Selective Test Content and scoring

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This topic contains 41 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  8th grade dad 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #586 Reply

    Slo Vranjes

    Does anyone know each section of the Selective Enrollment exam is worth an equal amount of points or if Math is worth half and the language, reading, vocab worth half or is each part worth a quarter of the 300 points?

  • #626 Reply


    CPS doesn’t seem to disclose that info, but if you search the topic of SEHS Tie Breaker on this site, you will see:
    “To differentiate between students with the same final point score, tiebreakers are used. These include areas such as the core percentile on the entrance exam, and the individual sections of the exam. The specific order of the tiebreaker is as follows:

    Core Total
    Reading Comprehension
    Language Arts
    Utilization of this method allows us to rank students who have the same final point score.”

    This leads us to believe that they try to score all sections equally but they do weigh sections in that order in the event of a tie score.

  • #633 Reply

    Slo Vranjes

    Is the Core total the combination of grades and MAP? I checked my daughter’s admission letter from 2013 and that is how Core was determined.

    There are 40 Math, 40 Vocab, 40 Reading and 54 Written Expression questions. If all questions are given equal weight then this would mean that Math counts for 23% of the final score. This would seem odd given that the MAP results they use count Math and Language arts 50/50. I will post if I am able to determine the weights given to each section.

  • #2927 Reply


    Is there anyone out there who has a child that took both the Catholic High School Placement Test and the Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam? My son took both and when I asked him which one was harder, he said he thought the Selective Enrollment was more difficult but this is contradictory to what all of his friends say. All of his friends and other parents I have spoken to think the Catholic test is more difficult. Anyone have an opinion? We have the results of the Catholic test already and I am hoping to get a gauge on what this might compare to on the Selective Enrollment test.

    • #6032 Reply


      I think the general consensus is that the Catholic High School exam in more challenging. I am hearing that from my own children as well as from teachers who have had children take both.

      We got the exam results on the 30th – my son did significantly better on the SEHS exam than the CS exam.

      Good luck to your child!

    • #6043 Reply


      My kid said the Catholic school test was super easy. He had the top score of the exam.

  • #6008 Reply

    Confused Parent

    I would like to know how they calculate core percentage. My daughters friend scored 99 math 88 reading 74 vocabulary 72 language arts CORE 99. How is it possible for the core to be 99? My daughter scored 96 math 88 reading 94 vocabulary 92 language CORE 96. Seems like math is weighted very very heavy.

  • #6009 Reply

    Confused Parent

    To add to that her friend was awarded 300 points and she was awarded 291 knocking her out of her 1st choice.

    • #10232 Reply


      Confused Parent, I’m just wondering, what tier were you in and what was the mean and min for your child’s first choice that year? My child is taking the test in January and I’m trying to calculate how many points she has as buffer…..!

      • #10273 Reply


        There is a gadget on go.cps where you enter ur scores and it tells u an estimated amount needed for each student.

  • #6011 Reply

    2nd Time Around

    From what I remember on the CPSObsessed discussion, that core percentage calculation is consistent with previous years. They do seem to give math more weight. i think they must have a formula that combines the three language numbers with maybe a double weight for reading comp, then they take that number and combine it with math, but the math number gets 60% influence or something similar. And they may not use the percentiles to do these calculations, it might be that they yield a total number of points that then are converted into an overall percentile. It’s an opaque process, unfortunately. I’m sorry your daughter was adversely impacted by it and hope she comes to love where she landed.

  • #9113 Reply


    Does anyone have any more information for how the SEHS test is scored? Hmmmm….

  • #9141 Reply


    I have heard that the Selective HS exam contained an “experimental” non scored section in the last two years. Can anyone confirm that?  If so, is this at the end of the test?  How do kids know which section is not scored?  Seems unfair to throw an unexpected section in after hours of brain/thinking/stress during the test

    • #9184 Reply

      Affan Leebe

      Yes that is correct.

  • #9258 Reply


    How is the test scored? Is scored out of the correct questions from what you did or all the questions

    • #9266 Reply


      No one knows for sure. Past reports have indicated that the Math section is heavily weighted.

  • #9267 Reply


    can you call cps and ask them what your score on the test is.

    • #9268 Reply


      hmm… let us know if they tell you 🙂

  • #9271 Reply


    Is it ok if i didn’t do like 16 questions out of the 174. It graded out the questions you do right.

    • #9272 Reply


      I believe the test is scored on how many you answered correctly, out of the total 174 questions.

  • #9284 Reply


    I was able to get a bit of info out of CPS….apparently the Math is 50% and the ELA Language is the other 50% ( not sure exactly how that breaks down.)

    Good luck everyone! We will know soon.

    • #9288 Reply

      Stressed Student

      I don’t mean to pry, but I’m curious. Where did you get the info from?

  • #9285 Reply


    Any way to know that they have scored the entrance exam? I mean you can see your MAP test results along with your grades. But nothing to confirm that they have scored the entrance exam for the student.

    I would hate to see the school results on the 29th if they have lost (or don’t have your test score).

    Worrying too much!

    • #9286 Reply


      I believe the overall score (NWEA + 7th Grade Final Grade + Entrance Exam) is included in the result, you would be able to calculate on your own.

      15 more days to go!



    • #9290 Reply


      That’s right. You won’t know if you have entrance exam score until they post the results on the 29th. If you took the test in Oct, then you would know your score.


      Would hate to see a missing entrance exam score that day. After all, it’s still just someone handling paper.

  • #9287 Reply

    Stressed Student

    I think (I’m not sure, though) it depends on when you took the exam, I know that the students who took it on the earliest possible date, October 20th I believe, got their test scores before the applications pool closed.

  • #9289 Reply

    Stressed Student

    I don’t know if you guys have watched the Central Standard documentary made a few years back about the application process, but I came across it awhile ago and began watching it. I’m not sure if they still grade the tests the same, but for reference one student got a 90 on vocabulary, 78 in reading, 69 in math, and their core total was an 84. They ended up getting a 255/300.

  • #9300 Reply


    What is the core and is the core the percentile the child is on please tell me all the information about the percentiles and core.

  • #9303 Reply

    Billie Jean

    The core is the total score they received on the exam. As far as I’m concerned, they first grade the exam, then compare it to the others who took the exam (this is where the percentiles come in). You receive points based on your percentile. According to CPS’s grading rubric, “We determine the entrance exam points by multiplying the total national percentile rank by 3.03 to get a maximum of 300 points. You can use the table immediately to the left to determine your exam score.”

  • #9307 Reply


    My daughter took the test in Oct and we got the results early.

    Here is what it said

    Reading comprehension 97

    Vocabulary 91

    Language Arts 94

    Math 95

    Core 97

    I wasn’t sure what her total score was as I averaged the 5 out but I called CPS and they said the core (97) is her score and she would get 294 points.   The person I talked to really couldn’t explain how they got that core number except there’s a computer program they use and it gives them the number.  Sorry I don’t have any more info

    • #9308 Reply


      Also I was a little confused on how they could give her a percentage on everyone who took the test when not everyone took the test yet when she got her results.  O well

    • #9309 Reply


      Thanks for sharing and congrats on a great score. Hope she gets into her first choice.

    • #10281 Reply

      8th grade dad

      When did your child get their score when they took it in October?

    • #10282 Reply

      8th grade dad

      When did your child receive their results when they had taken their test on October?

  • #9313 Reply


    @ Dave, that’s a great score, congratulations! Did your daughter do any test prep?

    • #9315 Reply


      Yes she took a course at test prep Chicago and also had  private tutoring through them

  • #9703 Reply


    It is important to note that the exam scores are based off of percentiles. Percentiles are basically a percentage (out of 99) of how your child scored in comparison to others. Each of the four subjects are weighted the same. However, if your child scored low in math and most people scored high, your child would most likely score a lower a percentile. For the core total, it is basically the number of questions you got right for all sections compared to other students. This will give you your core percentile for all subjects. The core percentile is not the average of all your percentiles. Instead, it is just your actual score for all sections compared with other students.

  • #10052 Reply


    I am from out of state and my first child is in 8th grade this year so she will be taking the SEHS exam this fall/winter.  Do you know what subjects in math are on the exam?  For example does it include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, diffEQ, etc? Or is it similar to NWEA where it just keeps going further as you keep answering questions correctly?

    The ambiguity and secrecy surrounding these CPS tests seems totally counterproductive to me.  So hard to get concrete information from anyone within the CPS hierarchy.

    Thanks for your info.

    • #10067 Reply


      The exam measures content learned in 7th and a little of 8th grade. For the math, there are mostly pre-algebra questions. You should not worry too much about it as most students find the exam somewhat easy despite not taking any test prep courses. Overall, it’s a paper exam in which most questions revolve around content learned in 7th grade.

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