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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:54 pm 
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Location: Herts
Students are being allowed to sit this test in their prep schools.

So they are sitting in their own surroundings with the test being invigilated by teachers from their school who they know and are comfortable with. That is clearly an advantage.

But even worse some of the prep schools are splitting the test over two days so the students are not doing the test in one go.

This is of course not available to the students who are not at prep schools and are going to sit the test at the school they are applying for.

Why is this being allowed?

Surely ISEB should have specified that the condition of the test being available in prep schools should be that the students sit the test under the same exam conditions.

Clearly staggering the test over two days is not sitting the test under the same exam conditions. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:24 pm 
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Staging the test over 2 days will give prep schools students, IMO, quite a significant advantage over state school ones - only needing to focus for an hour and half vs keeping your concentration for the best part of 3 hours for a 10 year old. However, life is inherently unfair and hence I told my DS just to do his best and not worry about these factors which are beyond our control.

Maybe the independents will compare the scores slightly differently knowing the DC was from a prep vs state?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:35 pm 
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But this was completely avoidable.

All that needed to happen was for ISEB to specify that the conditions of being allowed to run the test should have been that all the schools had to run the test under the same conditions as specified by ISEB. They own the copyright of the software, they can mandate the conditions under which they agree to release the software to the school. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:07 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
But this was completely avoidable.

All that needed to happen was for ISEB to specify that the conditions of being allowed to run the test should have been that all the schools had to run the test under the same conditions as specified by ISEB. They own the copyright of the software, they can mandate the conditions under which they agree to release the software to the school. DG

But this is not a new policy this year!

ISEB have always allowed prep schools to host the pretest, and have always allowed it to be split in two.

What is new this year is that some of the Indies are asking preps to host written papers, and even interviews (real life face-to-face ones, not just online).
This minimises having DC from different schools mixing when the go for the exam/interview - they can stay in their own year group bubbles at school.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:55 pm 
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what's more interesting this year, especially with most of the London independents using pretest in some form is the volume of applications given one test is eligible for multiple schools. Could this mean the schools will have to over offer more since it's likely they were be offering to the same group of students (moreso than ever)? I suspect March 1st next year will be more volatile than usual.

I still don't get why the Independents can't hold exams in person for a few hundred when the grammars can cope with 2500+. Was it a wise move to make the pretest the main academic exam rather than as a filter (i.e. KCS). In these uncertain times, it would not surprise me if some of the independents placed more weight on the traditional prep school report (i.e. disadvantaging state child) than a creative writing piece that was completed at home.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:20 am 
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I agree it's not fair to the state school candidates. To make things a little fairer I think some indie senior schools commit to admit certain % from LA maintained school (if my memory is correct Habs girls said in their open day that they normally take 50/50 from independent and state educational settings). But not all school open days mentioned this ratio.

From what I heard, all independent schools are dealing with record number of applicants this year. Maybe because of the ISEB pre-test being used as the main academic entrance test? Or middle class families have nowhere to spend money in the lockdown? :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:34 am 
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Oh, that is interesting. I don't think it is because of the ISEB pretest because many of the schools switched to that format quite late. Poor kids, this is a horrible year for exams.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:57 am 
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Yes it's a hard year for everyone including us parents. The silver lining I can see is that poor DD will be done after 17th December which means she can put her feet up and enjoy Xmas holiday without having to prepare for any exams in January! :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:10 am 
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Johnwang wrote:
I agree it's not fair to the state school candidates. To make things a little fairer I think some indie senior schools commit to admit certain % from LA maintained school (if my memory is correct Habs girls said in their open day that they normally take 50/50 from independent and state educational settings). But not all school open days mentioned this ratio.

From what I heard, all independent schools are dealing with record number of applicants this year. Maybe because of the ISEB pre-test being used as the main academic entrance test? Or middle class families have nowhere to spend money in the lockdown? :)


Could it be that more that this year parents do not know the grammar school results just yet? Hence, many parents are sitting their children for independents as a back up. Last year we were aware of our children's rankings before the deadline of independent school registration closures. This year we do not and therefore have to have back up options just incase the grammar school option doesn't work out.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:43 am 
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onemoretogo21 wrote:
Johnwang wrote:
I agree it's not fair to the state school candidates. To make things a little fairer I think some indie senior schools commit to admit certain % from LA maintained school (if my memory is correct Habs girls said in their open day that they normally take 50/50 from independent and state educational settings). But not all school open days mentioned this ratio.

From what I heard, all independent schools are dealing with record number of applicants this year. Maybe because of the ISEB pre-test being used as the main academic entrance test? Or middle class families have nowhere to spend money in the lockdown? :)


Could it be that more that this year parents do not know the grammar school results just yet? Hence, many parents are sitting their children for independents as a back up. Last year we were aware of our children's rankings before the deadline of independent school registration closures. This year we do not and therefore have to have back up options just incase the grammar school option doesn't work out.


Yes, that's probably the main reason. Hopefully they will make more offers this year, knowing that a lot of those candidates who applied this year have their hearts set on the grammar schools in case they get offers in early March. When Habs girls sent us the exam registration form, it does ask for all the other schools that you apply for and the list includes the popular grammar schools like HBS, Watford Grammar for girls so I think they are probably aware of the situation this year.


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