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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:35 am 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 7:31 pm
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Hi

Really I am from Warwickshire but we haven't had much experience of the Durham/CEM exam type yet!

What I am asking is, are there mixed papers out there to actually practice the timed element of the test? E.g. a 45 minute paper with the instructions for separate sections e.g 12 minutes for this section with the stop working instruction and check your answers in this section.

Or do I need to try and make one up to practice the exam technique?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:04 pm 
No, there isn't. At least, none I have found. I have my pupils practise, say comprehension, in 8 minutes bursts rather than whole papers. Or find a non-verbal and practise in 5 or 10 minutes, depending on number of questions and complexity.

As for exam technique, it doesn't apply in the way it would with a conventional 11 plus verbal reasoning test where you would always advise the children to do all the easy sections first, ring any that they don't know within about 30 seconds, and move on, to ensure they don't mismanage their time.

Fortunately, in the University of Durham exam, time mismanagement is much less likely as basically the time is managed for the children by putting the exams into sections; yes, they might mess up one section but it is always possible to recover from this because it need not mean they mess up the time on all.

Thus, you would be better off working on technique for each section rather than whole paper. Again, while I'd give the same advice to almost all my pupils for a VR paper, I would tailor my advice to the child for a Durham paper, depending on what they are doing in tuition. For instance, in some sections, if a child is incapable of working accurately at speed, then you might set them the goal of doing 2/3 of any particular section rather than advising them to attempt to answer it all.


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:42 am
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Location: South Warwickshire
Hi fm,
In the absence of anything which is much like the real thing, which papers do you recommend using (for someone who doesn't have the time or the imagination to make them up)? NVR is a problem as all the commercial papers I have seen are much the same and very repetitive. For maths I have been trawling the Independent school websites for free downloads. Christ's Hospital are very good. The other day we did Manchester Grammar's 2009 long maths paper. Incredibly difficult! Tried it myself - ran out of time and only managed 78% and consider myself quite good at maths! My elder son, who did the Warwickshire CEM exam in 2008 said that although the CEM test was tough it was nowhere near that level. I gave it to my younger son as an exercise in learning not to panic but stay positive, press on and grab whatever marks you can. I haven't seen any useful Independent School papers for English as they are not multiple choice. The only ones I have found that are vaguely useful are the Bond and NFER multiple choice papers. Are there any others you can recommend?
Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:36 pm 
For English, possibly buy the Alpha series 2 as warm-up, splitting the papers into 5/10 minutes bursts, the move onto the Secondary Selection Profile English, again splitting into individual sections.

Most of non-verbal are fairly traditional with only the occasional think outside the box style question. I probably wouldn't bother with NFER and Bond but look at Secondary Selection Papers and Alpha for something different. It won't replicate your exam but will give you experience of something different. Unfortunately you would be buying whole sets of papers for possibly only 5 minutes of something different.


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:57 am 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 7:31 pm
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fm wrote:
I have my pupils practise, say comprehension, in 8 minutes bursts rather than whole papers. Or find a non-verbal and practise in 5 or 10 minutes, depending on number of questions and complexity.


Good idea, thank you.

Quote:
Fortunately, in the University of Durham exam, time mismanagement is much less likely as basically the time is managed for the children by putting the exams into sections; yes, they might mess up one section but it is always possible to recover from this because it need not mean they mess up the time on all.


Good point, think I will make the most of this to reassure DS that each section is a new start.

Quote:
I would tailor my advice to the child for a Durham paper, depending on what they are doing in tuition. For instance, in some sections, if a child is incapable of working accurately at speed, then you might set them the goal of doing 2/3 of any particular section rather than advising them to attempt to answer it all.


Yes I know those sections! Why do my DSs switch off when they look at an English comprehension?


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:49 am 
Probably because doing comprehensions is an incredibly boring exercise.

I have a degree in English Literature and read every day for at least half an hour but I have never derived a single moment of enjoyment out of doing a comprehension (or marking it for that matter).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:17 pm
Posts: 12
Hi

What practice test papers would one recommend for NVR, VR and maths? It needs to be short bust to keep my DS motivated.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Rugby
For english cloze tests check out Mikes post in the Cloze question below this one.

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