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 Post subject: Pass marks required
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:31 pm
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I am considering entering my son for Reading Boys, what kind of scores should he be getting on maths (or any of the others) practice papers to stand any chance of getting a place. I don't want to waste his time or mine if he doesn't stand a chance. Can I just say that I can't believe how things have changed, when I sat my eleven plus exam, there was no preparation, we just went and sat in the library and did it. Do you all think this is fair? Even if your child is super bright they won't get in without massive amounts of extra work!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
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Location: berkshire
HI LJane

I will move this post to the Berkshire part of the forum where I am sure either 'Bewildered' or 'Steve' will be able to help.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:09 pm 
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LJane,

I am not sure that this will answer your question, but I just wanted to let you know about our experience this year applying to Reading school. My son has just been given a place there for this September.

I based my decision of entering him for the exam mainly on the facts that he really wanted to go there, he is bright, usually performs well in any test situation, had predicted 5s in his KS2 SATS, and just a gut feeling that this school would be the right place for him to go to. He also didn't feel that he minded whether he went there with friends from his current school.

We did not do very much extra work for the exam. In January 08 I bought a few 11+ books from WHSmiths - probably the wrong ones but I had not found this forum then. And based on those books, started looking at the different types of tests, being quite low key about it, treating them as puzzles really. He quite enjoyed them to start with, but did not respond well to constant repetition!! Once he "got it" he did not want to repeat ad infinitum. We then took a break over the summer holidays and once back at school he went to his junior school's exam club that one of the teacher runs for the first half of the autumn term. They go over Verbal and Non-verbal papers then, and he enjoyed going and sitting those practice papers in a group environment.

Towards the exam DS got a bit more motivated and occasionally did a few more problems some from this website which I had found by then! And I worried that we had not done enough! But my gut feeling was that if he got into a school without being tutored to within an inch of his life, then he would really deserve to be there and would not struggle with the work load.

I hope that this helps with your decision!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Hi LJane,

Welcome to the forum I will try to answer based on my experiences. :)

I understand what you are saying and feeling, I went through a similar process three years ago.

Quote:
I am considering entering my son for Reading Boys, what kind of scores should he be getting on maths (or any of the others) practice papers to stand any chance of getting a place.


Go for it, if you don't try you will never know. Scores, might be a bit early to say, how much familiarization have you done with the papers. The figure I keep coming back to is 86% :? The Reading math’s paper is an internal production, not as hard as other area's math’s papers. Have a look at other information on the forum about the content of VR/NVR/English.

Quote:
I don't want to waste his time or mine if he doesn't stand a chance. Can I just say that I can't believe how things have changed, when I sat my eleven plus exam, there was no preparation, we just went and sat in the library and did it. Do you all think this is fair? Even if your child is super bright they won't get in without massive amounts of extra work!!


You will not waste your time, it is an interesting (ok stressful) experience. Super bright kids will probably get in with a bit of familiarization, my average bright kid needed a lot more. :)

Yes it is unfair, the old elevenplus was designed for the top 25% we now have a system that takes a much lower percentage in Reading.

You have an advantage, this forum and its resources, go on, use it. :)

steve


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
Hi LJane and MortimerM,

Welcome to the Forum! :D

LJane, scoring changes from year to year, depending on cohort sitting the test as they now standardise for age. I can only tell you that I was hoping DS got 85%+ by the time of the test. This year that tactic did prove successful.
As to doing enormous amount of work. Unfortunately, that is only the case where the school haven't covered the basics already and down to the fact that RS expect the child to sit a maths, English and VR or NVR test. Bucks Grammar 11+ is VR only :(
When I started I had to find out what he did know, in maths and English and then started on trying to fill in the gaps. As they have never come across VR or NVR this was easier, as you could start from scratch. If you look at all the resources this site has to offer particularly Patricia's Sticky's in the Bucks section and the free downloads you will see how to go about starting to learn VR. With NVR there are a couple of really good How to books avail.
The following link gives a more detailed explanation on how standardisation works Nfer Standardised scores
Whatever happens at the end of the journey, if you decide to take it, is that you will have spent lots of time with your child, (which I enjoyed), you will be assured that they have the basics in place and will be alot better for it than they were before. I wish you luck, with your choice.

MortimerM, Congratulations on your son getting into Reading! :D
(That makes it 6!)
You are lucky to have a primary where they support the idea of entrance to Grammar school. At DS's school they believe academic ability is of little use. We weren't given predicted scores for KS2 until this months parents evening, even then you have to ask. Which is a bit too late for the 11+.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:36 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Reading
Quote:
once back at school he went to his junior school's exam club that one of the teacher runs for the first half of the autumn term. They go over Verbal and Non-verbal papers


What an enlightened school. Shame they are in the minority regarding 11 plus preparation.

tafymum


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:34 pm
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Bewildered

Thank you :D !! Actually another boy from DS's school also got in, so they are going to have someone to travel in with which is a relief to both me and his Mum!

I hadn't realised that other schools would not do this kind of exam club that our school does. The teacher who currently runs it has a daughter who went to Kendrick though, so maybe that explains it?


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 Post subject: Re: Pass marks required
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
LJane wrote:
I am considering entering my son for Reading Boys, what kind of scores should he be getting on maths (or any of the others) practice papers to stand any chance of getting a place.


Our scores varied as we introduced technique, using the answer sheet and timed tests.

Starting at above 50%, rising through the seventies and reaching a plateau at between 80-90%. We had set backs, NVR on a bad, tired child day could collapse to 40%. :cry:

With DS2 I am back to cutting papers into strips and treating them as quiz sheets :lol: so we can do little and often. :)

Why not start low key and see how it goes? It might even be fun :shock: .


steve


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 Post subject: pass marks required
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:31 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for you advice, it gives me something to think about. I feel I just don't want to pressure him too much. Things would be so much easier if our school ran a similar club for interested parents. My daughter goes to our local comprehensive and all of his friends will be going, so that may be the deciding factor for him.


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