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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:51 pm 
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My DS is to take the 11+ November 6th and has been steadily working through Bond books. I was wondering at what percentage level should we be aiming at on the Bond tests that would be seen as a "pass" mark for grammar schools?

I have read other forums and they have stated that anything over 75% in the Bond tests should give their DS/ DD a place at grammar?!! (Kent area) That mark seems very low to me. I have been told that we should be aiming to acheive 97% upwards to gain a place in Birmingham Grammar Schools.

Any other ideas or comments?

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:34 pm 
None of my pupils has ever got that sort of mark (97%) in any Bond test and the vast majority of them pass.

Bond books are quite a good initial preparation but you need to branch out and do other things as the test certainly is not a replica of any Bond assessment paper.

It is pointless worrying about what the pass mark is because it varies between the sexes and the different schools, and it is an amalgam of 3 quite different areas of study. What you lose in one area may be balanced by a very good showing in another area. For instance few children are exceptional at the English part so anyone that is tends to get a lot more standardised points per question than a very good mathematician because it is much easier to train the children up to be good mathematicians.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:36 pm 
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I agree with fm - bond are great prep, but do try to mix things up a little - after 12 months DS was getting 85 - 90% regularly (level 5), we moved onto different papers and he was getting 70-80% the difference was that he had learned how Bond set the questions having gone through all of the Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5 papers.

Do not get too worried yet, DS made the most progress in September and October last year - and DS did pass the 11+


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:38 am 
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Thank's to you both. I'm at the stage now where I feel he has and still is doing his very best, so as long as that carries on, I can ask no more of him.

I have been mixing it up with other books, ,Susan Daughtrey, Learning Together and various tests from the 'net. He is still gaining mid 90% marks, so hopefully he will do well in the test. But as I said to DS, he can only do his best on the day and I'll be proud of him whatever the result.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:09 pm 
There is highly unlikely to be any Susan Daughtrey style verbal reasoning in the KE exam. There has been nothing like it for the last 7 years. Similarly, Learning Together verbal is irrelevant.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:22 pm 
In the absence of knowing precisely or even remotely what may come up in the CH exam, variety of test types seems to be the best advice.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:15 am 
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We used Learning Together for non-verbal reasoning. Which other books do you suggest? I have noticed that other people have recommended Bright Sparks books; are these not written by Susan Daughtrey?

Should I take a look at Lett's books? :?

Any advice or help will be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:59 pm 
The KE exam does vary from year to year but not greatly. Sometimes they will change the order of things. One year they even omitted the mental arithmetic part. But the core of the exam tends to remain roughly similar.

For 6 years, there have been Cloze tests. These have been presented in approximately 3 different ways. Looking at this year's sample paper, the presentation looks likely to be the same as last year which was giving no choice of words but some letters of the word they wish you to choose. This effectively tests spelling, vocabulary and reading skills all in one little test.

The vocabulary has always been there. The alteration has been in the quantity and not the level of difficulty. Thus, they used to ask them about 80 words in 10 minutes which proved impossible. This has gone down to around 50 words, with synonyms and antonyms. Again the sample page includes these although at a laughable level.

The non verbal reasoning is anyone's guess. One paper has been switching between different things--analogies, hexagonal matrices etc.--but the other has been consistently cubes for the last 3 years. I would definitely recommend practice in as many different types as possible. Learning Together Non-verbal does have some different types to the Bond papers but I would try to search out others...e.g. Alpha Series.

The data processing/longer maths and mental arithmetic have followed the same format for a few years, too. I would make up your own mental arithmetic with questions on ordering decimals, fractions and percentages as well as basic algebra, and work out a tactic for your particular child to follow.

The comprehensions have gone from a proof-reading/answer factual questions after the break without passage (only ever about 5 points worth) to one multiple choice comprehension to two for the last couple of years. I would recommend Secondary Selection Portfolio for these, splitting them up rather than having child sit as one paper.

While I think it is eminently possible that something new comes up in any of the sections, I doubt they will revert to traditional verbal reasoning (which is Bright Sparks) as the whole point of the new exam was to get away from that sort of thing. I doubt anyone whose child has done the Birmingham exam has recommended these but, if you have a boy who is also doing Handsworth Grammar, then this practice would be fine.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:15 pm 
is there a good resource for antonyms and synonyms please?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:24 pm 
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Location: Not in a hole in the ground but in a land where once they dwelt-the Beormingas
Try freerice.com for synonyms or you can purchase the Vocabulary CD from this forum.


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