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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 3:08 pm 
My son is due to sit his 11+ exams next year. He seems to be faring well in maths and verbal reasoning but struggles with comprehensions.

I was therefore wondering what sort of reading he should be doing in preparation. Parents who have done their exams this year - can they please share with me the kind of passages their children faced in this years exams. Or is there a reading list we can have.

He is applying for both grmmar and senior independent schools.


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 Post subject: Reading list for 11+
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:31 pm 
Hi Sharda,

Really difficult one because the Essex consortium usually use a "classic" and this year I believe it may have been The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot. In previous years it has been a passage by various well known authors of classic material but it is nearly always really difficult and I personally think it is the most difficult of all the three Essex papers.

As an example of a question on a consortium English paper, a few years ago the passage was from Jane Eyre and the question was something like.....

The author says Mrs *** was of grave countenance and erect bearing, does this mean....

A. That she looked sad and walked with a stoop.
B. That she walked upright and had a miserable face.
C. That she always looked happy but she kept her back straight.
D. That she walked with a limp but always continued to look happy.....

It may be obvious to an educated adult but it will clearly not be so obvious to 10/11 year olds.

One of my children took the exam a few years ago when the passage was from "Far from the Madding Crowd". When I finally got a copy of the paper, about a year after the exam, I found it to be one of the most difficult 11+ papers I had ever seen.

I have a good O level in English and studied English language to A level but there was one question where I had to read the passage 3 times before I could be sure of the answer.

Yes, I am getting old but I don't think I should have found it so difficult.

Anyway, keep an eye on the Essex region pages as there is probably some useful information there for you.

Any other questions, feel free to ask.


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 Post subject: 11 plus
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:57 pm 
My son has just sat the 11 plus exam in Colchester and the english paper was The Mill on the Floss. Not being his favourite subject he actually enjoyed this one!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:12 am 
Hi my son is due to sit 11+ this Nov. friends have suggested he reads such books as Carrie's War, Treasure Island, David Copperfield. if any one has any suggestions would appreciate it as he does struggle with comprehension. My English is good, but comprehension test does seem quite tricky for 10 year olds.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:13 am 
Hi my son is due to sit 11+ this Nov. friends have suggested he reads such books as Carrie's War, Treasure Island, David Copperfield. if any one has any suggestions would appreciate it as he does struggle with comprehension. My English is good, but comprehension test does seem quite tricky for 10 year olds.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:16 am 
Hi,
just a thought. Surely one of the most important things we can do is teach kids a love of reading. :D I would say take him to the library, let him read a wide range, find out what he likes. The more fired up with reading enthusiasm he is the better he will do!


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 Post subject: English Comprehension
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:26 pm 
If you telephone Essex County Council Education Department in Colchester they will give you a telephone number to ring where you can order some paid for copies of the previous 11+ papers.

For reading it varies widely, some of the comprehensions come from books far in advance of anything an 11 year old normally reads. Traditional books such as Robinson Crusoe, The Swiss Family Robinson and the Famous Five will get your son used to some of the more traditional forms of English which often come up in the 11+. Other authors I would suggest are Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons); Mallory Blackman; and, of course, all of the Harry Potter books which are particularly well regarded. Good Luck - if he hates any of the books don't force him to read them - it's important for him to understand and enjoy what he is reading and to be able to check any vocab which he is not sure of with you. Last year's comprehension came from Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles (A level text normally) and one of the previous years I know was from Silas Marner. Don't attempt to make him read those books, but you could go through the old papers with him to explain some of the archaic language.


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