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Failed Wycombe Abbey first assessment test

(48 Posts)
Mums1376 Mon 05-Nov-18 08:47:33

All, my daughter failed her assessment with Wycombe Abbey. There were activities and a computer test. Apparently some schools do computer test too, will this result be used again or she will sit a refreshed one. She loves the school and was shattered. We have some other schools in January to try. Much appreciated if any advice on computer test or private school entrance tips for the next 2 months. She is very strong in all subjects, apparently it wasnt enough.

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1Wanda1 Mon 05-Nov-18 08:54:04

Wycombe Abbey is one of the most academic girls' schools in the country. Just because your DD has "failed" (unfortunate choice of word) the test for WA does not mean she won't get in to another fantastic selective school. Boost her confidence. Being left with a sense of having "failed" at this age is crushing. I "failed" my 11+ for a school like WA. I went to another wonderful school, got a degree from Cambridge, another degree from Oxford, and have a good career. Not getting into a school at 11+ is a disappointment, not a failure.

Michaelahpurple Mon 05-Nov-18 09:15:34

If it was the iseb pre test she can’t takr it again this year. Any other tests would be particular to the school so irrelevant elsewhere. I am sure the briefing pack would say if it was the ISEB test or their own.

WA is the most academic girls’ boarding school so not getting through (if that is conseres more acceptable a term) doesn’t carry any dire prognostication for Tibet schools. Has WA given any feedback? That might help you know if any particular area could benefit from brushing up.

There are a number of excellent girls’ options - flick through the heir brochures with her and onwards and upwards!

BubblesBuddy Mon 05-Nov-18 09:21:38

Girls from Godstowe in High Wycombe transfer there at 13. You could move her to Godstowe for another try. Assuming you were looking to go at 11 and not at Godstowe already! Children who are bright have lots of great schools to choose from and if you want boarding you will find bright children are well catered for. Sometimes being bright in a smaller pond is the best way forward!

Mums1376 Mon 05-Nov-18 10:56:50

Thanks everyone, she has Henrietta Barnett Band A after round 2 and doing well at school so this result came as a shock, we have put in our CAF for HB as first state school choice, however state school might be second favourite compare to Wycombe Abbey. We don’t know if the computer test on the day was ISEB, I am finding all the communications from the school regarding to the assessment. Some where it says the entrance exam is not until January, children passed this assessment round will then be invited a sleep over then an entrance test then interview. We prefer Indie regardless boarding or not so a lesson need to be learnt for January. Regarding to the Computer test, is there a way to prepare it. She mentions it has maths, VR and NVR. Maths and VR weren’t at all hard but NVR was. Many thanks.

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BubblesBuddy Mon 05-Nov-18 11:11:15

Try somewhere like Queenswood near Potters Bar. Just lower the bar a bit. You don’t need to be with all high performing children to be successful. If her current school only goes up to 11, you can consider a prep that does CE at 13 like Godstowe as I mentioned above. It depends what you really want.

Michaelahpurple Mon 05-Nov-18 12:14:17

Get some of the “how to do”!nvr books - bond and chip both donthrm and work through the different types of questions. Then if you wan tmore practice in these and the other 2 types of questions subscribe to BOFA 11+ online

Zodlebud Mon 05-Nov-18 13:06:04

I spent a lot of time looking at Wycombe Abbey over the last year or so for my daughter (who according to her current Prep school would be very well suited).

The first assessments consist of the computer test, group activities and an interview with a member of staff. Your daughters academics may well have been fine but if they see something that makes them think she is not suited to the full boarding experience then that could also explain their decision. WA look for a very specific type of girl - not clones by any stretch of the imagination - but self assured in her own abilities, a natural instinct for learning (not just someone who works all hours to get their results) and has a wide range of interests.

I wouldn’t say she failed, just that the school is not right for her.

Ultimately we were looking for a day place there but decided that Saturday school meant it was too intrusive on our family life. I don’t mind matches and school events at the weekend but not lessons. I also could not justify the additional cost above and beyond Queenswood (which Bubbles also mentions above). WA is supposed to be the best education money can buy but it honestly doesn’t feel that much different to the school we have chosen. Sure their grounds and facilities knock your socks off, but the underlying school and education is really not very different at all.

This is upsetting for your daughter but not the end of the world. It’s just not the path she was meant to be on.

Mums1376 Mon 05-Nov-18 14:05:20

Thank you for such kind words Zodlebuds,

We havent thought of choices as she also likes couple of other schools luckily. We carefully told her not to set heart on any school until there is choice so hopefully the afternaths wasn’t too bad. Failing especially the first round was a surprise. She is naturally a curious and love learning especially science and very self driven type so we don’t really know the reason. We could afford fee so it hasn’t been much thought about it. She passed Band A Henrietta Barnett easily so quite academic we’d have thought.

It could have been NVR too, thanks @MichaelahPurple.

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violinandpiano Mon 05-Nov-18 16:00:04

Does your DD know where she did not do very well?I can’t believe the girl who easily pass HBS couldn’t pass pre-test for WA. Is NVR your DD’s weak part? Has she prepared NVR as well?
It is better to ask your other school if they will use the same computer test. If they use the same you need regist other school ASAP.

Zodlebud Mon 05-Nov-18 16:20:04

It doesn’t sound like it’s her academics or testing that has let her down if she has done so well at HB.

It may well just be down to something simple like not interacting with others in situations where they would have expected her to, maybe looking a little lost, or not interviewing as well as she could have done. It was made very clear to me that sometimes even the very brightest girls do not get in. A big stumbling block is often the interview. You can pull back mistakes in the tests with a brilliant interview at an independent school - something you can’t in state selective schools where it’s only your grades they go on. You don’t need to be Einstein but you do need to be able to e.g. talk at length about your hobbies and interests, show an awareness of current affairs and be reasonably at ease in the interview situation (although show me an 11 year old who wouldn’t find that scary!!)

You may never know but rest assured if your daughter remains true to herself then she will end up in the place that’s right for her.

Lewknor Mon 05-Nov-18 16:30:28

Don't feel bad - it wasn't the right place for her. Do not look on it as failure, there are many other great schools - best of luck to you both

propatria Mon 05-Nov-18 16:34:49

WA is in many ways the female Eton,intelligence isnt enough to get you in,all the girls trying to get in will be intelligent,you have to offer something more.

EalingBroadway Mon 05-Nov-18 17:15:45

Call the school and ask specifically where she was placed in the cognitive assessment - they will tell you if top/middle/bottom approximately, or did. They do give some feedback. May help to inform decisions as you move forward and point to reason not through the first round.

I think the school is getting more popular, I have heard of a few surprising results in the last couple of years or so. Also it may operate a bit of an unofficial sibling policy from what I observe, but I don't know that for a fact. They waitlist after CE too.

Lewknor Mon 05-Nov-18 17:41:36

I also know at least one child who got into WA who turned it down because of their general attitude (I cannot comment as have boys)

BubblesBuddy Mon 05-Nov-18 18:42:45

Siblings of bright girls tend to be bright as well. Plenty from Godstowe who have gone there have been siblings.

They definitely look for personality as well as academics. Also confidence about boarding. We never chased the most academic schools. There are plenty of other schools where DDs can do well!

Mums1376 Mon 05-Nov-18 19:11:08

Extremely high marks in computer test and science and debate, failed in interview and team-work were the feed back. Yes, she is a quirky/unusual girl.

Well, I cant change her so lets hope some other schools will want her.

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TeenTimesTwo Mon 05-Nov-18 19:27:21

If they don't think she is right for WA based in i/v and team working assessment then it wasn't the right school for her.
imo Being at the wrong school is 10x (100x?) worse if the school is a boarding school.
(ex WA smile)

sendsummer Mon 05-Nov-18 21:30:39

Mums1376 I think she will be much happier and rounded in the future if you find a school that builds her confidence in social interactions as well as the academics. This WA decision will be a blessing for her. Boarding is extremely hard, especially at a relative young age, for DCs who struggle to feel at ease in groups and don’t enjoy sociability. An academic day independent school with lots of encouragement for engagement in extracurricular activities would be great for her. Alternatively a couple of years in the more nurturing environment of a prep school like Godstowe with flexi-boarding that she can ease into.

Chewy5014 Mon 05-Nov-18 23:05:11

I've heard their 'pass' mark for pre-test is around 60%, which isn't that high. But, like Zodlebud says, they are very clear on what they are after. Your DD is very able and bright, simply Wycome Abbey isn't the right school for her.
Is your DD attending a state school perhaps, OP? A prep school can tell you which schools would suit your DD best based on all sort of aspects, not just on academic ability, and wouldn't advise you to apply for a school which isn't right for your DD because she won't thrive at a wrong school. It might be hard to get these advice if your DD attends a state school but I hope your DD will end up at a school where she is happy and shines at.

VivianSmith Sun 11-Nov-18 12:10:39

Mums while I agree with everyone, ti’s not a failure for your DD as much as WA deciding it’s not the right fit, I totally get it hurts, particularly since you don’t put your kid in for WA unless you think they would be able to cope. DD was rejected last week too which I found gutting and she found ‘deflating’ (esp since all her peers from current school did get in) and I found the feedback fascinating - she had the opposite issue to your DD and tanked the computer tests, while doing very well on all the interpersonal and in person assessments (like the debates and science etc.). The feedback said she clearly had something go wrong with her computer test assessment as they could see it was not indicative of her ability, but still, they have enough girls who did brilliantly on both areas that they don’t need to consider more spiky performance.

So she’ll go somewhere else, and in the meantime we are going to look into why computer tests seem to be a problem for her as she also, now we look at it, has had very variable performance on the CAT tests she’s done (137 in one area, 103 in another which is an unusual profile, and the same area showing up very differently 2 years in a row (127 on quants one year, 110 the next)).

Best of luck to your DD, sounds like she will have some brilliant options.

Mums1376 Sun 11-Nov-18 13:56:12

@VivianSmith We originally thought it was computer test too because she never had it before and found NVR hard till the feedbacks said her marks were the top but she just didnt show any interest to the school. She couldnt say why she wants boarding and no knowledge about the school, she wasnt at all enthusiastic about the school and she wasnt engaged in team playing.

Well, we visited the school but did not do any research with her about any school because we thought we save it till last. I dont think she hates the school at all. Lessons to learn in the up coming assessments. We have already got over it the last few days. Good luck to the upcomings.

Thanks @sendsummer and everyone for your kind words. My husband is although secretly celebrating as he hates to see her boarding, he has always been against it.

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NotMusicAgain Sun 11-Nov-18 15:40:52

That's good that you have already got over it and see the positive side of it saying it was a good lesson and you were celebrating that your daughter wouldn't be away.

But I found your posts a bit weird.

You stated your daughter 'loves the school and was shattered' in the first post and now says that she didn't know much about the school and couldn't show any interest. It sounds to me it's not only because of her lack of enthusiasm that cost the fail but there must be something the school found her so strongly unfit - they didn't let her go through the first round despite of her top marks in the computer test. As PP said they only need 60% to pass. Independent schools like WA want girls beyond just being able to score high in exams.

On the other hand she would probably do very well for state super selective where the entrance exam marks matter more than anything. Or, if private education is preferable, I am sure you and your daughter can find a great independent school where she thrives and flourishes. There are lots of great schools if your focus isn't only the name values and reputations. I think it's the case of whether you can find a school best fit to your daughter as her academic side seems to be sorted.

KingfordRun Sun 11-Nov-18 19:11:14

True it’s becoming super popular, hence harder to get in. Our DD passed pre test with flying colours in all respects but averaged about 70 per cent in CE plus & failed to get in a year or so ago. She came from a state primary & English paper weakest, comparatively. We didn’t drill CE enough looking back, especially comprehension. WA acknowledged real promise shown in some papers but they drew a line in sand and didn’t need to make any exception. We could have pushed it as DD a comfortable level 6 SATs etc all round but we had another favourite.

It is no wonder the girls do do well in public exams at WA given intake & I think they are possibly even more particular now given growing popularity.

As an aside, I am wildly impressed re: value add at St Mary’s Ascot - less academic requirement re: entrance & the exam results are amazing given mixed ability intake. Friends speak very highly.

Mums1376 Sun 11-Nov-18 21:37:07

We had 11/30 for interview and was told among the lowest failed score and team building was 1/4. I dont want to it too much as she could appear very quirky person when first met and that could explain why. We were ignorant not researching about the assessment incuding potential interviews and other bits was another reason.

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