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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:18 pm 
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This year TGS had introduced stage 2 tests in English Reading & Writing and Maths. Weightage was NVR/VR 30%, English 50% and Maths 20%. Final scores were not age-standardized. Linear scaling model was used.

The initial cut-off score was little bit below 50 out of 100 max. Since then it seems that about 20 more offers were made; I think that current cut-off score would now be 49 or below.

I feel that with such low cut-off score, the cohort selected would have been almost the same if allocation was made on just VR/NVR tests as before.

Does TGS really need to test so many subjects?
Can it do equally well by dropping NVR as most other schools have done?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:52 pm 
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I imagine the purpose was to try and put an end to intensively tutored girls taking places from the simply intelligent. I always thought that NVR was supposed to be a test of ability and VR a test of how well you had been taught/responded to teaching. In my opinion the tutoring will intensify and diversify into Maths and English.

I note that HBS is using the Durham test as part of their admissions process. I would be interested to know what effect that has. I think the only fair test of ability is one that cannot be tutored for.

As I have said before though, I think the school likes tutored girls because they show they are motivated to study, really want to be at the school and their parents will support (push) them - not to the extent of the super tutoring of recent years though!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:14 pm 
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I don't think our school wants tutored students. I think they would much rather have students who have their own work ethic and do not rely on others to put everything on a plate for them. Heavily tutored students do not do well at our school, the naturally able student who is prepared to work hard gradually rises to the fore. HBS is using CEM to reduce numbers of English and Maths papers they have to mark. I am really pleased to see that they are still going to set and mark their own papers and make their own minds up about what candidates they want as DAO do. QE and Latymer relying on computer marked MC do not get that input. I would always want the students who are able to write as they will be able to get high marks in a whole range of subjects when it comes to GCSE's. I would go for English and Maths and forget VR and NVR if I was designing entrance exams. I think TGS has done the right thing introducing English Reading and Writing and Maths. But wow amazing low cut off scores for TGS. You can get 50% of the questions wrong and still get a place? DG


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
I don't think our school wants tutored students............................. But wow amazing low cut off scores for TGS. You can get 50% of the questions wrong and still get a place? DG


1. Totally agree with Daogroupie that schools are not looking for tutored or over-tutored children. Otherwise, they would not be looking for untutor-able tests.

2. However, TGS score is scaled score on a linear scaling model. It is not the same as getting 50% question wrong and still get the place. However, even then, scaled score of below 50% is quite low for children to be considered super-bright for a super selective school.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:10 pm 
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It's probably fairer not to think of the scores as being percentages. If you know the original, unscaled scores it helps to understand how the scoring worked. For each of the tests below the first figure is "out of", the second "lowest score achieved" and the third "highest score achieved" (I can't format a table!):
RAW SCORES
Reading comprehension: 60, 9, 42
Writing: 20, 4, 16
Maths: 50, 16, 50
VR/NVR: 160, 123, 157
SCALED SCORES
Reading comprehension: 30, 1, 30
Writing: 20, 1, 20
Maths: 20, 1, 20
VR/NVR: 30, 1, 30

Either the maths was easy or a lot of candidates were strong in this discipline, but the English scores are very interesting. Highest raw reading comprehension score was 42/60, which scaled to 30/30; highest writing 16/20 which scaled to 20/20. The scaling method itself seems unforgiving: my DD's raw VR/NVR score was 149/160 which scaled, thankfully, to 23.18/30. But anyone who scored 123/160 will have had their score scaled to... 1.

The English tests must have been tough, or must have been marked very strictly. But if my understanding is correct that TGS are looking for stronger English skills, then this makes sense. I have also heard (can't remember where!) that some candidates who scored extremely highly in the VR/NVR first round did not make it through the second stage.

In the end though, nobody will know if it has made a difference until the girls all start in September and get on with some work! If there are still girls who need mentoring to help strengthen their English skills then it hasn't I suppose. Anyway, whatever happens, my DD is highly excited about starting secondary school, as are her non-GS friends, and we are all looking forward to September.

Good luck to everyone going through the test this year.

Peridot


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:21 am 
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Thank you, Peridot, for explaining in detail. My point was slightly different and I will explain using the information given in your post.

A child getting just average scores of the range given for each test (vr/nvr 140, E-R 26, E-W 10, Maths 33), would get a scaled score of 52plus. This is about 3 points higher than the current cut-off score.

I feel that this candidate would have got the standardized score of 235 or over in VR/NVR test.

I, therefore, think that the TGS is not selecting any materially different candidates by doing two set of tests. There may be very few exceptions, as you mentioned hearing about. However, TGS would save the cost and trouble of organizing two stage tests, if the review indicate that essentially the same candidates are coming out of two set of tests.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:48 am 
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Very interesting data, thank you. So the highest mark on comprehension was 70% and writing 80%. This is unusual, it is usually the other way around as it is a lot harder to tutor for creative writing than comprehension. Did TGS give any reason why they introduced English and Maths this year? Will they be doing two rounds this year? Did they produce any examples of the paper? Do we know what the comprehension was? I had a student sit who got in but only told me that the comprehension was easier than my papers which I expected. It will be interesting to track the GCSE English results from this year onwards to see if they change. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:58 am 
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Interesting. DD's cohort (current AS students) had 75% A* and the remainder As in English Lang. The English Lit was lower with only 25% A* but a lot of papers were sent back by the school for a remark and I don't know what the outcome was. DD was not affected luckily. Board was OCR. Maths was roughly 80% A*.

Difficult to see how the results overall can be much better and the new exams are not going to be easily comparable.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:47 pm 
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What percentage of girls enter through exam? 25% A in English Literature seems quite low for a semi selective school. Perhaps they do think that they can get applicants with stronger English skills. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:03 pm 
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100 per cent are entered for English Lit, the whole year group. Overall out of 119 entrants 100 got A or A*. DD got an A*, her paper wasn't sent for a remark but a whole bunch were, I think it was an anomaly as 75% got A* in the English language. The published figures are those on results day. DD had three exams go back for remarks and two were upgraded and one stayed the same, the remarked exams are not reflected in exam stats.

The school is super selective. The GCSE results are very similar to HBS each year which during those admission years (2007?) had the maths and English tests in addition to NVR/VR.


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