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Friday, December 12, 2008

Eleven Plus Scores

When you chat to your class teacher about results you may be sometimes talking about tests designed by the teacher. The teacher would know the content of the material in the test, the raw score, the highest and the lowest scores and the average score. Your class teacher would also know about the past performance of your child.

The words “Oh yes, he is doing well,” will mean something to the teacher – and helpfully to you.

If, however, the teacher is commenting on standardised test results then the raw score is not as important. You would still, probably, like to know how many and were correct – but you would be more interested in the results following the norm tables provided by the publisher of the tests. A standardised score takes into account the age in years and months of the child.

The results on 11+ papers are less easy to comment on. If your child, for example, has completed the classroom test in half the allotted time it is likely that the teacher will remember this and comment on timing to you. It would be more difficult to talk about timing on a standardised test – because although the teacher would have administered the test – there is no provision for taking time into account when working out the standardised score.

If, however, your child sat with you and then achieved 85% on an 11+ paper – and reached this score in half the given time - you would then be in a position to comment in a number of different ways:

“You could have checked the paper over.”

“Use your watch and think about timing – there is no need to hurry through the paper.”

“Well done. A fantastic result! You do still have time to look over your work.”

Eleven plus papers from the book shops and the internet are not standardised. One test could be easier than another. How are you to know?

Your child may have a strong desire to perform well on the practice 11+ test – for a variety of reasons.

It could be that the paper in question was the first in a series – so it would be possible to build on the result. On the other hand your child may have completed four similar papers previously – so knew the format and the sequence of the questions.

If there were any mistakes you would hope that the errors were made on questions like this:

In a group of 12 students, 8 are wearing pullovers, 7 are wearing jackets and 6 are wearing scarves. Four are wearing pullovers and jackets, 3 jackets and scarves and 5 pullovers and scarves. Each student is wearing at least one of these garments. How many were wearing all three?

A number of eleven plus children would be delighted to feel challenged with a question like the one above. Achieving 85% on a paper made up of questions like this would be quite a feat! (Especially if you were able to work out why the answer is 3!)

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