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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 7:33 pm 
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Hi Parents,my DS is appearing in 11+ exams of both Grammar and Independent schools.I want to know which exam will be tougher?


Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 8:09 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
oh dear, oh dear

I think you may of inadvertently opened a can worms- a pandora's box!

Welcome to mad the house :lol:

I think maybe the usual big beasts of the forum should keep out of it, for once?

fat chance-I can see it ending badly :roll:

let someone else have go?


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 8:22 pm 
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Welcome to the forum.

I think it would help if you let us know which schools you are considering as each exam is different.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 8:32 pm 
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I'm assuming that as this is in the Surrey forum you are looking at the local schools? The actual difficulty of the papers varies from school to school each year. The issue is more about how well you need to do in comparison with the rest of the peer group, ie where you are in the ranked list of pupils.

In general it is perceived that it can be harder to pass the grammar exams, not only because more children sit for these, but you have to do well in the multiple choice SET and both the English and Maths exams. Boys can get say 100% on maths but still not pass overall as their English doesn't give them the necessary marks. The independent schools are more likely to look more favourably on these children provided they reach a minimum standard on English or VR, and of course these schools aren't required to make offers purely on exam results - the interviews with boys and parents can also determine the outcome either way.

In terms of competitiveness, in recent years it has been harder to get a place at Trinity than Whitgift. Wilson's usually gets more 1st preferences that WCGS or Sutton, but also has more spaces. Not all boys perform uniformly in each test, and actually a 5% difference in performance on the day can change ones ranked position by 50+ places or more for the grammar schools.

But overall, there are a large number of boys selective spaces, and, if you consider what each school typically tests on, you can probably work out which schools you have the best chance of passing. Many boys of course pass more than one, sometimes all.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 9:46 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
I do not know what schools you be may considering .

general rule of thumb from my experience , State Grammars are more competitive than Indies at 11+ - measure for measure as per The Times League tables.

Top tier indies seem on the surface to have the hardest entry exams try MGS/SPGS or WGS enterance exams but boundary marks are significantly lower.

State school better standardize results but Indies compensate by having interviews

on the whole Indies provide better value added over 5-7 yrs and dominate the top 100 schools in the UK by some margin.

Indies have a higher proportion of student getting to Oxbridge and Med Schools

state kids do much better at degree level than their Indie counterparts ( measure for measure)

state kids have a higher drop-out rate than Indie students once at Uni


so it summary most State Grammar pupils are brighter than Indies kids, but private kids have better outcomes as all the evidence has shown over many yrs!


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 6:19 am 
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OP state which school you are interested in for more specific advice,don't worry about being outed as literally thousands apply to these schools in this neck of the wood.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 9:09 am 
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Thanks Ladymuck and Catseye .

Hi mjuly , I am asking about grammar schools in Sutton and Whitgift School . The question is not about how good the chances are but which exam paper will be more difficult ?


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 9:25 am 
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makkar wrote:
Thanks Ladymuck and Catseye .

Hi mjuly , I am asking about grammar schools in Sutton and Whitgift School . The question is not about how good the chances are but which exam paper will be more difficult ?



I don't think worrying about which paper will be more difficult as ultimately it is is where the pass line is drawn that matters. Think about it we could give a kS1 paper to 11 year olds and many would get 100% and lots would 99%, cutoff would probably be 100% and lots of people on 99% would be unhappy as the paper was "easy"

Or we could give the 11 year olds an A level standard paper. Maybe some would do well and get 10% and be offered places. Again people may be unhappy as the paper was too "hard" but still some would do well enough.

The answer is that in any paper there are still some who do better than others and get above the line.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 9:45 am 
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Well Said hermanmunster!


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 1:29 pm 
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Whitgift test on English grammar, English writing (55 minutes on one piece), Maths and VR (standard form not multiple choice). Their standard forms maths paper will have some easier questions covering a range of topics and working up to 3-5 trickier questions at the end to identify the best mathematicians.

WCGS, Sutton and Wilsons all require boys to sit the SET, which is 2 multiple choice tests in maths and English covering a wide range of KS2 topics.

WCGS will select purely on the basis of the SET, so this is arguably the "easiest" set of papers. That said it would be possible for a boy to fail to pass the SET because their English is significantly weaker than their maths say. Whitgift may look on such a child more favourably for a full fee place, hence HMs comment about the individual pass mark, or position on the ranked lists being critical.

I'm not sure that we're yet allowed to comment on the precise format of the Wilsons and Sutton 2nd round papers. As a very general observation, given that the SET maths test has tested the breadth of the KS2 curriculum, typically these second round papers will not re test basic arithmetic etc, but will instead focus on problem solving, and questions on shape and data (which are harder to set at 1 mark questions on a multiple choice paper). I would expect the 2nd round maths papers to look more difficult than the Whitgift maths paper mainly due to the balance of questions (no easy questions).

The schools have different formats for their written English papers. Not all boys have the stamina needed for a lengthy piece of writing, so again some boys may perceive a paper as more difficult.

For a full fees place, the bar to get into Whitgift is usually lower than that needed for the grammars. For a fee reduction then the competition can be pretty stiff, and these boys will typically have a grammar place as well. The exams are all intended to be testing the same cohort of children, so one school isn't always trying to make their test more difficult, but they equally need to be able to differentiate between boys, so there will be a few trickier questions.


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