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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:33 am 
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My son had no tutoring and the school's position is that it uses ONLY verbal reasoning for the Eleven Plus as evidence indicates that tutoring makes no difference as far as verbal reasoning tests are concerned. That's to say that their position is that he would not have passed even if he'd had tutoring. He missed by such a small margin that I feel that is probably untrue. :? They claim that success in marks in verbal reasoning tests are not improved through tutoring - and I need to be able to refute that basic assertion. It would be HUGELY helpful to me if anybody can point me in the direction of ANY evidence at all to overturn their assumption, even anecdotal evidence, but especially primary sources/references/published research. Thanks so much.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:59 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
I'm not sure how much evidence you will find for tutoring making a difference (as "tutoring" isn't really defined well enough to measure the effect - paid tutoring?, how much?, including or excluding at home with a parent as 'tutor', etc?) but you might find some for practice making a difference. Try this for starters:

"Will practice tests increase a child's chance of being selected for Grammar School?
Many children have had little experience of the kind of test they will have to take. Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning tests, in particular, are often a new experience for children. Practice tests will -
•Increase a child's confidence
•Give experience on the range of question types
•Increase a child's speed so that as many questions as possible can be answered in the time available
It is not quite a case of 'practice makes perfect' but, as in most areas of life, practice will increase a child's performance. Much research was carried out in the 50's and 60's on the effect of practice on Verbal Reasoning test scores and the results of this research, not surprisingly, suggested that if children were given a number of practice tests prior to a selection test their performance would be enhanced. In our experience, feedback from parents suggests that children can improve by as much as 15 percentage points with practice."


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
Also have a look at this thread.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Which test from which publisher was used? Who do you have to have the discussion with and why? It might be useful to have some other measure of your son's ability.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Thank you so much - just the kind of thing I was hoping for :D Don't suppose you know where I might be able to get hold of a copy of the Bucks report? Tried calling them but couldn't even get as far as speaking to the operator after 10 minutes on hold!


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I think you have misinterpreted the school's argument:

Quote:
the school's position is that it uses ONLY verbal reasoning for the Eleven Plus as evidence indicates that tutoring makes no difference as far as verbal reasoning tests are concerned.

They are defending the effectiveness of their tests to make an accurate assessment of a child's ability, stating that they use them because they believe that tutoring makes no difference.

Whether they are right or wrong about that, it is of no relevance to your appeal, and attacking the system will be a dead-end argument. The fact is that other children achieved the required standard using those tests, and your child did not.

Your mission at the appeal is therefore to prove that the results of the test do not reflect accurately your son's true ability and that he will cope and thrive at a grammar school. For that you need hard academic evidence, not an argument about "Well, if I had sent him for tutoring, he would have passed", or "Other children who were tutored passed because of that".

I suggest that you read the Appeal Q&As, especially Section B http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... lification for further advice on how to do that.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 10:34 am 
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Thanks Sally Anne, but I have to say that I disagree fundamentally with your view. With the greatest of respect, you have made several incorrect assumptions in your post about the relevant circumstances and have offered subjective opinions, when in fact I was quite specific about the information I wanted - which was in fact signposted in the earlier comments. If you want me to be perfectly candid (and even if you don't!) I can't help but feel that your advice treated me as if I was a little stupid.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Sally-Anne speaks with a wealth of experience in this area, and her advice is based in that experience. Having read most of her posts of the last several years, she may write 'to the point', but I don't believe she ever treats anyone as if they were stupid.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:27 pm 
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:? It was not the intention I am sure, but I suppose the poster is letting us know how it made him or her feel.

Maybe the reason the poster wants the info is not for an appeal but for some reason cannot tell us the reason they need it.

Good luck with whatever it is.

The thing that makes the biggest difference with verbal ability as I understand it is a good vocab - and vice versa. Anything which helps a child develop a wider vocab will help, and innate verbal ability helps a child develop a wider vocab.

If the "tutoring" (whatever it means) helps the child develop a wider vocab than they would otherwise have gained in their personal circumstances, it will generally help in a test of verbal ability.

Also, a child who has just done a bit of practice on similar questions is likely to do better in a test than one who hasn't. If you know who the test provider was and the name of the test you should be able to look up some of the technicalities on the publisher's website as to what they think practice effects etc are.

Also, tests have confidence intervals - you never get to see these for 11 plus tests. Applying a cut-off mark is always going to fail some children who were in all likelihood as equally "able" as those that passed.

I think a test of verbal ability alone is a poor entry test --- it's like the Bucks test that is being phased out.

You are maybe better off not using a school with such a badly thought out entry test and such narrow views on who should / shouldn't pass it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Quote:
Also, tests have confidence intervals


That's a very interesting concept, Mystery. Can you elaborate about what that means?

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