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Monday, November 27, 2006

Predicting Success

One of the big problems we have, when we are looking at tests like the 11+, is whether the test is measuring the specific ability is claims to be measuring.

Of course the 11+ examinations are partly used to try to predict future success at school in GCSE and A Level examinations.

It is not only the parents, teachers and tutors of children at the primary school age that are interested in the eleven plus results. Naturally the teachers in the grammar schools will be concerned about the quality of the children joining their school in the new school year.

All involved in the examination are asking:

Do the 11+ tests allow us to make predictions?
Do the tests actually measure what they set out to measure?
Does the test appear to be a `good’ test?
Is the test actually a reliable tool?

When two parents lean over towards their own eleven plus candidate and whisper in an encouraging tone: `You do know that if you go to grammar school you will be more likely to get a good job.’ The parents are making a prediction. Time will tell!

One day your child will arrive at your local grammar school. The teachers who look at the new intake will be just as concerned as you that they will be able to obtain good academic results.

Passing an eleven plus examination is really only one more step in your child’s life. There are plenty of real life examinations and tests to tackle in the years ahead. Doing well on verbal and non verbal reasoning tests can not make a child into a hardworking and serious `A’ level student. To be successful in life your child will need a different kind of spark – and that is a little more difficult to measure.

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