FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: – if any family is found to have falsified information on the test registration form, either home address or identity, the test score will become invalid.

EACH CHILD MAY TAKE ANY TEST ONCE ONLY

 

  1. Do I have to register for the test on each school website?
  2. What if I enter my child’s details incorrectly?
  3. If my child is out of year group, what should I do?
  4. When will I know my test centre?
  5. Where will my child sit the test?
  6. What if I forget the details of the test?
  7. Can I change the venue I have been allocated?
  8. My child is sitting the test at a school I am not applying to – does it matter at what school my child sits the test?
  9. Parents must ensure their child is available on the published test dates (please see calendar) however a session swap may be possible until Friday 14th July. Who do I contact?
  10. What should I do if my child is ill on the day of the Test?
  11. What do I do if I cannot attend the Music Audition time I have been given?
  12. What should I do if my child has a disability or needs extra time for the tests? (If your child usually receives extra time or special intervention in class then you must let us know.)
  13. How can I get hold of practice papers? Does the Consortium or any of the schools hold past papers?
  14. What tests do the children take?
  15. What equipment does my child need?
  16. Can I stay with my child or wait for my child during the test?
  17. How will I find out my child’s test results?
  18. Once the scores have been received can I have my child’s paper re-marked?
  19. Are the scores age-standardised?
  20. What mark does my child have to achieve?
  21. If I have registered my child for the test, do I still need to apply for a school place?
  22. How do I apply to any of the Consortium Schools?
  23. What are each school’s admission criteria?
  24. What if I have registered my child to sit a test in a different borough and it clashes with a consortium test?
  25. Should my primary school help my child prepare for the VR Test?
  26. Can I expect to view a result for Stage 1 of the Music Test?

FAQS

Do I have to register for the test on each school website?

No – you need to register only once for the test via the link on any of the seven consortium school websites. This is to register only to sit the Consortium Tests.
You are not making an application to any of the schools. Separate school applications MUST be made to County, and the School Information Form (SIF) returned to individual schools for secondary school admission in September 2017. Following the tests you will need to make an application (CAF) via Hertfordshire County Council, or your Local Authority if you live outside Hertfordshire, listing the schools to which you wish to apply. You are also required to complete a School Information Form (SIF) for each of the schools you apply to. These forms are generally available either at each school on its Open Day, or on the website of each school.

What if I enter my child’s details incorrectly?

You may only register your child once.

Incorrect details could be date of birth/spelling of name/inaccurate choice of tests.

It is very important that you give the full, correct name of your child and that you check spellings carefully. It is important that you use the same name on all correspondence. If a different version of your child’s name is used, this could lead to difficulty or delay in your application for a school place.

If you have made an error, please do not register for the second time. Instead, contact swhsconsortium@gmail.com with your amendment; please confirm your child’s name, date of birth and SWHerts Reference given on registration clearly indicating the changes you would like to make.

Please note your child should have a date of birth between 1st September 2006 and 31st August 2007 inclusive. If the date of birth falls outside of this range, please contact any Admission Secretary.

If my child is out of year group, what should I do?

If your child is out of year group and was born outside the correct date range, ie. for testing 2017, born outside of 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007, you must submit a paper registration. In the first instance please contact swhsconsortium@gmail.com. You must obtain a letter from the primary school to confirm the child is out of year. Please note a child can only take the consortium test once. You will be asked to sign a declaration to confirm you understand that your child can only take the test once.

When will I know my test centre?

Please see the ‘Calendar’ section of this website for all important dates.

Where will my child sit the test?

Your child will sit the test at one of the schools in the Consortium. You will be able to log on to the parent portal in July to find out where your child will sit the test. The venue of the test centre is based on geographical location and has nothing to do with school preference.

What if I forget the details of the test?

Once you register you must regularly log on to the secure web page to view the initial registration for the tests,  the allocation of the test centre for the tests you wish your child to take, and the allocation of music audition times (if your child is successful in Music Stage 1). Results of tests will be available on the site. Please see the calendar for information on timescales and deadlines. Please remember that it is your responsibility, as a parent, to log on to the secure website to view the information at the appropriate times throughout the testing process.

Can I change the venue I have been allocated?

No – the venue cannot be changed.

My child is sitting the test at a school I am not applying to – does it matter at what school my child sits the test?

No – the venue for the test is completely irrelevant to the final allocation of school places.

Parents must ensure their child is available on the published test dates (please see calendar) however a session swap may be possible until Friday 14th July. Who do I contact?

Parents must ensure their child’s availability on the published test dates (please see calendar).
However, you could contact the test venue’s Admissions Secretary immediately to see if the academic test session you have been given can be swapped, i.e. morning to afternoon, or afternoon to morning. Contact must be made by Friday 14th July. Sessions will not be swapped in September.
One further date for the academic and music test will be arranged, if required, for parents that register their children on time who miss the main testing days because they were medically unfit (a medical certificate will be required) or for specific religious observance only.
We are unable to accommodate children whose holiday commitments clash with our tests or for any other reason than those stated above.

What should I do if my child is ill on the day of the Test?

You should contact the test venue you have been allocated immediately, a medical certificate will be required. Once the evidence has been provided arrangements may be made for the student to be entered on the Reserve Day.

What do I do if I cannot attend the Music Audition time I have been given?

You should contact any Admission Secretary (except Bushey Meads) or email swhsconsortium@gmail.com immediately and arrangements may be made for the Reserve Music Audition Day.

What should I do if my child has a disability or needs extra time for the tests?

(If your child usually receives extra time or special intervention in class then you must let us know.)

If you consider that your child might be disadvantaged under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act, or has special educational needs which require the test centre to make particular provision for the tests, you must provide written evidence of this from your child’s current school Headteacher.  This evidence must be sent immediately after registering for the test.  Please send a copy with the name, date of birth of your child along with the SWH Reference given on registration  to:

BY POST to: Test Co-ordinator, South West Herts Schools Tests, PO BOX 2439, Watford, WD18 1UZ.

or

SCAN AND EMAIL the evidence to swhsconsortium@gmail.com

It is very important that you do this so the paperwork is received by Friday 16th June, at the latest.

If you are unsure of your child’s eligibility for special provision, please contact any Admission Secretary.

How can I get hold of practice papers? Does the Consortium or any of the schools hold past papers?

Familiarisation papers can be downloaded from this website. The Consortium does not send out past papers and the same applies for all the Consortium schools. Similar styles of papers can be purchased from bookshops or the internet.

What tests do the children take?

If your child is applying under the Academic Criterion then the tests are in Mathematics and Verbal Reasoning. Children applying under the Music criterion will sit the Consortium Musical Aptitude test.
In addition, a Sports Test is arranged by Queens’ School and a Technology Test is arranged by Bushey Meads School and relates to these schools only.
Mathematics: This part of the test will take 50 minutes and consists of 50 questions. Papers are prepared specifically for the Consortium and are based on the Key Stage 2 curriculum. The paper is in ‘standard’ and not ‘multiple choice’ format. Click here for specimen Mathematics questions.
Verbal Reasoning: The paper will take approximately one hour to deliver.  This will include examples for each section.  Click here for specimen Verbal Reasoning questions.
There will be a short break between the tests, when children can have a small snack.
Music Test: The test will consist of 60 questions in four sections: Pitch, Melody, Rhythm and Texture.
A limited number of applicants will be invited back to perform a single piece on their chosen instrument or vocally. This will be a free choice of piece, which should last no longer than three minutes. As there is a free choice of instrument and piece, it will give candidates of all abilities and all cultures equal opportunity to succeed. Those applicants invited back will be given an individual appointment during the school day. Please see the Calendar for further details.
Sports Test: The test is based on the Eurofit test and consists of seven events. Please see the Queens’ School website for further details (link).

Technology Test: The test will consist of two tests, one Spatial Reasoning and one Non-Verbal Reasoning. Please see Bushey Meads’ website for further details (link)

• What do I do if I want to amend/change the test(s) I want my child to take?
• If I have a query regarding any of the tests, who do I contact?
The Academic Test – the Admission Secretary of the venue you have been given
The Music Test – the Admission Secretary of the venue you have been given
The Sports Test – the Admission Secretary at Queens’
The Technology Test – the Admissions Officer at Bushey Meads

What equipment does my child need?

For all tests, please provide your child with two pencils and a rubber. Any refreshments for the break should be neatly packed and named.

Can I stay with my child or wait for my child during the test?

No. Parents must leave the test centre site once they have registered the children and return to collect them afterwards at the time given by the centre.

How will I find out my child’s test results?

The test results will be published on Monday 16th October. You will be asked to register for the tests by logging on to a parent portal using a password. The password should be memorable and secure.  Once you register you must regularly log on to the secure web page to view the initial registration for the tests,  the allocation of the test centre for the tests you wish your child to take, and the allocation of music audition times (if your child is successful in Music Stage 1). Results of tests will be available on the site. Please see the calendar for information on timescales and deadlines. Please remember that it is your responsibility, as a parent, to log on to the secure website to view the information at the appropriate times throughout the testing process.

Once the scores have been received can I have my child’s paper re-marked?

The same mark scheme is used by all the schools in the Consortium and is strictly adhered to. The papers are marked by our teachers. One teacher will mark the Mathematics paper and another the Verbal Reasoning paper. A sample of each person’s marking is then taken and re-marked by a senior teacher to ensure accuracy. Re-marks will not be entertained during the testing period.

Re-marking may be considered after 1st March. You should contact the test centre where your child sat the test to request a re-mark.

Are the scores age-standardised?

Yes. The raw scores are converted to an “age-standardised score” based on the child’s age in completed months. This takes into account that some children are very young in the year group.

For more information on age-standardisation please refer to http://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/research/assessment/eleven-plus/age-standardisation.cfm

What mark does my child have to achieve?

There is no pass mark for the academic test, places being offered in accordance with each school’s admission arrangements. Once you have received your test score on Monday 16th October, you will then be able to decide which school(s) you wish to apply to. Historical data can be found on every Consortium school’s website giving the lowest scores which gained entry into the school in the last three years.  Although these historical scores are broadly comparable with this year’s scores, they should be treated with some caution as standards do vary from year to year.

If I have registered my child for the test, do I still need to apply for a school place?

Yes: this is very important. Your child’s test score will be notified to you on Monday 16th October and you might need to enter this information, together with your test registration reference number, on the School Information Form (SIF) for a Consortium school.

How do I apply to any of the Consortium Schools?

You must complete the Common Application Form (CAF) for the Local Authority in which you live. (The borough council to which you pay your council tax.) The national deadline for applications for secondary transfer is the end October 2017. If you apply for a school place after this date, your application will be considered as a Late Application and will not be considered alongside applications made on time.

In addition you must complete the individual school’s School Information Form (SIF). This form needs to be returned to each chosen school before the application deadline. You might have to include the test reference number and score on the SIF.

What are each school’s admission criteria?

Each school’s admission criteria can be found in the school’s admission section of its website. Links have been provided on this website.
Please note that each school’s criteria are individual to that school and your child having taken the Consortium test does not mean that he or she will be eligible to apply to any of the Consortium schools. You should, therefore, read carefully through the criteria for any school to which you might be thinking of applying.

What if I have registered my child to sit a test in a different borough and it clashes with a Consortium test?

• You should try and arrange to sit on the other borough’s test reserve day.

• Contact the Consortium test centre to see if the session can be swapped i.e. morning to afternoon, or afternoon session to the morning. Contact must be made by Friday 14th July. Sessions will not be swapped in September. We do not offer an alternative reserve date for other borough test clashes.

Should my Primary school help my child prepare for the VR Test?

Unlike Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning is not part of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum which is taught by all state primary schools. The Headteachers and staff of primary schools have no obligation or reason to adapt the primary curriculum to accommodate preparation for the Consortium’s tests. Indeed they are prevented from doing so by the need to remain impartial in the secondary transfer process.

It is wrong therefore to expect primary teachers to coach children to do Verbal Reasoning tests or to devote any school time to practising them. Preparation for the Verbal Reasoning test can be done perfectly adequately at home using comparable tests that are easily obtainable: this is the parent’s responsibility not the primary schools.

The Mathematics test is based on Key Stage 2 Maths, which the children are studying in their primary schools.

Can I expect to view a result for Stage 1 of the Music Test?

Yes, all successful and unsuccessful applicants who attend Stage 1 of the music test will be able to log in to the parent portal and view their mark shortly after completion of the first music test, certainly within ten days of the music test session, and before the Music Audition week commences. Please remember that it is your responsibility, as a parent, to log on to the secure website to view the information at the appropriate times throughout the testing process.