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  • View Poll Results: Do you support the existence of Grammar schools?
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    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Yet, you couldn't find any obvious holes in my theoretical situation?.
    I could probe you and make you justify every minute advantage you claimed each of your approaches to the type would confer. However, I choose not to since this would be a pointless and boring exercise. I believe that in making more general points I can still prove my view to be the better one.


    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    It would be interesting to see the percentage of current grammar school students who were coached going into the 11 plus..
    Indeed, it would. How much free time do you have?

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Yes, but my point is that with a diagram the complexity of the mental operation is somewhat reduced. After you've pictured where one ship is you don't need to remember it - you've got it down on the page. By breaking it down into steps, you've got something which is easier to solve than it would be if you tried to cram the whole image into your brain..
    I admit that the diagram slightly reduces the need for thought. However, wihout any statistics as to how many students without coaching answered correctly and many with did, it is difficult to comment further. This is so because it might be that this question is one of the easier types, answerable by even the dimmest applicant. Moreover, I noted that it is usally a requirement that an diagrams undertaken in the exam are handed in on rough paper. This might indicate that they are taken into account. Or, and this is speculation, some examinations might carry with them conditions proscribing diagrams; thus rendering any drawing technique useless.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Neither, as both can get you through the exams. There will always be people who can fly fly through without doing any work, however, there will always be less able indivudals who wil be able to recieve some advantages via coaching..
    Then, consider that the eleven plus is only passed by one-quarter of the examinees. These are, for the most part, the top-flyers. This is why all your talk of coaching is somewhat redundant. If only one-quarter or all students can pass then it should be quite clear that the exam is of some great difficulty and that as an upshot of this only those who are intelligent do in fact pass.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    I see your position is somewhat flawed though, as you seem to be arguing that, if a tutor identifies a weakness months beofre the exam, and the student and tutor work very hard specifically on that weakness, it will be impossible for that student to improve. This isn't true in any other area of life, and its not true here..
    It will not be impossible; however, any benefits accrued by the tutee will be insubstantial. Furthermore, any student could practice, on their accord vocabulary, say, therefore any argument that this kind of practice is unfair since only the middle-class students are capable of exercising it is incorrect.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Judging from the local grammar and personal experience, too many. .
    Could you elaborate?

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    yes they bloody well are! not that i'd call myself an exam expert, or anything (hides degree certificate, 1st class honours, behind back), but its often just important as knowing how to do the answers. Especially if things don't start as planned. Self-enforced mocks are not quite the same as being in a real exam hall surrounded by others, and you are still seriously underplaying the benefits of one-to-one tuition.
    They are not. Take the dim pupil (or, indeed, relatively bright) who has had months of extensive tutoring (he is middle-class) from none other than the great advocater of coaching and, not to mention, accomplished academic (congrats by the way) 'Andronicus Comnenus'. His rivals are, principally, poor, or rich, but more importantly able. Andronicus teaches him every trick in the book. From drawing neat diagrams to eating bananas before bed.

    The day of the test comes, tell me, taking into account especially that the test is one of aptitude; it is very difficult; it consists of a whole range of questions - the very vast majority of which are impervious to coaching, who, then, will be most likely to succeed?
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    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Divising a fair system is the problem though. Personally, i think the whole idea of dividing people at 11 is rediculous. If done by choice, its far to early for most people to know what route they want to go down, if one by ability 11 simply is too early to tell.
    It is not ridiculous in the slightest. The aim is, to determine who, at the time the test is taken, would be most suited to a Grammar school education. Not everyone may be suited to it, but some certainly are.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Especially since its possible for individuals to create false results via coaching.
    :eek:
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    Can gifted performance be learned?
    "Studies of successful people brought Howe (1990) to the conclusion that "in the right circumstances almost anyone can" ... acquire exceptional skills (p.62). He argues that self-direction, self-confidence, a sense of commitment and persistence can effectively produce gifted performance. Indeed, without a cello, tuition and a family to back him Yo Yo Ma could not have become a great cellist, whatever his talent; but then, if one were to give other children the same provision, would they also turn out to be virtuosi?
    Attempts to teach gifts have been carried out in American laboratory studies which for some years have been analysing the specific skills of expertise (Ericsson & Lehman, 1996). However, even in those strictly controlled conditions the trainees differed in the level of expertise they could reach, and the researchers found (as have many others) that motivation and practice (as any teacher knows) make a vast difference to results. "

    Taken from Educating the Very Able - Ofsted reviews of research.

    I seem to remember reading in a book by Prof. Hans Eynseck, that with much practice, IQ can be raised by quite a few percentage points. This would suggest that in 'norm referencing' where the performance of the cohort is compared and the ranking based on that performance, regardless of a knowledge-based criterion - a child who has had the opportunity of extensive coaching, familiarisation and practice of 11+ sample papers can achieve a higher results than a child who, although having a higher IQ does not achieve a high enough result because of the lack of intensive coaching, familiarisation and practice of 11+ sample papers.
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    Children in Kent who fail the 11+ get the opportunity to produce their Key stage 2 SAT's results and if they can achieve a level 5 in any one of the three tests they can get a place at a grammar school on appeal!

    What does this tell us? That there is little correlation between the 11+ examination and the Key Stage 2 tests!
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Can gifted performance be learned?
    "Studies of successful people brought Howe (1990) to the conclusion that "in the right circumstances almost anyone can" ... acquire exceptional skills (p.62). He argues that self-direction, self-confidence, a sense of commitment and persistence can effectively produce gifted performance. Indeed, without a cello, tuition and a family to back him Yo Yo Ma could not have become a great cellist, whatever his talent; but then, if one were to give other children the same provision, would they also turn out to be virtuosi?
    Attempts to teach gifts have been carried out in American laboratory studies which for some years have been analysing the specific skills of expertise (Ericsson & Lehman, 1996). However, even in those strictly controlled conditions the trainees differed in the level of expertise they could reach, and the researchers found (as have many others) that motivation and practice (as any teacher knows) make a vast difference to results. "

    Taken from Educating the Very Able - Ofsted reviews of research..
    That is not relevant.

    (Original post by yawn)
    I seem to remember reading in a book by Prof. Hans Eynseck, that with much practice, IQ can be raised by quite a few percentage points..
    This does not reflect the consensus on this point.

    I will find you evidence to the contrary, if you wish. In due time, of course.

    (Original post by yawn)
    This would suggest that in 'norm referencing' where the performance of the cohort is compared and the ranking based on that performance, regardless of aknowledge-based criterion - a child who has had the opportunity of extensive coaching, familiarisation and practice of 11+ sample papers can achieve a higher results than a child who, although having a higher IQ does not achieve a high enough result because of the lack of intensive coaching, familiarisation and practice of 11+ sample papers.
    Explain how. By that I mean, how did you come to the conclusion that the more able child would score lower than the coached one?

    Intelligence is more important than coaching. Therefore, the intelligent student will consistently out perform the coachee, regardless of how much coaching he receives.
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    (Original post by poltroon)
    I could probe you and make you justify every minute advantage you claimed each of your approaches to the type would confer. However, I choose not to since this would be a pointless and boring exercise. I believe that in making more general points I can still prove my view to be the better one.
    But the problem it needs to be solved by paritculars. As i believe that, looking at each question, it can be shown there are ways of drastically reducing the mental workload needed for each question. Especially since the range of questions is actually quite limited.



    Indeed, it would. How much free time do you have?
    Not enough for that!

    I admit that the diagram slightly reduces the need for thought. However, wihout any statistics as to how many students without coaching answered correctly and many with did, it is difficult to comment further. This is so because it might be that this question is one of the easier types, answerable by even the dimmest applicant. Moreover, I noted that it is usally a requirement that an diagrams undertaken in the exam are handed in on rough paper. This might indicate that they are taken into account. Or, and this is speculation, some examinations might carry with them conditions that proscribing diagrams; thus rendering any drawing technique useless.
    Yes, normally, any rough work is handed in and sometimes considered (so, sometimes, you can recieve half marks etc even if the answer was wrong). The problem for exam boards, however, is that they cant tell if te kid made the drawing with their own initative or if they were told to. Taken on face value, constructing a visual aid could be interpreted as a sign of intelligence. I've yet to see an exam where you are marked down for shoing showing rough work.


    Then, consider that the eleven plus is only passed by one-quarter of the examinees. These are, for the most part, the top-flyers. This is why all your talk of coaching is somewhat redundant. If only one-quarter or all students can pass then it should be quite clear that the exam is of some great difficulty and that as an upshot of this only those who are intelligent do in fact pass.
    That argument only works if these top-flyers haven't been coached...

    It will not be impossible; however, any benefits accrued by the tutee will be insubstantial. Furthermore, any student could practice, on their accord vocabulary, say, therefore any argument that this kind of practice is unfair since only the middle-class students are capable of exercising it is incorrect.
    They could, and if they identify their own weaknesses and devise their own ways around them they are surely deserving of a place, but its a lot easier for the student who has a paid professional identify their weaknesses, and divises a solution for them. This benefits any student who can afford such a service.

    Could you elaborate?
    Not to name names, but two students both go to a supplementry education center. In the first mock 11+, the second student shows more inate ability than the first. This second student subsequently drops out of supplementry education, deciding that Sonic the Hedgehog and mountainbiking are a more fun way of spending a Sunday morning. When it comes to the real thing, student one passes and goes to the grammar, student two goes to the local comprehensive.

    However, in the long run, Student 2 does a lot better off. Student one gets reasonable GCSE results, but not nearly as good as Student 2's. While Student 1 continued to work pretty hard, Student 2 also gets better A level results. While student 1 ends up in a ****ty office job that they hate, Student 2 goes on to get a first class degree, and is on the virge of doing pretty well in their masters too.

    Who was really more academically deserving? Student 1 or Student 2? (Student 1 is NOT a delinquant by any stretcxh of the imagination. They aren't lazy either. At the end of the day, either the 11+ screwed up, or the Grammar school did).
    They are not. Take the dim pupil (or, indeed, relatively bright) who has had months of extensive tutoring (he is middle-class) from none other than the great advocater of coaching and, not to mention, accomplished academic (congrats by the way) 'Andronicus Comnenus'. His rivals are, principally, poor, or rich, but more importantly able. Andronicus teaches him every trick in the book. From drawing neat diagrams to eating bananas before bed.

    The day of the test comes, tell me, taking into account especially that the test is one of aptitude; it is very difficult; it consists of a whole range of questions - the very vast majority of which are impervious to coaching, who, then, will be most likely to succeed?
    Well, the dim pupil of course! aside from my fantastic teaching methods, he'd also be safe in the knowledge that any failiure would be met with his imminent execution (ha! i didn't pick this moniker for nothing!). Seriously though, obviously, he'd fail if most questions were 'impervious' to coaching. If however, like real life, they weren't he'd have a good chance of success. If, for example, he was incredibly quick at logic and english based problems, but had problems with the numerical side of things, im sure the weeks of practice we'd put in before hand would pay off. Especially because he'd know to leave all the numerical stuff till last, giving him plenty of time to go through the rest of the paper in a calm, organised manner.
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    (Original post by poltroon)
    That is not relevant.
    How is it not relevant?



    (Original post by poltroon)
    This does not reflect the consensus on this point.
    I would have thought that Hans Eynseck's research was as valid, or more so than most others pschologists.

    (Original post by poltroon)
    I will find you evidence to the contrary, if you wish. In due time, of course.
    How soon is "in due time" and why "of course"? Will you produce the contrary evidence within one hour, two hours, by the end of the night or by the end of the month?



    (Original post by poltroon)
    Explain how. By that I mean, how did you come to the conclusion that the more able child would score lower than the coached one?
    Since we have already reached concensus that intelligence is not always apparent at the magic age of 11 and that intensive coaching can increase the results of the test - as evidenced by my quotes from very reputable sources, even though you choose to say they are irrelevant because they disagree with you - we can deduce from that , that a child who is inherently brighter and has the potential to be much brighter than the one who is 'borderline' yet very well prepared, might produce a lower IQ rating, since much of the material contained in 11+ papers can be 'learnt'

    (Original post by poltroon)
    Intelligence is more important than coaching. Therefore, the intelligent student will consistently out perform the coachee, regardless of how much coaching he receives.
    An absolutely unfounded statement, imo! I await your evidence for making it.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Since we have already reached concensus that intelligence is not always apparent at the magic age of 11..

    Has that concensus been reached? Intelligence by definition is fairly inherent, and therefore is surely as apparent at 11 as any age? That's not to say that someone deemed less intelligent by a test like the 11+ couldn't work hard and gain good grades. If you choose to leave it later to divide people up, you may keep them longer in an educational system that is not suited to their needs.

    To use a personal example, I went to a middle school (though only to age 11 as they were phasing middle schools out at the time), which had amazing facilities - computer rooms, tech labs, drama studio, and excellent teachers. However, I left there without some basic knowledge, times tables for example. As one of the 'more intelligent' pupils, it was always assumed that I would know things like that, and teacher time was spent helping less able kids. And this was in a school where there were maths and english sets. At least when I went to grammar school, I was put into an environment where there was no splitting of the teachers time between groups of differently-abled pupils, and I was never left just to get on with learning, as at the middle school.

    I agree with the point about it being hard to devise a fair system. I would suggest having 3 groups rather than 2 though - two academic groups, one with a teaching approach to suit the more 'intelligent' and one to suit those who want to do academic (or some academic) subjects but would get left behind in the 1st group, and a technical group, for students that would be more suited to more creative areas, apprenticeships etc.
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    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    But the problem it needs to be solved by paritculars. As i believe that, looking at each question, it can be shown there are ways of drastically reducing the mental workload needed for each question. Especially since the range of questions is actually quite limited..

    If methods can help at all, they are only applicable to a very small range of questions. Furthermore, it is only a method i.e. a means to an end - the answer, rather than the answer itself. In addition, it may be that the questions which methodology purportedly renders easier are, in fact themselves, the easier questions anyway. Therefore we would expect every student to score these marks regardless of ability or coaching.





    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Yes, normally, any rough work is handed in and sometimes considered (so, sometimes, you can recieve half marks etc even if the answer was wrong). The problem for exam boards, however, is that they cant tell if te kid made the drawing with their own initative or if they were told to. Taken on face value, constructing a visual aid could be interpreted as a sign of intelligence. I've yet to see an exam where you are marked down for shoing showing rough work..

    Then, I would propose that the kind of methods you propose, as in this case drawing, will serve to hinder rather than loosen the child's ability to score highly. An intelligetn student approaching the boat question will perfrom the manipulation of the boats required to reach the correct answer in their head; thus saving them time.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    That argument only works if these top-flyers haven't been coached....

    Here is a proposition: the top-flyers in the eleven plus will have been coached. This is an unfair and untrue propostion. It is quite simple, the brilliantly able children will, regardless of coaching here or there, perform well enough to secure a place. In fact, the very vast majority of the children who pass will have done so on merit as demonstrated by their test result. It is, quite frankly, absurd to insinuate that these children - the top one-quarter! - are there merely because of additional coaching.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    They could, and if they identify their own weaknesses and devise their own ways around them they are surely deserving of a place, but its a lot easier for the student who has a paid professional identify their weaknesses, and divises a solution for them. This benefits any student who can afford such a service..

    Hardly. There are so many resources available to the parent who wishes to 'help' her child that any additional benefits to be had are very small indeed. Any parent can see, from looking at their child's test scores, that, say, vocabulary is an area which could be improved.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Not to name names, but two students both go to a supplementry education center. In the first mock 11+, the second student shows more inate ability than the first. This second student subsequently drops out of supplementry education, deciding that Sonic the Hedgehog and mountainbiking are a more fun way of spending a Sunday morning. When it comes to the real thing, student one passes and goes to the grammar, student two goes to the local comprehensive.

    However, in the long run, Student 2 does a lot better off. Student one gets reasonable GCSE results, but not nearly as good as Student 2's. While Student 1 continued to work pretty hard, Student 2 also gets better A level results. While student 1 ends up in a ****ty office job that they hate, Student 2 goes on to get a first class degree, and is on the virge of doing pretty well in their masters too.


    Who was really more academically deserving? Student 1 or Student 2? (Student 1 is NOT a delinquant by any stretcxh of the imagination. They aren't lazy either. At the end of the day, either the 11+ screwed up, or the Grammar school did)..

    At the time the test was taken it must have appeared that Student 1 was the more suited to the academic education on offer. However, perhaps Student 2, who I will venture is you, worked much harder than him. Or, perhaps, Student 2 did not demonstrate his latent ability in the exam, like Student 1 did.

    This evidence is anecdotal and is not conclusive. It simply serves to demonstrate that regardless of institution attended one can succeed academically.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Well, the dim pupil of course! aside from my fantastic teaching methods, he'd also be safe in the knowledge that any failiure would be met with his imminent execution (ha! i didn't pick this moniker for nothing!). Seriously though, obviously, he'd fail if most questions were 'impervious' to coaching. If however, like real life, they weren't he'd have a good chance of success. If, for example, he was incredibly quick at logic and english based problems, but had problems with the numerical side of things, im sure the weeks of practice we'd put in before hand would pay off. Especially because he'd know to leave all the numerical stuff till last, giving him plenty of time to go through the rest of the paper in a calm, organised manner.
    Let me provide you with a situation which is analogous to the one which you are proposing.

    Two students are about to take an IQ test, the entrance examination for MENSA, say. One student is dim (A) and the other student (B) is bright. Without tutoring each student scores 90 and 115 respectively. Then, before the next test, student A receives coaching (including your favourite methods, for example time management, strength and weakness focus etc.)
    It is, I'm afraid, simply not possible for A to surpass B in terms of test score. The test is one of aptitude. This point you seem to be having some confusion over. This is not a French vocabularly test. It is not knowledge based. No matter the methods or techniques learnt the majority of the answers (as you yourself admitted) are only answerable by way of private mental calculation. This ensures that only the brightest students will ever score the highest marks. The coached student is attempting the impossible. One is born with a certain capacity for mental skill. Unfortunately this is fixed. No amount of coaching will cause, in an aptidude test, such a fundamental upset so that A (dim) will surpass B (able). The tests principally award intelligence. A, regrettably, lacks this crucial quality which B possesses. Therefore, owing to the fact that the majority of the marks are available not through good-timing or familiarity with the format but will rather depend mostly on the pupils' ability to answer the questions set the highest marks, in the very vast majority of cases, will go to the students most deserving of them.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    How is it not relevant?.
    It is not relevant to aptitude tests. The extent which coaching affects performance in which we are discussing.


    (Original post by yawn)
    I would have thought that Hans Eynseck's research was as valid, or more so than most others pschologists..
    His proposition does not represent what is generally accepted.

    (Original post by yawn)
    How soon is "in due time" and why "of course"? Will you produce the contrary evidence within one hour, two hours, by the end of the night or by the end of the month?.
    From the introduction to MENSA's book of IQ puzzles:

    'You level of intelligence is the same throughout your life. Many people, however, fail to reach their true potential'.

    Once one's level of inteliigence is reached it cannot be surpassed. It cannot be developed beyond the point it exists naturally in one's self.



    (Original post by yawn)
    Since we have already reached concensus that intelligence is not always apparent at the magic age of 11 and that intensive coaching can increase the results of the test - as evidenced by my quotes from very reputable sources, even though you choose to say they are irrelevant because they disagree with you - we can deduce from that , that a child who is inherently brighter and has the potential to be much brighter than the one who is 'borderline' yet very well prepared, might produce a lower IQ rating, since much of the material contained in 11+ papers can be 'learnt'.
    See 'your. angel's response to the first part of your statement. As for the rest of it, where are the reputable sources which prove that coaching can radically improve performance in aptitude tests?

    I cannot deduce from that which I have not seen.

    (Original post by yawn)
    An absolutely unfounded statement, imo! I await your evidence for making it.
    Intelligence is, in almost any examination, but especially in aptitude tests, the most important factor in gaining high marks. This is the principle on which my statement was based. Do you agree?
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    (Original post by poltroon)
    If methods can help at all, they are only applicable to a very small range of questions. Furthermore, it is only a method i.e. a means to an end - the answer, rather than the answer itself. In addition, it may be that the questions which methodology purportedly renders easier are, in fact themselves, the easier questions anyway. Therefore we would expect every student to score these marks regardless of ability or coaching.
    Thats not satrictly true. The only ones where you can't improve results are the knowledge based ones, such as the vocab-based pattern questions. If the question has to be worked out, there are methods you can teach to work it out. Yes, that doesn't give you the answer...but it makes it easier to get at the answer. Which isn't far from being the same thing.

    Then, I would propose that the kind of methods you propose, as in this case drawing, will serve to hinder rather than loosen the child's ability to score highly. An intelligetn student approaching the boat question will perfrom the manipulation of the boats required to reach the correct answer in their head; thus saving them time.
    Perhaps, but in doing so, could make a mistake and get the answer wrong - something not uncommon in a stressful situation. Especially when you're not used to working against the clock. Also, any time lost on the boat question can be regained by scribbling notes down on the simultaneous equation based questions (which are difficult, and time consuming to do all in ones head).




    Here is a proposition: the top-flyers in the eleven plus will have been coached. This is an unfair and untrue propostion. It is quite simple, the brilliantly able children will, regardless of coaching here or there, perform well enough to secure a place. In fact, the very vast majority of the children who pass will have done so on merit as demonstrated by their test result. It is, quite frankly, absurd to insinuate that these children - the top one-quarter! - are there merely because of additional coaching.
    But can you prove this is not the case?



    Hardly. There are so many resources available to the parent who wishes to 'help' her child that any additional benefits to be had are very small indeed. Any parent can see, from looking at their child's test scores, that, say, vocabulary is an area which could be improved.
    there are many resources available that will teach you how to bowl a cricket ball. However, there was a reason why the England cricket team made use of coach Troy Cooley. Yes, there are a number of resources that parents have access to (which is, by the way, a form of COACHING), but they aren't as good as the trained professionals. Which is why the trained professionals can charge money to do it! I take it the local supplementary education center has a high success rate just because it randomly happens to get a lot of the brightest students, right?


    At the time the test was taken it must have appeared that Student 1 was the more suited to the academic education on offer. However, perhaps Student 2, who I will venture is you, worked much harder than him. Or, perhaps, Student 2 did not demonstrate his latent ability in the exam, like Student 1 did.
    Student 1 is certainly a hard worker, Student 2 certainly put all their effort into the exam on the day! At the end of the day, the test failed. Although, I, erm student 2, am certainly happy about that fact (had it been the other way around i'd almost certainly be the one in the **** job. It might be a grammar, but its a terrible school).
    This evidence is anecdotal and is not conclusive. It simply serves to demonstrate that regardless of institution attended one can succeed academically.
    Not to blow ones own trumpet, but shouldn't it be impossible for someone with the academic ability to succeed at a postgraduate level to fail unless they do so deliberatley? After all, iq/academic ability is supposedly fixed, is it not?

    Let me provide you with a situation which is analogous to the one which you are proposing.
    That's true, but there is a high number of people who pass from aforementioned education center and really don't belong in a grammar. They don't damage the school's 100% record, they scrape their 5 C's, but they are hardly examples of pure academic potential.

    The test is one of aptitude. This point you seem to be having some confusion over. This is not a French vocabularly test. It is not knowledge based. No matter the methods or techniques learnt the majority of the answers (as you yourself admitted) are only answerable by way of private mental calculation.
    The tests are SUPPOSED to test aptitude, that doesn't mean they always test apritude. This is the point that you fail to grasp. Yes, in an ideal world they SHOULDN't be able to learn how the test works, and adapt themselves accordingly, but with the 11+ it is possible. There are also a number of variables in there that haven't been taken into account. Like your MENSA quote: "your level of intelligence is the same throughout your life. Many people, however, fail to reach their true potential". Consequently,even if we excpet your ideas that the 11+ ONLY tests aptitude and this aptitude is unalterable, it is quite possible to have one student whose raw potential is higher than that of another but lose out in the test because a less able other has recieved coaching that has manuevered them into a position where they are much closer to exploiting their full academic potential.
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    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Thats not satrictly true. The only ones where you can't improve results are the knowledge based ones, such as the vocab-based pattern questions. If the question has to be worked out, there are methods you can teach to work it out..
    Not in the majority of cases. Take, for example, your earlier confession that only 20% of the questions were easier if the correct method were to be applied. This is no doubt an exagerration. As I said before, however, I have not the inclination to dwell on the precise, exact details of answering the questions themselves. It serves my purposes well enough simply to say that the vast majority of questions are impervious to coachable techniques.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Yes, that doesn't give you the answer...but it makes it easier to get at the answer. Which isn't far from being the same thing.
    .
    I disagree. The extent to which a method can render a question easy is questionable. For, no matter the technique, the essence of the problem remains to be solved. Furthermore, as I stated, the questions are designed not to submit to methodology. Therefore, the better method to tackle the questions is not to use methods at all.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Perhaps, but in doing so, could make a mistake and get the answer wrong - something not uncommon in a stressful situation. Especially when you're not used to working against the clock. Also, any time lost on the boat question can be regained by scribbling notes down on the simultaneous equation based questions (which are difficult, and time consuming to do all in ones head)..
    Could make a mistake. If he is intelligent he won't. As could the student applying your method (make a mistake, that is).

    I disagree that time could be gained in that way. Who is to say that in the case of simultaneous equations both students will not adopt the same method (equations are taught at school, for example).



    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    But can you prove this is not the case?.
    By an appeal to rationality. If my poroposition is false then the brightest pupils are failing to get into Grammar even though the test is designed to operate in their favour. Therefore, the onus is on you to disprove it; for you are the side proposing the irrational state of affairs.


    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    there are many resources available that will teach you how to bowl a cricket ball. However, there was a reason why the England cricket team made use of coach Troy Cooley. Yes, there are a number of resouces that parents have access to (which is, by the way, a form of COACHING), but they aren't as good as the trained professionals. Which is why the trained professionals can charge money to do it! I take it the local supplementary education center has a high success rate just because it randomly happens to get a lot of the brightest students, right?.
    Your analogy is inappropriate. Anyone can be taught to throw a ball (an able body is the only requiste); this is not so however in the case of answering questions which require intelligence, a level of which only one-quarter of the population are of.

    As to your broader point, that a professional coach can confer benefits beyond those of, say, a a parent or a teacher in our context is incorrect. I can only repeat what I have already said. This is that the primary advantages which preparation can bestow are available to all pupils. Any further advantages to be had are incredibly minimal.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    Not to blow ones own trumpet, but shouldn't it be impossible for someone with the academic ability to succeed at a postgraduate level to fail unless they do so deliberatley? After all, iq/academic ability is supposedly fixed, is it not?.
    No, of course not. All it demonstrates is that at the time of the test there were children who, the test indicated, would be more suited to the academic environment of a Grammar than you were. This is not to sat that you would not end the more academically successful.

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    The tests are SUPPOSED to test aptitude, that doesn't mean they always test apritude. This is the point that you fail to grasp. Yes, in an ideal world they SHOULDN't be able to learn how the test works, and adapt themselves accordingly, but with the 11+ it is possible. .
    Are you suggesting that a bright student is more likely to fail than a less able student?

    Are you suggesting that the test is entirely coachable to the extent that it does not discriminate between candidates in terms of intelligence at all?

    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    There are also a number of variables in there that haven't been taken into account. Like your MENSA quote: "your level of intelligence is the same throughout your life. Many people, however, fail to reach their true potential". Consequently,even if we accept your ideas that the 11+ ONLY tests aptitude and this aptitude is unalterable, it is quite possible to have one student whose raw potential is higher than that of another but lose out in the test because a less able other has recieved coaching that has manuevered them into a position where they are much closer to exploiting their full academic potential.
    However, this would be failing to take into account that primarily the test is one with designs to evince who has this raw ability. The student who is in fact brighter will, almost always, out perform the less able student who has had coaching. Far more weight in the test is attached to mental ability than, say, time management. Furthermore, your example presupposes that one pupil has had no help at all in terms of preparation, for example taking a test paper beforehand. As I already commented, the primary benefits which can be had in preparation, that is to say the small factors which can enable one to exploit one's potential, are available to all. The rest of the benefits are inconsequential. Therefore, the intelligent, prepared student will almost always out match the less able coached one.
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    English, Maths and verbal reasoning tests do not test the inherent ability of the person taking them, since they are knowledge and culture based.

    Poltroon keeps repeating that a brighter individual will always do better in tests of ability than a less bright, albeit coached individual.

    Not true! I know the example I am going to give is somewhat of a rare occurence, but it illustrates perfectly that the above tests are 'biased' to an extent.

    You take a child that is just 'above average' ability, e.g. 65th centile. Coach them intensively, familiarise them with the question papers through practice repetition (remembering that these are 'timed' tests and speed of response as well as accuracy is required) - then take another individual who has not received regular education for whatever reason, has never seen the papers but much have practice on them, and absolutlely no coaching. This individual is on the, say, 80th centile. Can anyone seriously suggest, irreftuably, that the latter will achieve a higher grade than the former?

    No - the only true and fair way of measuring abilility is by non-verbal tests that require little prior knowledge but lots of inherent ability!
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    non-verbal tests that require little prior knowledge but lots of inherent ability!
    Like the one my grammar school requires applicants to take?
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    Like the one my grammar school requires applicants to take?
    No LEA's that have selective entry schools, require the taking of a non-verbal reasoning paper in isolation.

    They might be taken in conjunction with English, Maths and verbal reasoning but never as a 'stand-alone'.

    As such, you could have a child, exactly in the circumstances as I explained before who would pass the non-verbal test very highly but fail the other three and not pass overall.

    Likewise, a child who might pass the other three, because of intensive coaching in particular, yet fail the real measure of inherent ability, ie non-verbal test - will pass because three out of four is sufficient.

    The wrong child gets the place if we are asserting that it is only the most intelligent who will pass the test! :rolleyes:
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    I still think someone of brilliant intelligence would get in. The cream, if you will. It's better than having purely comprehensives.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    I still think someone of brilliant intelligence would get in. The cream, if you will. It's better than having purely comprehensives.
    So would you say that every single grammar school student in the country gets better GCSE results than every single 11+ reject in the country then?
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    I don't know. I'd imagine it'd be close to 100% though.
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    (Original post by Andronicus Comnenus)
    So would you say that every single grammar school student in the country gets better GCSE results than every single 11+ reject in the country then?
    No - I wouldn't and in fact I know it's not so!
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    I don't know. I'd imagine it'd be close to 100% though.
    What is close to 100% - that each student at a grammar school will get more GCSE's than those who aren't?

    All students in grammars should get 5 A*-C grades at GCSE, but they don't! In fact, considering their intake, many of these schools get a lower percentage through the benchmark than many of the comps with a comparative top quartile cohort...and this is what the researchers have commented on!
 
 
 
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