Extra time in exams(16 Posts)
My daughter is sitting the entrance exams for the schools in January. I have a report from an educational psychologist stating that she should be given 25% extra time in the exams. I am really nervous to present this report and request extra time as I am concerned it will be held against my daughter when the offers are given out even if she does well in the exam. I know the schools say it would not be held against a child but does anyone have any inside knowledge of whether schools do hold this against a child or not?
I don't have inside knowledge from an admissions office, but we went through the process of entrance exams last year with DS. I mentioned the dyslexia to the schools as I wanted them to be okay with it, and they all said they were okay with it and each of them asked for a copy of the assessment report.
One school did not give him extra time for the tests but I assume they factored it in somehow because he got offered a place.
Is it dyslexia for your daughter? Does she want the extra time if available? Does the report say positive things about her that you Want them to see?
As I said, I don't really know how they use these things. Personally I wanted to have everything visible because I thought it would help, and if it wouldn't help then maybe that wasn't the right school.
Thanks, it's reassuring that your son was offered a place even though you gave the school the report. Was it a selective school? My daughter is not dyslexic but has visual processing difficulties. However she scored very high in the tests and the examiner has written in the report that she would do well in an academic secondary school, so hopefully it won't put the schools off too much!
Selective school. It doesn't put us off. Why would it? Access arrangements are there to ensure we get the right students. Many of our students have extra time for a variety of reasons.
I find it more frustrating if these things are kept quiet as it prevents us accessing the necessary support to help students meet their potential.
Great to hear. I asked both my other daughters who go to very selective senior schools if anyone gets extra time in exams. One told me that no one in her year has extra time in her school exams and the other told me that only one person has the extra time in her year but that pupil came up from the Junior school. This made me a little nervous. You have reassured me though.
I work in a selective indie - we give extra time in entrance exams if there is a report from a suitably qualified professional and support/extra time continues throughout the child's time at the school. It is not held against the child when offering a place. Not all schools provide ongoing support so you might want to consider this when making a decision and factor that in with your DD's particular difficulties along with her motivation and resilience. My DD is severely dyslexic but coped and did well without much support at the selective indie she attended but others with similar difficulties did flounder.
You are normally asked to submit the reports with the application. If any school refuses I'd take that as indicative of their attitude to Sen and rule it out. Ds had extra time at 13+ and used a laptop - he received a scholarship.
You don't say whether state or private?
DD has very slow processing speeds. Her writing skills were pretty poor when she was 10, and though she was good at maths/science this ability did not really show through till she was about 15 when some of the hard working non-mathematicians started to struggle. Her Prep school head was pretty down about her chances, but we wanted to go to the same sort of school as the academic purposeful girls who seemed to form her natural friendship group.
What we did was:
1. Not request extra time, as she did not need it for maths and would not have known what to do with it in English. Instead we wrote a letter saying that the entrance tests were likely to show a wide gap, and that if offered a place we would work hard with the school to bring up her English skills before she started Yr 7, including having her tested and some targetted support. nter alia this gives you a useful insight into their willingness to work with SEN.
2. We focussed on co-eds, because we reckoned that though lots of girls wrote beautifully at this stage, plenty of able boys were still getting their writing skills in place. I think this helped, as at her secondary, top maths/science sets were very boy dominated, and so it probably suited them to have a girl who would join them.
A teacher friend suggested I think about where I expected her to go to University. Did I think she was a possible Oxbridge candidate. The most competitive schools would be selecting candidates who were good at everything, but the next tier down would be happy to look at one-sided applicants as long as their core English/maths skills were not so bad that it would slow down general academic progress.
She has just left school, went to a very selective sixth form and is sitting on a deferred medical school place. So some advice:
a) look at her friendship group and where they are headed. To a large extent kids chose friends with similar academic potential.
b) keep a close eye on core skills, and provide support if needed. Poor reading/writing or numacy will affect other subjects adversly which will really hurt an otherwise bright child. At A level DD found biology hardest, not because of lack of knowledge or understanding but because it involved essays. The earlier support meant she got the grades she required, and thus has opened up doors.
c) Find out how your child learns/revises. Up to Yr 10 DD was pretty hopeless at revising from a book/notes, but learned quickly when tested orally. It was important for her to really listen in class, and keep her school attendence perfect, and then to make a friend who took good notes which she could copy.
If they discriminate against her because she would benefit from extra time- then it is not the right school for her.
Afaik, with the computerised 11+ tests from the Durham CEM centre it's not possible to factor in extra time.
Otherwise, with paper based tests it should be doable, but could lead to shorter breaks or a longer day.
How many exams will daughter be entered for?
3 exams - the 2 consortium papers and one other
It won't be first past the post in these exams as private schools will be looking for potential and so will factor in a whole range of things to try to even up the different educational backgrounds of students.
One advantage of sharing the ed psych report with schools is that it will describe strengths as well as weaknesses, so will give them a far better and more rounded picture than a single Durham CEM test.
I am an invigilator at a super selective school (94% A*/A at GCSE) and there are a fair few who have extra time and a good number who had Oxbridge offers at A level.
It definitely won't be held against them.
Give them the report to even the playing field for her! That is the whole point of the extra time.
OP - what's a consortium paper? does this mean she'll be doing identical papers at two of the schools for which she is being entered?
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