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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:04 pm 
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Hi, could anyone shed any light on how the new Gloucester Grammar CEM 11+ standardises it's scores please?

I will be appealing for DD on non qualification, but in addition I had a conversation with a nice lady at Gloucester Admissions. She told me to ask more about how results are standardised indicating that the school's themselves don't know.

She suggested that it was relevant to appeals as now we are only told where we are on the list (as opposed to scores) and the standardisation was implemented purely to make sure that the list goes 1,2,3,4,etc ensuring no two children could have exactly the same score. That makes it easier for schools for ranking purposes but might not be a true indication of score like the previous 11+

Any feedback would be gratefully received.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:13 am 
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I can't answer your question, but just wanted to point out that the previous 11+ did not as you suggest give 'a true indication of score' as it was like all 11+ exams: norm-referenced, i.e. the cohort was compared with each other and not a set of absolute values. So the raw scores weren't ever disclosed, only a standardised score which was then also age-standardised (birth month cohort comparisons to mitigate disadvantage caused by being young in the year). I assume something very similar is done now with CEM but if you meant how the individual sections were weighted I have no idea!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:23 am 
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Thanks Amber, it's just that the conversation I had was really unusual - perhaps I've been watching too much x-files but it felt like a deep throat moment!

The lady was strongly hinting that it wasn't as clear as with the older test which as you say takes in to account age, cohort etc., and there were other unknown factors to ensure a list rather than having two children with exactly the same score.

It does seem odd that with all those girls that for example there wouldn't be a few that got the same score, but it doesn't happen with this list. I'm now wondering whether as well as age, is distance taken in to the standardisation?

Obviously I have no idea, but CEM is so closed will anyone truly know. Plus the lady said to question the school because schools don't know either.

I think I'm more curious than anything after that phone call!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:57 am 
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theseneschal wrote:
I'm now wondering whether as well as age, is distance taken in to the standardisation?
I really don't think that could be the case. Gloucestershire opens its borders to all comers and there are children being shipped in from Wales, Bristol, Swindon and even deepest Wiltshire to attend these schools (goodness only knows why in some cases quite frankly, but that is another issue!). I think distance can only be used as an oversubscription criterion when all other avenues have been exhausted. Good luck in your quest - the only person I can think might be able to throw some light on it is Capers123 who used to post regularly on the Gloucestershire forum and is an appeals panel member. Maybe try a PM, though I don't know him so no idea if he can help.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:53 pm 
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In the old days, we received a score this meant that in some cases (as I remember from appeal in 2011), there could be several children with the same score. When I was preparing our appeal back then we obtained information about how many were above us in terms of score and how many had the same score. With the new system, you know where you are and how far outside the pan you are. I think by the time it gets to appeal the emphasis has to be on a strong academic case; we also offered an explanation for the unexpected underperformance. You really need to concentrate on offering every scrap of evidence you can to demonstrate DC's ability.

Another possibility for children not receiving the same ranking is that different sections of the paper are weighted differently. I can't think of another way of ranking without this.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:21 pm 
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I doubt whether there would be much point in digging too much into this issue - you really need to focus on the academic evidence for your dd being suitable for the school, any mitigating reasons for not ranking higher and reasons wanting place at that particular school. It is a horrible situation and one that still haunts me slightly even though ds is now in Yr 9 and clearly coping very well in a GS despite failing fairly spectacularly ...but that was the old test :?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:30 pm 
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I now understand (little bird, you know who you are, thanks :wink: ) that the new standardisation is even more sensitive than the old, with children being standardised by actual birthday, not just by month. So two candidates are most unlikely to be sitting on the same score. If they are, then oversubscription criteria come into play.

This makes DC17C's point all the more valid.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:35 pm 
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Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I think you're right, it isn't worth persuing any further and I'll put my conspiracy theories away...
I emailed the school today asking for an appeals pack and asked for a copy of the invigilators report as we had a problem in that 11+ exam class. I'm hoping they're obliged to send it?
Would anyone know if the log report simply details the duration of the tests or true timing such as 9:15 start 10 finish 10:20 start 11:05 finish?
Thanks also for your kindness - it's not a nice place to be but it looks like there is lots of support on this forum. Thank you!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:55 pm 
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I am not entiely sure what will be in the log - I know that at our appeal the panel asked if there were any comments about my ds in the invigilators log and apparently he was sniffing a lot and got given a tissue :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:42 am 
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As mentioned before it is not worth pursuing this question but I would like to mention the schools do know how the standardisation is worked out as they are often asked this question in the appeal by parents so have to be prepared to answer it correctly. In some of the appeals I have sat in they have gone into the standardisation process in great detail. You should also be aware that schools have taken part in appeals for many years so are will prepared for any questions and in my experience have always had plenty of evidence to back things up.


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