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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:53 pm 
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DS1 has just done his first GL practice papers and has scored between 70% and 75%. The independent school we are aiming for uses the NFER assessment papers but we don't really know how good you need to be to get in. All we know is that the average CAT score of year 7 is 110 and children from the prep school automatically get in if they are above national average in KS2.

Does anyone have any idea how to compare GL scores to national average or CAT scores? Or just how good/bad 70-75% is?

We like the school because it isn't super selective and would ideally give DS1 the summer off but equally we don't want to miss out. His primary hasen't been any help with guidance.

Thanks for any help.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:45 am 
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The required rate for our local grammar was around 84%. I don't know if independents would be likely higher or lower. Is the exam Sept or Jan?

Have you looked at exam technique? It might be a way by which to quite quicly increase the % achieved.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:30 am 
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Location: Herts
It would be helpful if you could name the school as it is likely that there will be forum members who have experience with it.

In my experience of schools that use GL, the papers they use tend to be harder than the ones that are available for sale.

In my opinion it is unwise to give your ds the complete summer off. Is having the summer off the only criteria you are using to select the school?

It may not be super selective but could well be on the backup list for those who are.

So you will be competing with some students who have prepared but not got into a Super selective.

If you do some work over the summer his marks will improve and you will have choice. As you have until January only a small amount would be enough to see his marks increase.

Finally one paper is not enough to judge, marks can vary wildly from paper to paper. Don't make decisions based on one paper. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:30 am 
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I've searched the site and there is no mention of the school. It's pretty rural and there are no other selective schools or grammars for miles. Equally there aren't that many kids locally for them to pick from so it naturally ends up not being that selective. They take the best that apply and they end up with a cohort where the bottom kids are just above national average.

I'm resigned to having to do some work but it's really a question of how much? As it's the only selective school for miles we don't want to miss it but equally don't want to have a miserable summer if he's already on track to get in. He's not exceptionally able but is clearly above national average.

Thanks for the replies and advice.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:38 pm 
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I agree - it is very difficult to decide how much effort should be exercised in those circumstances. We deliberately sat grammar exams in September to show that ds was of a selective standard in case he had a set of bad papers on the day in January, and we discussed the results with the school in advance. Are there any similar tests that you could use? Does your primary school do CATS tests or similar?

Obviously the exam result is not the deciding factor in an independent school selection - the interview is also important, as is the school's reassurance that you will be good for the fees. IMO, there is no harm in giving the school registrar a ring and seeing what they say - they'll know the sort of passmark they usually accept.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:14 pm 
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Sadly for this school there is no interview and it doesn't seem like much chance to show other evidence. They offer places in order of exam performance and that's it. At least it's nice and simple.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Simple first past the post. Can you find the ratio of applicants to offers from last year? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:57 am 
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Refreshingly unusual. No references either? You can always include a covering letter with the registration application. Have you done a tour? Often a chance for a chat with one of the senior staff.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:53 am 
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Location: Essex
Dancinggirl, it is possible that although there is apparently no direct mention of the school on the forum, members in the relevant area will have some knowledge (friends' children who have applied or are current / past pupils), so it might be worth letting us know which school it is anyway?

If they are not exactly overwhelmed with potential applicants, I can't imagine that your DS would be completely at the bottom of the pile. Have you had a look at the GL website to see whether there is any indication of what his score (or scores - as has been mentioned, one in isolation doesn't necessarily give the whole picture) indicates - I think GL standardises against a national sample? DD 's year at primary school took part in some kind of testing by them in year 6, I think, but her own class wasn't involved so I may be misremembering.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:30 am 
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The school will have a finite number of places. If the exam is the only selection tool (other than parental income), then the test isn't just about meeting a minimum standard, it is about where you come in comparison against your peers. He may be above national average, but if his is the 120th score and the school takes 100, he may not get in - especially if it is the only selective school for miles around.

When is the exam? If it is a September exam then yes, I think you should do some more work if this is your preferred school. If the exam is December/January then possibly no need assuming you will do some next term/over Christmas.


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