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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:00 pm 
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Is there a 'best' way of tackling English Comprehension - what do you think ??
ie
- Read passage first before looking at questions
- Read questions before reading the passage
- Read questions first, then skim-read the passage for the answers

Any opinions anyone :?:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Well i would think to read through the passage first - but quickly. Often they are given a certain amount of reading time, before moving on to the questions.

I used to tell my dd to underline things she felt were important as she went.

Answer questions - looking back at passage if you need to. It usually tells you what pages the answer will be found on.

I also told her to pay attention to how much the question was worth so that if it was a 3 mark question it was worth a little bit of time, but if she couldnt answer a 1 point question reasonabally quickly to move on and go back at the end if she had time.

Also practice definately helps dc's to improve :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:40 am 
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Location: Redditch, Worcs
This seems to be the hardest part of the exam, in our experience, and as commented by many others.

I just flicked thru the Bond 'test' papers in WHSmiths last night, and was horrified to see the size of the passages in that book - it would take the child at least 5 minutes to read it. The ones in the Bond test papers (were doing more 4) are also tricky, and boring(!) for 10 year olds.

Any idea how long the passages will actually be , as Im going to test my dot using something from one her own books , to encourage her.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:48 pm 
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Hi Mr Benn

I have been following your postings, and I assume you are referring to the VR section of the Warks 11+. Based on previous threads, i would say the comp passages are short, and would be about 300 - 400 words.

A good site for you to use, which I have mentioned before is the Manchseter Grammar School (its an Idependent School).

It has tough MCQ English papers with answers, and arithematic and Problem-solving maths papers with answers. They are very challenging.

I would go through the MCQ English, and pick out a comprehension section, and concentrate on the first paragraph, and only the questions related to it. That is as good, as I can suggest.

http://www.mgs.org/index.php/publicatio ... 18352c0bd6


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Optimist wrote:
I would go through the MCQ English, and pick out a comprehension section, and concentrate on the first paragraph, and only the questions related to it. That is as good, as I can suggest.


If you look at the timings of the MGS papers I think you should be aiming to tackle a whole comp in 10-15 mins, not just the first para. That would give you similar sort of time pressure to a CEM comp.

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:11 pm 
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mike1880 wrote:
Optimist wrote:
I would go through the MCQ English, and pick out a comprehension section, and concentrate on the first paragraph, and only the questions related to it. That is as good, as I can suggest.


If you look at the timings of the MGS papers I think you should be aiming to tackle a whole comp in 10-15 mins, not just the first para. That would give you similar sort of time pressure to a CEM comp.

Mike


It is my understanding from threads on CEM comprehension that the comprehensions are the size of a paragraph, so therefore it would be futile to practise a whole comprehension. The comprehensions, I gather, are like the SHL verbal reasoning test used in job selection where you have to read a very short passage and make inferences about in the questions asked.

If you look at fm's postings, I think she mentions concentrating on short passages.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:55 pm 
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I think we may be quibbling about interpretation. The MGS passages are around 35 lines give or take, which may or may not meet the definition of a short passage - but a CEM comp will have perhaps 10-15 questions, if you cut down an MGS passage to the first para you won't have enough questions to reflect the workload of a CEM comp.

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:19 pm 
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What is a CEM comp and when is it used? :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:08 pm 
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CEM = University of Durham Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring. CEM is the body that sets the 11+ test for Walsall, Birmingham and Warwickshire.

CEM tests appear to have a tendency to very large numbers of (usually?) multiple choice questions to be answered in a very short time combined with near total absence of information about format/content other than what can be gleaned from shell-shocked 10-year olds afterwards. Plus they have a nasty habit of tinkering with the format without warning each year, e.g. introducing totally new types of question and dropping others (we're due a change in B'ham this year and the LEA information seems to hint as much...).

Taking comprehension specifically - in B'ham for the last two or three years it's been typically two passages (one fiction, one non-fiction) with a total of about 25 questions to be answered in about 15 mins altogether. Before that for a couple of years there was a proof reading section instead of one of the comps (at the end of the proof reading section the passage was taken away and they were later asked the comprehension questions about it from memory :shock: :shock: :shock: ). And that's about all we know about comp in CEM tests - very few clues about length of passage, nature/difficulty of questions, etc.

Mike


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Wow - that seems harsh. Can't say the Essex 15th century literature papers aimed at A'level standard students is any easier. At least I have 4 years before having to think about it again.


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