It is called the Common Pre-Test, something that the ISEB has designed so that children don't have to sit lots of different 11+ tests (although schools don't have to use it and this is the first year it has been run).
Ultimately the aim is that children sit the test in their prep school and the results then sent to whichever schools the child is being entered for.
My DS is in this situation. He mentioned after the St John's assessment day that he had done the "same" test there as he had st Epsom. I thought he meant it was set by the same organisation and so had the same format, not that all the questions were exactly the same!
The letter sent by Epsom about the pre-test back in september does give some details of the format of the computer test and says that "If a candidate takes the same test at more than one school, the CEM centre will share the results between the schools in question (although the names of the schools in question will remain confidential to the CEM Centre)".
This would seem to indicate that the schools knew all along that this situation would arise which is a bit stupid. However, I read it to imply that results of all the attempts will be available to all the schools, not just that all attempts after the first one will be junked. If you have reliable information that they do intend to dump all subsequent attempts then that is not what we have been led to believe.
It is astonishing that it appears that the assessment centre has sent exactly the same questions to all the schools who use it. SURELY they could have managed to come up with different questions for each school?
Or has there been a massive screw up and the same test sent to each school by mistake???
Rumour has it that if your child sat the Epsom College computer test this is the test that will be used by St Johns Leatherhead in their evaluation and not the one sat on site at St Johns.
This has become a talking point as those children who did not sit the Epsom College test and only St John's feel they may be disadvantaged as the questions were the same as those seen by others at Epsom previously.
On the other hand the test situation at Epsom and that at St John's were completely different. Epsom it was a stressful evironment whereby children were shuttled off to rooms on arrival and sat infront of a pc to carry out the test with unknown people around them. In St Johns the children had spent the day with those around them, were feeling hopefully more confident before the test after experiencing a written maths and english paper, had lunch and got used to their surroundings etc.
To be a "fair" test the conditions need to be the same for each candidate.
It is true that those children who sat Epsom before St Johns had seen the questions previously. It is also however true that the test environment at Epsom was completely different to that of St Johns.
It is not appropriate (or I would imagine legal) for Epsom College or the company they used to carry out their test, to share that information with another organisation without the permission of the parent's involved. Written consent should have been asked for.
It is not professional that neither school communicated the intention of using the first sat test of a child (if this is in fact the truth).
It is ridiculous that both schools put forward the same test in the first place.
If it is true that the test sat at St Johns if it was already been undertaken at Epsom College was not going to count - why did the children have to go through the exercise again?? Rumour has it that results are all uploaded to the organisation who composed the test - the only result St Johns will see back from them is the first one that was sat at Epsom.
I understand there has been discussions for future years for pupils to sit the computer based test in their own school and the results go back to the organisation who compose it and feed schools with the results. Logical. The arrangement for this year's children is shambolic if the rumour's are true.
Right now many are sitting back and waiting to see if the DS or DD get offered their place at St Johns - should people not get the news they hope for.................