What do parents need to know about the Entrance Test?
To be eligible for a place in Year 7 at one of Lincolnshire's grammar schools, children must demonstrate that they have reached the required standard for entry as determined by 11 plus testing. The tests are normally taken early in the last year of primary school (Year 6).
The Lincolnshire Consortium of Grammar Schools was created to coordinate Testing arrangements across the county. Currently, 13 out of the 14 grammar schools, together with King Edward VI Humanities College in Spilsby, which is a bilateral school, belong to the Consortium and follow the same Testing arrangements. Caistor Grammar School does not belong to the Consortium and administers its own tests. Parents who would like their children to take the 11 Plus will need to register for testing from January/February when their child is in Year 5.
Candidates are asked to take a Verbal Reasoning Test and a Non-Verbal Reasoning Test, either in their own Primary Schools or in the Grammar School where they have registered, according to the area. Both tests are now multiple choice papers. These tests are prepared annually for the Consortium by GL Assessment and are preceded at an earlier date by two practice tests. The practice tests are provided by GLA to ensure that candidates are familiar with the style of questions. Each real Test also has a short practice element; the Verbal Reasoning Test is preceded by a ten minute Preliminary Practice Test, and the Non-Verbal Reasoning Test is divided into sections each provided with a few practice questions. The answers to these practice questions are neither marked nor taken into consideration.
When the tests have been completed the mark sheets are sent to GLA, whose statisticians mark and then standardise them, making adjustments for age difference, to produce a qualification standard identifying suitability for Grammar School education in Lincolnshire. The qualification is a total standardised score of at least 220 on the two tests, and represents the ability of the most able 25% of pupils in the age group in primary schools in the selective areas of Lincolnshire. Attainment of the minimum qualification standard does not of itself guarantee admission to any individual school.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the tests?
The tests are designed to identify potential. They are not tests of attainment and do not reflect the amount of work done nor the teaching styles of different primary schools. Nor are they predictive tests of GCSE performance.
What is the 'pass mark'?
The qualifying level is a total standardised score of at least 220 on both papers.
What is a standardised score?
It is the result of a statistical procedure which converts the number of correct answers (the 'raw score') into a readily understandable scale. Standardisation enables the scores of different tests to be combined in a meaningful manner. It includes an age allowance and compares a pupil's performance to the average performance and only to pupils of the same age
Why is an age allowance made?
Almost invariably older pupils achieve slightly higher raw scores than younger pupils, and the age allowance ensures that those born, for example, in July or August are not at a disadvantage to those born in the previous September or October.
How is the age allowance calculated?
The statistics are complex, but the allowance is based on the actual extent to which older pupils score more highly in a given test. It is not fixed in advance.
Are boys and girls treated differently?
No. There is no adjustment for gender difference.
What happens if my child is ill on the testing date?
The test can be taken at a later date by arrangement with the School. Do not send your children to school to take the test if they are ill. For standardisation purposes your child's age is determined by the date when the test is taken.
Is it necessary to answer all the questions?
The tests are constructed with an element of time pressure, and not all candidates complete all the answers. It is possible to return a high standardised score without answering every question, but pupils should aim to do as many as possible. It is possible to complete the tests in the given time.
Should I coach my child for the test?
King Edward's encourages all parents to work on practice papers with their son or daughter on a weekly/fortnightly basis from May or June of Year 5 to help familiarise them with the tests and the techniques required to complete them. However, we are not supportive of the kinds of intensive coaching arrangements some children receive from Year 4 onwards as this can lead to false outcomes in the testing. Commercial versions of reasoning tests are available on Amazon, WHSMITHS and other stores.
Are there special arrangements for children with special educational needs?
Yes the normal arrangements of additional time, large text papers etc. all apply. Parents are asked to provide, at the time of registration, any reports they might have on their child's needs and the recommendations for their child. This can be in the format of an Educational Psychology Report, an Educational Health Plan (statement) or a Medical Report.