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Exam/Music Information

For student entry in September, please refer to the information below which explain the entrance and music examination processes.

Musical Aptitude Test

Children who wish to sit the Musical Aptitude Test must live within one of our Local Priority Areas. Please refer to our Admissions Arrangements for a list of these areas. To register for the tests parents must submit the Test Registration Form (TRF) to the school during the registration period as detailed on the admissions section of the school website. Please do not send in any supporting material/certificates of aptitude/ability as we are unable to take these into consideration. Please note our Musical tests are tests of aptitude and therefore do not require a child to have received formal music training or have accomplished a certain grade level.

Each candidate applying under this criterion will be invited to attend a written musical aptitude test. A knowledge of musical theory is not required as these tests are based entirely on aural responses. Letters with allocated time slots for the tests will be sent out before the end of the summer term. Unfortunately it is not possible to change these designated times. Please inform the school if you decide to withdraw your child from these tests – admissions@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk

Further Information about the Test of Musical Aptitude:
The test is approximately 30 minutes in duration and consists of 60 questions of four types: Pitch, Melody, Texture and Rhythm.

Pitch: for these questions, candidates listen to two sounds and have to indicate whether the second sound is the same as the first, or whether it is higher or lower. Some of the pitches are less than a semitone apart ie very close together. 20 questions.

Melody: for these questions, candidates listen to two tunes consisting of five notes. Candidates have to decide whether the second tune is the same as the first or if one of the notes has been altered. If there is a change, candidates will be expected to identify which note has been altered, by giving the number of the note. 10 questions.

Texture: for these questions, candidates listen to a number of notes played together at the same time; this is called a chord. Candidates need to decide whether or not each chord has two, three or four notes.20 questions.

Rhythm: for these questions, candidates listen to two patterns of notes and have to decide whether the second pattern is the same as, or different from, the first, and where any difference occurs. Each rhythm will be four beats (or pulses) in length. 10 questions.

Letters with results of the first Musical Aptitude test will be sent out within 10 days of the tests taking place. Children achieving 47 marks or above will be invited to attend a second Musical Aptitude test. For this second test, each child is allocated a 5 minute slot to perform on their preferred instrument/s (voice included). There is a totally free choice of piece(s) and the child can perform on more than one instrument if they prefer. We can provide an accompanist if required or you may bring your own. There is also provision to play a cd backing track.

Test Results
Results of the second Musical Aptitude test will be sent by letter before the end of October and may be helpful to parents when making their child’s school application. Parents who wish to apply for a place at Dame Alice Owen’s School must include it as one of their preferences when making their child’s secondary transfer application via their home Local Authority.

Entrance Examination

Children who wish to sit the Entrance Examination must live within one of our Local Priority Areas. Please refer to our Admissions Arrangements for a list of these areas. To register for the tests parents must submit the Test Registration Form (TRF) to the school during the registration period as detailed on the admissions section of the school website. Please do not send in any supporting material of academic aptitude/ability as we are unable to take these into consideration.

Letters with exact timings and further details will be sent out before the end of the summer term. The exams take place over two days (English and Verbal Reasoning on one day and Maths on the other) and the start time will be the same on both days. Unfortunately it is not possible to change the designated times. Please inform the school if you decide to withdraw your child from these tests – admissions@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk

The Governors’ Entrance Examination consists of three separate papers. These have been designed to identify the most able candidates and children of average or below average ability are likely to find them very difficult. The tests are considered to be valid, reliable and fair. The three papers are:

Verbal Reasoning
A verbal reasoning test that takes approximately one hour to deliver and includes practice examples for each section

English
A 1 hour comprehension paper which includes an extended writing piece.

Mathematics
A 1 hour paper

There will be a short break between the Verbal Reasoning and English tests and the children are welcome to bring a small snack and a drink.

Verbal Reasoning Test age standardisation
Once the verbal reasoning papers have been marked these raw scores are age standardised which produces the final standardised score.

Standardised scores are more useful measures than raw scores in order to place childrens’ results on a readily understandable scale so that an allowance can be made for the different ages of the children. They are derived in such a way that the ages of the children are taken into account by comparing a child only with others of the same age (in years and months). An older child may in fact gain a higher raw score than a younger child, but have a lower standardised score. This is because the older child is being compared with other older children and has a lower performance relative to his/her own age group. This standardisation is based on extensive testing undertaken by the provider.

We do not mark the English and Maths papers of any child achieving less than the age standardised mark of 115* in the Verbal Reasoning as previous experience has showed us that children whose marks are below this will not secure a high enough combined score to be offered a place.
*NB The verbal reasoning test marks are analysed and this minimum mark may be adjusted as a result of this analysis.

Test Results
Results of these academic tests (which will include a breakdown of marks and a ranking) will be sent by letter before the end of October and may be helpful to parents when making their child’s school application. Parents who wish to apply for a place at Dame Alice Owen’s School must include it as one of their preferences when making their child’s secondary transfer application via their home Local Authority.

 

We would appreciate if you could refer to our comprehensive FAQs list before contacting the school with any further queries, as you may find the answer to your question here. This will enable our Admissions Officer and general office staff to deal with priority calls – thank you for your consideration.