SPGS Computer test(25 Posts)
I have been lurking on the SW girls 11+ thread as we are thinking of applying for September 2017 entry. I just wondered if anyone knew what style of test the Computer-based test is? Is it a mixed VR/Maths/Multi Choice or something else? I would be grateful if anyone could shed any light on it as I don'thave anyone in RL to ask. We are relocating to London so not part of the SW scene - DD is at a prep currently and is a bright child, so I think she will hold her own in the written aspect and is a chatty child so likely to fare ok in an interview. I do realise that it is the SPGS way of introducing the 'untutorable' element and I do respect that, but I have a DD who does better if she understands what is likely to happen/happen next on the day. Can anyone help?
Hi pradaqueen, assume you've seen the SPGS website and this which gives you a summary of what the test involves?
Hi ladyofthepalace, how embarrassing! I must've missed that! On strong painkillers after falling over at the weekend so I should really step away from the keyboard until I am off them! Thanks for replying though...
Wish you better and glad to have helped!
My DD took the exam and said the actual VR & NVR questions on the exam were much harder than any of the practice questions she did on Bond CGP etc. Just a warning. DD is very good at both but she was surprised at the level of difficulty. (Although all the SPGS papers are a level above the published 11+ papers. Only paper that comes close is LATYMER Upper's maths paper.) She still managed to get through and take the written exams but we had no confidence at the time that she would.
Thanks notatigermum. I really don't have a reference point for SW London but we are in catchment for a super selective grammar area and she would be expected by her headmistress to get one of the 120 places if we were staying here. I'll see if we can get a past maths paper for LU as a comparison to the work we've done here. Thanks for the heads up!
SPGS has papers on their website. Definitely look at them. One paper, what they call comprehension, is v different from other schools' 11+ papers. Unlike some schools, the sample papers are recent papers and are representative of level of difficulty and question/format type
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I don't know whether it has changed but the questions used to get harder if you got the preceding question right.
That's correct. It was a very good sign when DD said the tests were really hard as it meant the computer kept giving her more challenging questions presumably because she was getting them correct. I would advise that your DD needs to be working at a year 8 academic level by year 6 given the type of texts they choose for English (e.g. HG Wells) and topics for Comprehension (see papers on food, time, Richard III) and the maths (e.g. simultaneous equations with 2 and sometimes 3 variables). A lot of schools, even independent, will not prep for their exams as it's an outlier compared to other schools and a lot more work. My DD was really keen though as she loved the HM and thought girls were clever interesting and nice. Unlikely to get a place as it's so hard but glad she did it anyway because no matter the outcome the learning experience has been positive. Obvs would be over the moon if she did earn a place though!
So quick question:- if you have to be working at a year 8 level by the start of year 6 (when the pre test for the entrance exam is) and you have to know simultaneous equations with 2/3 variables....what value added is the school adding to the DD when they get there? Sounds like they scoop the best prepared and brightest girls off the top and churn them through the system??
Disclaimer: this is not a school I know well but it would equally apply to all the "super selective" schools out there, both boys and girls. Extra curriculars don't count as an answer because all schools claim to have fantastic music, drama, sport etc.
Eton has it's amazing society programme running every night and is more university like than school like - that makes it stand out. What does SPGS offer to an already super bright, top of the class girl?
My feeling of SPGS and honestly I don't know that many girls there so I could be completely wrong is that unlike JAGS Putney or some of the other well regarded high octane girl's schools is that SPGS doesn't emphasise GCSEs and A levels overly and that the pressure and competition is a lot less than in some other schools because everyone is so uber bright that there is a camaraderie that is sometimes sorely lacking in high achieving girls schools. Everyone is different and has different impressions but I really liked the school because the girls were confident not arrogant, funny and ironic and very aware of the world without being too precious about things. Again, if you had a tour with other girls it's very possible that you came out with a very different impression which is why it's so hard to get to know schools. It's like viewing a house - you never get the full picture until you buy it and move in,
I think the teachers are excellent and push the girls to go far beyond the syllabus and I would guess judging from their results the level of teaching is closer to first or 2nd year of uni rather than your standard 6th form college.
All the schools I have visited have claimed that in year 7 they cover the basics in maths English and science in order to ensure all the kids start on a level playing field.
Most academic schools cream from a pool whether in London or elsewhere. It isn't fair as not all children get the same opportunities but then life isn't fair. My children have far more opportunities than I did, for instance, so I try my best to keep them grounded and unmaterialistc whereas growing up, my parents were focused on a very different set of issues but I had no worries about some of the horrible things going on today / cyber bullying, social media, body image, competitive friendships etc. Eek.
I hate cliches but with schools it is definitely a case of horses for courses
I dont think any other school in this country can beat Eton in terms of facility, their Eton Dorney lake is one of an example where you can swim for miles, cycles and run for miles etc. I sometimes wish I had a son so he could have the experience there, I think its amazing!!!
Sorry think I am missing a trick here ... Why are we comparing a girl's London day school to a boys' boarding school? Puzzled
Thanks notatigermum. I went to the open day in October and founds the girls to be of a similar vein to my own DD - confident but not cocky. I also felt that it was definitely not an exam factory and that the girls would have an opportunity to read around the subjects, not just pass an exam and possibly make the gap between GCSE and A less of a jump. Did your DD get a place after the tests? I think we probably need to raise our game in terms of maths. DD is well read but not year 8 in terms of maths. (I'm now Off to revise simultaneous equations...)!!
Hi. Thank you for your answers. I wasn't meaning to compare SPGS to Eton, so apologies for that. They do both require DCs to sit a computer test though that is very similar!! I was asking my question because I'm a bit sceptical about all the results boasting that goes on when the raw material these schools have is so incredible (ie. your DDs!). I suppose it's linked to the thought that a bright DC will do well anywhere - I'm trying to find the value added a school gives. Your answers have helped.Thx
I actually don't agree that a bright child will do well everywhere. It depends on your child as well as as their age. My DD is v bright - at the 97-99th percentile on each of her CATs but not particularly competitive or driven. She does well when she has good teachers and peers who motivate her and does abysmally when she doesn't. Some children are autodidacts but most children, even the really bright ones, aren't. Plus maybe I'm the exception here but i really don't know that many autodidact geniuses who learn thoroughly and well without any guidance or external motivation.
I would say that for a very bright motivated child the difference between going to a school that is no. 1 in the league tables vs. no. 20 or even 50 will probably make little difference. But going to a no. 50 school vs a sink school?
I firmly believe that outstanding teachers make a world of difference to any child whether very clever or not so much. Ultimately those enormous fees for independent schools pay for consistently strong teachers who inspire the kids as well as impart knowledge. Or at least they should. But you need to decide for yourself whether it's worth it.
HI PradaQueen - my DD took the computer pre-test and found it harder than the actual exams. she made it through to the interview and has been offered a place on the waiting list. I think the test is designed to filter the numbers down considerably so they do make it harder. My DD found everything else much easier - including the interview with a lovely lady who spent most of the time asking her about her family and she didn't face any scary questions at all.
Thanks mumofthree and congratulations to your daughter! Thanks for the heads up re the computer test, I guess there's no way of knowing how she'll fare until the day itself but we're up for the challenge!
Hi! My DD has been fortunate to receive an offer from SPGS. In terms of the computer test she says that it bore similarities to the CEM VR, NVR, English comprehension and maths tests. You can find practice tests by CPG and others on Amazon. Worth going through a few. It is a computer test so "similarities" is the operative word here. It differs too ( have not been able to glean exactly how) and is also interactive. So the better a girl performs the harder the questions get. In essence the girl next to your DD may be answering different questions. My DD's strength is English and she found the English questions on the computer test harder (we now know why). She (and her friends who received offers) found the maths written paper much easier than the sample papers on the school's website, so I would not fret about Y8 maths. I would say a solid SAT level 5, 6 even better. Cover some algebra with her too and go over various practice papers, e,g Latymer, MGS, boys' schools, grammar school papers for familiarisation purposes etc. At the time I wondered whether she misread the maths questions, but hey hum, she got an offer so she must have done something right. She enjoyed the comprehension paper (which encourages critical thinking), but most of all she enjoyed the interview. She claimed afterwards that she really wanted to go to that school as the interviewer (English teacher) was "lovely" . Good luck!
Hi hampsteadmum first of all congrats to your DD for getting a place at St Paul. I am gearing up for my daughter next year so eventually she will have a go at St Paul too if she likes the school. Would you be in a position to tell me a bit more about the interviews details please and what it is covered? I have been told that the interviews are the second stage of filtering more pupils so I think they must have a technique to identify potential Paulinas' by testing the pupil during the interview? what questions do they ask? math/english colloquial tests?....
Thanks. As far as I gleaned the interview is the 3rd and last stage. SPGS culls a few girls at the stage of the computer test and then a few more after the written tests. Anecdotal evidence from other internet forums suggest a 1:2 chance in receiving an offer if one gets at the interview stage. Questions were mostly of personal nature. About the girls' home life (e.g siblings etc), homework, school life, hobbies, how they like to spend the weekend, analysis of a painting or photograph (that's a constant- all girls are given a painting or photo to analyse and discuss). No academic questions. By that stage they've assessed them academically quite extensively I guess. The internet is awash with sample 11 plus questions but from memory they were pretty straightforward. Gosh I have to ask my DD as I've already forgotten!. How is it possible? The discussion evolves you see. The girls answers in a certain way and then takes a different direction. Good luck!
I'm just bumping this to ask if anyone with experience can recommend any particular online reasoning tests to prep for this. Thanks so much.
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