13 plus Common Pre-test St Pauls and Westminster.

(60 Posts)
timmytoes Thu 09-Jan-14 21:06:21

The new Common Pre test for St Pauls and Westminster has thrown up some very puzzling results at our school. Does any one else have any comments on the new format.

Michaelahpurple Fri 10-Jan-14 06:49:03

V curious how it has gone. My son is at the under school so we don't have much visibility , but from what he told me about the papers I suspect it is now harder for a boy whose strength lies in literacy to excel

EdithWeston Fri 10-Jan-14 06:55:13

The format isn't new as such, ISEB paper has been around for a few years (and sample papers can be bought).

Are you a teacher, or have both those schools really made their offers this early this year?

123flower Fri 10-Jan-14 11:18:49

Puzzling in what way?

Michaelahpurple Fri 10-Jan-14 15:17:34

Edithweston - the iWeb paper is new to westminster, having been decided upon for this year's entry only right at the end of the summer term.

Michaelahpurple Fri 10-Jan-14 15:18:41

And the interview invitations went out at the end of last term for W, as expected, so not early. Also interested to know how the results at the op's school were odd!

OddSins Fri 10-Jan-14 22:04:33

Im not sure the results are that odd this year. Boys who got Westminster offers have also got offers / scholarship offers elsewhere. The IQ scores from the headmasters report (CAT / Getintu) are every bit as important as the exam tests I suspect. But perhaps the OP experience is different?

timmytoes Sat 11-Jan-14 12:55:44

Oddsins the Westminster results are not out , it is merely the invitation to the interview stage that is out.
In prior years as Michaelahpurple refers to above, there has been a belief that the Westminster entrance pre-test favoured the numerical over the literary strong boy although both needed to be of a high standard. It was also rare for a boy to do well in the Westminster exam and not do well in the St Pauls exam although it was not always true the other way round. The introduction of the common pre-test for both schools was in response to larger number of boys entering (some against their head's recommendations) and the schools unable to cope with interviewing every candidate. That said the prep schools and parents were assured that strong candidates that perhaps did less well in the online tests but had extremely high endorsement from their prep heads would still get through to interview stage. This year and given it is the first year it is perhaps not surprising that a number of puzzling results have been thrown up at least at our school. Yes you still have to be strong academically and those weak candidates who seriously had little or no chance were still rejected but the Westminster exam has favoured those with higher English comprehension strengths (and strong but not exceptional numerical strengths) while the St Pauls exam has favoured those with higher numerical (but sometimes only slightly above average English). Thus we have candidates getting through to interview at Westminster but not St Pauls and vice versa depending on their particular strength. In addition there seems to have been no or very little regard made to the prep school head's comments and a number of very strong candidates have not got through to the Interview stage. These are not candidates who have been tutored but boys who have been consistently top or near top for many years in a school that regularly sends boys to the top London Day schools. No doubt the process will in future years be refined and settle down but it would be interesting to hear if the experience at our school has been mirrored elsewhere or not.

summerends Sat 11-Jan-14 15:05:28

timmytoes could not the simple reason be that both the schools want to change the balance of talents of their new entrants. I wonder if Westminster as a boarding school is better able to recruit exceptional mathematicians from overseas in their sixth form entry so now want more pupils with strengths in the humanities at this early stage. Computerised marking might make this easier to achieve

OddSins Sat 11-Jan-14 21:21:09

The offers are out; or at least at our prep. The expected boys got an offer.

yakoozee Sun 12-Jan-14 13:37:51

Hi, does anyone know what to expect from the second round English test at Westminster School 13+ entry? I know that St Paul's will test English writing only. I am just wondering is this will be the same at Westminster? My DS has been invited to interviews at both Westminster and St Paul's, so I am eager to find out more about the second round tests. I'd appreciate it very much if anyone could shed some lights. thanks.

Michaelahpurple Mon 13-Jan-14 20:11:02

The view at our prep was that the English was very easy and would not be sufficiently differentiating for our prep school's 11+ entry. Maths and reasoning more interesting.

Does anyone know what the stats are ie how many at the inline yet and how many are going through to interview?

Yakozee - since these are brand new arrangements the only people who are going to know are the school and the parents of the other boys your DS is competing with. suspect you won't get many answers, sorry, but you can call the schools and ask. I think you're right to assume writing as that makes logical sense.

Re nos Michael I had heard over 600 sat for SPS and 250 have been invited for interview for the 90-odd places.

Michaelahpurple Wed 15-Jan-14 14:26:58

Workingitout - gosh, those numbers a astonishing. No wonder the school switched to computer marking

espree Thu 16-Jan-14 20:29:34

350 interviews for 80-90 places .. For St. Paul's I hear. Plus short math and English papers ..

But don't be freaked out by the numbers...those 350 boys or whatever will also be taking tests at Eton, Westminster, KCS etc. eventually they will all get in somewhere and all these schools are fab. I keep telling myself it will be fine!

I now have definitive data so sharing it for the record in case useful in future years:
• Westminster : 520 took the ISEB pre-test, they are interviewing 260 boys for 70-75 places and will be over-offering slightly. They expect to make all offers in early March.
• SPS : 650 took the ISEB pre-test, they are interviewing approx 300 boys for around 90 places and they too will be over-offering slightly. Their offers will come within a week of interview but these will run all this year

Short Maths and English tests at each school alongside interview. Good luck all!

Moggy72 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:51:13

Anybody got a St. Paul's interview date yet ?

They're doing state school and overseas candidates at the moment. I know one person with a date so far who doesnt fall into those categories.

KingscoteStaff Thu 23-Jan-14 22:15:06

2 boys from my class (state primary) have interviews next week.

Touchlinedad Tue 11-Feb-14 18:00:47

One from our school (a day prep) has been interviewed at SPS so far - the rest that got through to that stage are all waiting for the envelope to land.

With those numbers you've got to have every sympathy with them for switching to the computer test.

Moggy72 Tue 11-Feb-14 22:40:19

Two from our school got interviews and received offers three days later. A third has interview this week. We are still waiting for our date. Twelve in total from our school got through to interviews.

One boy from our school was interviewed last week and had his offer by the weekend too.

Kalg Wed 12-Feb-14 19:59:42

It seems the earlier the interview, the more likely you are to secure a place at St Paul's - interviews run through to the autumn and places are already being confirmed. We are still waiting for an interview date for our DS. I'm now starting to worry!

Kalg why do you say that?

SPS has always run its interviews over a 10 month period or so and so I assume knows how to judge who makes their cut - I assume they have an absolute standard they are looking for and so know how to manage their offers so they don't use up all their places too early or have too many left at the end.

On the other hand...the cleverest boy in our school is the one who was invited first...

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