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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:33 am 
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We were shocked when our son, AP did not pass the first exam at QE for boys so we wrote in and asked for a remark which we offered to pay for.

The deputy head replied stating the marks AP had achieved and wrote that he confirms that they were the actual marks. He also gave the standardised scores next to the marks.

The marks showed that AP had achieved more than 70% in the test. The admissions policy stated that 70% was required to go through to take the second exam. Therefore we decided to appeal.

The governors statement which the school has put forward shows a lower mark than that stated in the deputy heads letter. At this mark AP did not achieve 70%. The standardised scores however are the same as in the letter.

In our appeal, could we hold them to the marks stated in the deputy heads letter?

Does anyone out there understand the standardisation process? If so I have some questions which will help me in the appeal. I have approached NFER but they have not been co-operative. I hope someone is able to help me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:04 pm 
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Are you saying that there is a discrepancy in the raw marks your son obtained i.e.

as first stated in deputy head's letter when papers were remarked

and now

a different mark set out in the Appeals Papers?

Are you appealing because you think he should have passed the first round with his marks he achieved?

Did you speak with the Admissions Officer at the school when you were informed that he did not pass the first round to query the raw and standardised marks?

I have always thought the 70% qualifying mark was after marks have been standardised.

I just can't understand how your son did not qualify if his standardised score were 70% or over.

Can you give more facts to confirm the figures?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:39 pm 
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Location: kent
Well I'm puzzled too. I have read the admissions criteria online and it talks about converting to a score out of 100, it does not mention "standardisation".

Please can you copy out the scores and wording in the conflicting documents to help us see what you mean?

the school will have to keep to wahtever the test papers show that your son scored, I would have thought. But if there was an error, wasn't it possible to put it right between the first and second test? If you go for a proper appeal now, you still cannot show whether he would have got enough in the second test to have obtained a shool place.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:13 pm 
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I don't know if the papers were re-marked. The deputy head simply stated in his letter that he can confirm the marks are correct. The marks given were 59 out of 80 (standardised to 99) and 27 out of 40 (standardised to 104) for the 2 papers.

This represents 74% and 68%. Thus the average is over 70%. As far as standardisation is concerned, the NFER website says that once raw scores have been standardised, they cannot be converted into percentages. Also, the table on their web site shows that for someone who is 10 years and 9 months at the time of sitting the exam, which my son was, their score is either pushed up or remains the same. Therefore if his raw score is over 70% then his standardised score has to be over 70% (even though it is not supposed to be converted back into a percentage).

We did put this to them at the time so that he could sit the second exam but they said that the score to pass was 206 and my son achieved 203. So we had to wait until April to make a formal appeal, which we have.

In the governors statement, they are saying that his marks were 50 out of 80 (standardised to 99) and 27 out of 40 (standardised to 104).

Can they change marks like this?

In admissions policy, 70% passmark is clearly stated. Can they then come up with a passmark of 206? Initially we thought that maybe 206 represents 70% but NFER clearly state that it is not possible to convert standardised scores to meaningful percentages.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:17 pm 
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I have also read the admissions policy and no where does it state 'standardisation'. So can they do this?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Dear Perplexed,
I agree with you regarding the potential marks in second round.
However My son took the DAO exams in Nov last year and to get the afternoon papers of English and Maths marked ( his strongest subjects ) they had to score 115 in Verbal reasoning exams.
He got 113 and I accepted the fact that he hadn't got in.
However a girl in his class got 114- her mum appealed and she got in!
How does this work when her afternoon papers wouldn't even have been looked at?
She isn't particularly bright around the middle of the class, whereas my DS is in the top 3 for Maths and English.
Should I have appealed?
I feel that I might have let DS down- I just thought that as he hadn't achieved the required mark then that was the end of it. Any views?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Location: kent
Raj, know they can't change marks just like that, and 70% to get through to the second round is what I have read clearly stated in their admission policy. I am sorry I know nothing about this school, but that is clear to me, and standardisation does not seem to be mentioned at that stage in the admissions procedure; although that does seem unfair to me as there is clearly a performance difference at that age according to birth month.

I am guessing that the disparity between 50 out of 80 and 59 out of eighty could be due to an error reading someone's handwriting as 0 and 9 can look interchangeable in a scrawly hand.

I guess you will never feel satisfied until you have seen which your child did score, and the only way to do this is to see the marked answer paper and count up to 50 or 59 for yourself.

What happens after that I really don't know. Etienne is good on questions like this. If it was 59 it does look as though there was a mistake in the admissions procedure. Logically your child should be given a chance to do the second stage and see if they would have got in.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:51 pm 
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Location: kent
Zorro that is a hard question, but the answer can only be "no" you did not let your son down. I think if you had felt so strongly that this school was the right one for your son and that he should have been there you would have explored every avenue including appeal.

You could do the acid test after your son has settled in at his new school! Ask him if he would like to sit another test to see if he can get into QE the following year and see what the answer is. Hopefully it will make you feel better!!

All this appeal stuff is really a bit crazy when you stand back and think about it. Whether some pupils get into the school or not depends on whether a parent decides to appeal or not, and what the appeal panel thinks of their case. I'm sure that our son will do just as well or better elsewhere as he sounds very able. Also you both had the high expectations to try for such a hard to get into school.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:45 pm 
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Hi again, Raj,

Thanks for the figures.

It must be, without a doubt, that QE does standardise the raw scores as they use Nfer to set their exams. Converting the scores is just the term they use for the procedure.

On seeing your first figures, it seems you have used the raw marks to work out your percentages, thus meaning your son has scored the required 71% average for both papers.

But I think there is a common misconception that it is a straightforward conversion of raw marks that is confusing you.

The school has already acknowledged that the scores are standardised and given you the figures, 99 and 104.

From my knowledge of standardised scores, it would usually be a maximum of 141 i.e. 99/141 and 104/141 is what your son has achieved.

The school pass mark is 206 and your son's is 203 therefore he could not go onto the 2nd exam.

206/242 is the standardised passmark that the school is seeking for qualification.
nfer works out this figure by some complicated graphs that take into consideration the number of boys who took the exams and how well they did against each other as a cohort.


I also think there is a typo with the 59 and 50 marks.

50/80 is more likely to produce a 99/141 standardised score.

Places like Mill Hill County needed high scores over 132/141 per paper to get through the second round(not sure what it was this year)

It's Friday and I don't know if it is at all possible for you to verify the correct scores given to you with the school. If it is 50/80, I think you will not have a case to put forward.

Seeing as it is the standardised scores that are constant in both deputy head's letter and governor's statement, I feel it is very likely it was 50 rather than 59.

The school might be able to show you the exact paper and score then you will know which way to go.

sorry, not good news. hope it is clearer.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:10 pm 
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Location: kent
Well yes that all makes good sense to me. But why do the admissions criteria on the website say the following:

The entrance test scores will be converted to a mark out of 100 and a list of candidates will be drawn up in rank order according to the mark achieved.

The minimum pass mark is 70. Those children who achieve this score will be offered places BUT if more than 160 candidates achieve 70 marks or more, ALL candidates in this category will be invited to return to take a second test.


It would make absolute sense for it be standardised the NFER way, and for their to be a minimum standardised score for entrants to the school. But if this is the case (which it seems to be from other people's experience of the school) why do the admissions criteria talk about a score out of 100 and a minimum pass mark of 70? Very misleading surely.


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