Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Eleven Plus Ranges

If your child passes an eleven plus test offered by one authority – should he or she be given the same privilege in winning an eleven plus place at a grammar school in a different authority?

Two groups of eleven plus children from different authorities may obtain the same pass marks. We would like to think that both groups are as bright as each other. We would also like to think that the children received similar education, coaching and preparation. One group, however, could have had an eleven plus range of ability between 105 and 125. The ability levels of the other group, however, may have ranged between 85 and 135. It seems possible, therefore, that there is a difference between the two groups in variability and dispersion of brightness. (A score of 100 is average.)

The first group appears to be more homogeneous.
The second group more heterogeneous.

A homogeneous group is made up of largely similar elements. A heterogeneous group, however, can be composed of unlike parts.

The first group, in theory, should assimilate eleven plus information and work through eleven plus papers at roughly the same speed. In the second group the children at the top end of the ability scale may be frustrated, at times, by the speed of the slower children.

An eleven plus child, studying mathematics at school and in eleven plus exercises will be able to explain range.

We have not found out, however, about the number of children attempting the tests. Could one sample have had far fewer children? If one group had had three thousand children and the other only one hundred and twenty attempting the test we would need to be very careful about relying on the range. Would an eleven plus child understand this concept?

If a bright and able child passed comfortably in one county but could not `go to grammar’ in another – how would this be explained to the child?