vnunny - I can only assume you haven't been living in Kingston long. Around here we have the most contested grammar school places in the country. E.g. 1300 girls sat for Nonsuch - 661 passed, but there are only 180 places. Very similar figures for Wallington High School for Girls. Tiffin Girls don't have a pass mark - they simply offer places to the Top 120. This year 1171 sat it.
The 'frenzy' that is the elevenplusexams forum has not helped the situation in Surrey, where many parents spend their days on here, trying to find out what is going to be in the test papers so that they can tutor their children to within an inch of their lives.
For every DC that is 'helped' to gain a place by this forum, there will be many others who miss out.
Sadly, this forum has helped many many children get into a selective school, purely by informing their parents of the best practise papers and they have practised until the cows come home - many, for years. So, if you don't do the same with your DC, you won't stand a chance of a coveted selective school place around here.
It is not only just the brightest DC who get into these schools, but the DC who have been 'helped' via the back door.