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Bucks test provider agrees 'solution to errors' on an 11-plus paper

A grammar school entry test provider has ‘agreed a solution to the errors’ on an 11-plus exam paper.

GL Assessment and The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools (TBGS), which include Sir William Borlase’s in Marlow and Burnham Grammar School, were forced to apologise last month after two questions and a practice question on the verbal skills paper, taken by pupils on Thursday, September 12, ‘could not be answered correctly’.

A letter from GL Assessment, sent to parents and published on the TBGS website, states that the answer to one question ‘could be found on the answer sheet’, but ‘three of the other options didn’t match the options on the question paper’.

The answer to another question ‘could not be found on the answer sheet’, while a practice question in the English section ‘could’ be answered, but one of the five responses on the answer sheet did not match the answers on the paper.

In a joint statement, GL Assessment and The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools (TBGS), said: “We can confirm that GL Assessment and The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools have agreed a solution to the errors contained in the secondary transfer test.

“The solution, which has been independently approved by an external statistician, involves awarding all children a mark for each of the two erroneous questions, thereby ensuring no advantage or disadvantage for those two questions, and discounting the last six questions of the section in which the errors occurred, so that no individual child is penalised for not being able to complete the test.

“Our analysis, which included a comparison with last year’s paper, showed that the errors caused minimal statistical impact on the results overall, particularly on the ability of children to complete the test.

“However, as children may have been given different instructions when sitting the test, it was thought fairest for all pupils if the last six questions were discounted.

“All parents and carers have been informed of the outcome of our investigation and assured that both TBGS and GL Assessment have complete confidence in the test results, which will be sent to them as planned on 18 October.”

The full letter can be found at www.thebucksgrammarschools.org/news

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