Lot of sympathy for Bad Dad's view on this. I would add that, over the last eighteen months, I have been looking into CEM and the long established independent sector and how it assesses children, particularly the age cohort that sits 11+. I have also researched into how candidates for scholarship, bursary or just plain financial assistance are assessed; if they are examined by the same or different tools. The Durham University department website (CEM) uses unhelpful jargon, typically academic language which obscures the fact that their approach conforms with general thinking about cognition, which has high currency in current business recruiting: or did before the recession kicked off! I could cite most of the top Public Schools for using similar approaches and make an argument for this being based on psychometric testing and the Yellis Baseline Assessment. But this is already too long and its formal tone will come over to many as a lecture (it is not meant to be) so I will leave anyone interested to look for themselves and suggest they look no further than Rugby School; how it examines candidates for entry to Marshall House. I do realise that the vast majority reading this forum will have little or no interest in either independent schools, or their admission processes. I draw attention to them merely to point out that the changes to recent years 11+ exam (long overdue in my view) are really based on the thinking behind this 'body of knowledge'. They commend themselves strongly on two grounds. Firstly, there is a statisticly large sample of data available from state Primary and Secondary children (wide social cross section) against which to compare. Secondly, the tests are capable of being conducted and marked by computer (Alcester GS trial some years back*
) this is extremely cost effective and quick and has shown to be very accurate. So I would follow BD's mixed method, comprehensive approach but also use all the available free material on the Internet from psychometric testing and Yellis. Familiarity with the type of question and practice at working quickly
being invaluable. My two bright daughters were often commented on by their teacher as working slowly, but there was no practical help forthcoming to change this. I also note that most schools I got to know did not teach memory techniques, study skills or revision. I would bring this up at 'Parent Evenings' meeting immediate hostility and be told this was not the right 'forum' ... I am talking Independents and GSs here... I blame the fact that most teachers come from the 60's and (state trained or not) missed out on these themselves.
I think the apposite comments about this trial posted at the time were spot on: they confirmed what academic educationalists were arguing ... that traditional GS intakes had systematically excluded some children who had the potential to benefit from 'an academic approach with high expectations' precisely because the assessment was faulty
and the affluent could purchase a 10%-15% performance increase through tutoring. Given it is forbidden to increase the number of GS places, the only way forward to WCC Education Department was to change the assessment process - pity they didn't also review their Priority Circle / Eligibility criteria and liaise with adjoining CC Ed Committees at the same time! Can I please point out I make no criticism of tutoring nor do I fault parents for using it. I have too .. I have also withdrawn my children from their schools several times and taught them at home. Also had to be very determined in facing LEA hostility to my independent minded and critical approach. Hope this helps others in forming a view.
http://www.psychometric-success.com/faq ... stions.htm
http://www.psychometric-success.com/apt ... -tests.htm