There are several steps that have to be taken before tests are standardised. One criterion is to see that the test is representative of different children. It is no good trying to standardise a test based only on able eleven plus children. The results could be skewed.
An age standardisation test takes into account your child’s age, so that you have an indication of how well your child is performing relative to other children of the same age. In the olden days there was a look up table with the raw score down the left side of the page and the child’s age in years and months spread across the page. Each cell of the test contained a standardised score – which is the standardised score adjusted for your child’s age. In today’s world the eleven plus tests are marked by a device similar to a scanner – and it knows your child’s age and how many correct answers you child made – and so working out the standardised score is completed in milliseconds.
An average standardised score is 100 with a standard deviation of 15. This means that if your child achieves a score of 100 then your child is average for that test. About two thirds of all children will have scores between 85 and 100. About 16% will be above 115 – and this is where eleven plus children need to aim.
The pass mark – or the standardised score pass mark can vary from group of children to group and from year to year.
A lot of caution needs to be taken with tests and test results. We worked with a girl up to the recent eleven plus tests who started on her eleven plus course around February of this year with around average results. She passed the examination with outstanding marks – around and above 130. The difference was not because we taught wonderful lessons. She made the progress because she wanted to pass the examination, she wanted to go to grammar school, and she wanted to work very hard to achieve her goals.
Her mother believed in her. Her school were, we understand, delighted.
We ate the chocolates and basked in the reflected glory!