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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

Our Musical Aptitude Tests do not require a child to have any knowledge of music theory, have received formal music training or have accomplished a certain grade level. Please do not send in any supporting material/certificates of aptitude/ability as we are unable to take these into consideration.

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. Registration takes place when children are in Year 5 and is open between mid-May and mid-June. We are unable to consider any registration requests after the closing date for registration. The test takes place in early September when children are starting Year 6.

Letters with exact timings and further details will be sent out before the end of the summer term. 

There are no practice samples available for our music test.

Further Information about the Test of Musical Aptitude:

This is a written test, taken with other children, and is approximately 30 minutes in duration. The test is based entirely on aural responses.

There are 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 (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.

Parents of children who have special educational or medical needs, which may require the School to make particular provision for the tests must provide written evidence of the child’s  normal way of working from their current school Headteacher.  This evidence must be sent by the deadline date as advised on the Test Registration Form.  Parents will be informed in advance of the test date of any appropriate special arrangements that will be made for their child. Every effort will be made to ensure that the tests are accessible and fair to all children.

Children that are medically unfit on the test day (a medical certificate will be required) or have religious reasons for being unable to attend (proof will be required)  will be offered one further date to attend.

Notification must be within 24 hours of the tests taking place.

A child may only take the Entrance Tests for admission to Year 7 once.

Letters with results of the first Musical Aptitude test will be sent by post within two weeks of the tests taking place.  Children achieving less than 47 are not invited to progress beyond this stage.  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 these second Musical Aptitude test (which will include a ranking) will be sent by letter before the end of October and may be helpful to parent’s in 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

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 – provided by CEM

English
A 1 hour comprehension paper which includes an extended writing piece – written internally

Mathematics
A 1 hour paper – written internally

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. Registration takes place when children are in Year 5 and is open between mid-May and mid-June.  We are unable to consider any registration requests after the closing date for registration.  Our tests take place over two days right at the beginning of September when the children are starting Year 6.  Children need to attend on both days. 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. 

Familiarisation/sample papers are available to view on the school website and additional sample papers are available to purchase.

Once the verbal reasoning papers have been marked these 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 and is carried out by the test providers.

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.

Children who achieve over 115 in the Verbal Reasoning will have their English and Maths papers marked and places will be offered in rank order.

Parents of children who have special educational or medical needs, which may require the School to make particular provision for the tests must provide written evidence of the child’s normal way of working from their current school Headteacher.  This evidence must be sent by the deadline date as advised on the Test Registration Form.  Parents will be informed in advance of the test date of any appropriate special arrangements that will be made for their child. Every effort will be made to ensure that the tests are accessible and fair to all children.

Children that are medically unfit on the test day (a medical certificate will be required) or have religious reasons for being unable to attend (proof will be required)  will be offered one further date to attend. Notification must be within 24 hours of the tests taking place.

A child may only take the Entrance Tests for admission to Year 7 once.

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.