
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The practice papers for Manchester Grammar are Arithmetic and English papers.

The entrance exam for Altrincham Boys is Maths (similar to the Arithmetic), NVR (not in the practice papers at MGS) and VR (codes / some number puzzles / limited vocabularly tests - nothing similar at all in the MGS practice papers). MGS has an English paper and comprehension - they don't figure in the AGSB papers. There is a piece of writing to do for AGSB but it is only considered at review.

So no, the test for MGS is wholly different to AGSB and any score (whether good or bad) on the MGS practice papers is not likely to be indicative of whether your son is likely to pass the AGSB exam. If your son is doing well on the Arithmetic paper, then you can probably say he'll do well on the AGSB maths paper, but you'll have no indicator of how he'll perform in the NVR and VR papers.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:12 pm 
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The MGS exam is an indicator / Indicative. Both the CEM's for the Walsall consortium and King Edwards contain NVR and a different focus to MGS exam.

They are a useful check in my opinion as to the general skill level of your child, along with other relevant indicators. Anybody doing a practice exam in Year 5 from MGS and thinking a 50%+ result was the end of the Journey, would indeed be misguided.

Me thinks this is turning is to that scene from the film, Ghost. This is my train, go find you own, he hears echoing round his head.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Catseye wrote:
Mandy21 wrote:
Certainly a 50% pass mark in Year 5 would almost certainly NOT be enough to get into either Altrincham Boys or Altrincham Girls.


It almost certainly would imo.


A 50% raw score could not be enough as that would equate to a standardised score of 300. The average raw score for CEM tests are between 50% - 55%.

On this years CEM 11+ test my DC scored on Non Verbal 26 raw marks out of 41 available i.e 63% raw score. Bearing mind that age standardisation and local weighting have to be taken into account this converted to a standardised score of 114 (against a cohort average of 100.

114 not out of this world and if a average score of 100 was achieved on the other two areas ie about 50% raw score

You would have an overall score of 100+100+114 = 314 in other words not much above average score. But you can see easily that 50% raw score won't do, but 80% is easily towards the top end of the bell curve


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:36 pm 
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I am confused. How do you know that the mean raw score for any given exam yet to be taken by anyone will be 50%? All you can say is that the mean raw score will equate to a standardised score of 100 and historically it may have been around 50 - 55% but the mean raw score itself of any exam will be what it turns out to be on the day.

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