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Confused: reading ages / IQ / standard deviation in population / selective schools

(14 Posts)
NobodyInParticular Sat 23-Jul-16 02:05:41

Regular poster NC to avoid outing self. Also wish to point out I'm not stealth boasting!

So DC is 7yrs 6 months with a reading (decoding not comprehension) age of 11yrs 0 months according to school tests. This ties in with previous school tests and with a different reading test I gave at home just to check so I'm pretty sure that's correct.

DCs scaled score for reading (decoding) was given as 114 by school and as 116 by a recent Ed Psych administered reading test. (Same scales used as for an IQ test so 100= average and 115 = 1 standard deviation above average)

This surprised me quite a lot, because In my mind a reading age 3.6yrs above chronological age is impressive, but hearing it expressed as a score of only one standard deviation above average it really doesn't sound very impressive at all - it would put DC roughly on the 85th Centile?

So my question is, how amazingly good at reading / far above 'average' do children who get in to Grammar schools requiring scores of 121 have to be? Or those who get in to the London super selectives? Would the boys at Colet Court / Westminster Under of similar ages all Have reading ages of 14 year olds? (I read on another thread that St Pauls recommend minimum scores of 125+.)

( DC is at a non selective school and I have no plans to change that btw. I'm just curious!)

Poptart27 Sat 23-Jul-16 02:12:42

114 is the 82nd percentile. You would need to do another standardized assessment looking at the same skill as well. In addition, not all standardized assessments are created equal (not all yield reliable or valid results either!) so I would be interested in know which standardized assessments are being used.

I have had a client go to St. Paul's and definitely did not score in the 95th percentile in reading, just FYI.

NobodyInParticular Sat 23-Jul-16 02:36:29

Thanks Poptart.

I have no idea which test the 114 score given by the school comes from (private school so could have come from anywhere I suppose!) but the 116 from the Ed Psych was the WIAT II reading component.

Yes, very true about the tests! We have discovered that DCs performance can vary by 25 points on th same types of tests. I'm sure a lot of that was not being in the mood on the day though!

Would you say 82nd percentile (or just above) sounds correct for that reading age?

Just out of interest, would you have said that overall your St P's client's abilities were around 95th %ile?

Poptart27 Sat 23-Jul-16 03:30:51

25th-75th percentile is average. So 84th is above average. The WIAT-II is a comprehensive academic achievement test. It's rated highly reliable and valid. I would be surprised if an Ed Psych relied on just one test though. There are thousands out there, I would want one more that measures reading to ensure the WIAT hasn't over or under estimated his skill. A 25 point variance is large; tests should score closely if measuring the same thing.

The client I had at St. Paul's www probably above average in Math, and Spelling but definitely not in reading comprehension or writing. I don't know what his exact scores were, I just know he passed the entrance interview and exam (Year 3).

AnotherNewt Sat 23-Jul-16 06:36:19

Reading age tests are a bit iffy, and frequently (close to invariably) give a result years ahead of actual age.

Being in the top 20% by Ed Psych tests puts our DC in the range for selective independent schools, but probably not the most selective (which state they are looking for the top 5% and which in London for a boy means KCS Wimbledon, Westminster and St Paul's).

But, and a big but, it also depends on how well your DC is schooled. A diligent hardworking pupil may well perform significantly better in entrance exams than the scatty/quirky (though some schools are really interested in the latter, though if they do not pass exams they won't be found)

Pythonesque Sat 23-Jul-16 10:32:30

I think it sounds reasonable that the spread of reading abilities in the, say, 5-8 yr old age group is very very wide, with the bottom end working on basic decoding skills and the top end reading long novels with great comprehension. It's also the case that reading ability alone is only one of several skills making up overall academic ability.

Longlost10 Sun 24-Jul-16 04:55:38

There is a huge spread of reading ages, that is why, roughly 15% of DC will be 3.6 years (or more) above. Above average, but not unusual. Stop worrying about comparing your DC to others, just be glad and encouraging that they are doing well

FanDabbyFloozy Mon 25-Jul-16 09:06:53

I have heard that for selective schools ("normal" grammars, exam based independents), your DC should be 120+ but for the London super-selectives state schools like QE, Henrietta Barnett or Tiffins and the more selective independents like St Paul's, it is closer to 130-135+.

However your son is so little. I'd just sit back and watch him develop for a few years before looking into this too much.

Djhuti Mon 25-Jul-16 09:42:14

Our school would say that if you're 115-120 they could get you into a good selective (we only have super selective here) but there's a lot of prep done for the entrance exams and interviews. Anything above 110 they'd say you had a chance. My eldest is around 138-140 (tested each year), and we were told they'd have the choice of any school they wanted.
They're very big on ensuring parents look at reasonable expectations, and get you to look at one you want, a second/backup choice, a complete failure choice, and a wildly ambitious goal.
We aren't in London though.

Djhuti Mon 25-Jul-16 09:43:30

I would say though that a score of 114 at 7 can be increased.

Essexmum69 Mon 25-Jul-16 19:29:55

No idea re reading age at 7 as not tested at our school but looking at the new ks2 sats results compared to superselective grammar entry then the two DC at the school that achieved superselective entry had max marks in the reading paper (120) with 115 being 1 standard deviation. I dont know what percentage of the national cohort achieved 120 ?5% but I think you would be aiming for above 1SD.

trinity0097 Thu 28-Jul-16 19:03:18

Could it be that comprehension is included in the scaled score?

christmaswreaths Fri 29-Jul-16 21:16:36

I was told that reading age tests were unreliable. My son scored 14 age at 7 and then 12 at 8. My dd1 always scored about a year ahead. Both at selective schools, so go figure!!

bojorojo Sat 30-Jul-16 23:25:19

If you are talking of 121, do you mean the Bucks 11 plus test? Reading is not the only measure of ability but it will help in that a good Vocabulary is often linked to reading age. However this is not necessarily the vocabulary requirements of the 11 plus tests which are broader and are not just reading tests.

Of course, other elements such as maths, speed of comprehension, familiarity with the exam papers and understanding the questions, non verbal reasoning and some verbal reasoning skills are not necessarily linked to reading age. Reading age tests are rather inaccurate methods of assessing ability for grammar school when so much more is taken into account. Therefore trying to work out whether a child will get 121 with a good reading age is a bit narrow.

My DD was about 3 years ahead on reading age and got 140.

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