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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:13 am
Posts: 112
Hi all
I'm just after a bit of advice or reassurance of more experienced 11 plus parents.
Ds is a summer baby, he has from reception been top set for everything, always been told he is working 1 and a half to 2 years ahead of where he should be. He's getting level 5s all round at the moment but I'm worried, he goes to an average state school. Is everything we have been told just relative to the peers he is with or do teachers have a specific criteria to adhere to. His school don't do yearly testing etc ( that I m aware of) and obviously he won't do his sats till next year.
We think he is bright ( but I'm biased) he mostly manages well with his 11 plus prep but he can sometimes struggle with very basic questions, even adding together two 2 digit numbers and simple multiplication.
Have you found that your dc achieve better results at school than they do at home.
One week he seems to have 'nailed' a topic but when I re introduce it a few weeks later it's like starting again... Am I been over critical and panicky??
I don't want to add any excess pressure to a 9 yr olds little shoulders but I'd like to think he has a fighting chance, on the plus side he doesn't appear to get worried by actual testing he just gets frustrated over some basic elements!
Thanks for letting me have a panicky moan !!!!
Any advice much appreciated :D


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Birmingham
That all sounds totally normal to me. Children need repetition to make knowledge stick, and my experience has been that until it has been repeated sufficient times the knowledge just seems to 'fall out of their ears' in between successive sessions. Just keep plugging away coming back to topics regularly (the Bond books are good for that) and it will all be fine. Use the Bond Books as teaching aids rather that tests, especially at this early stage.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 63
I also have a summer born DD who took the test last year.

The disadvantage of summer born children is that they are less mature and do not cope as well as older children with exam pressure, especially with CEM test with two papers of 45 minutes and 10 minutes break between paper, just enough time to be escorted to the toilet and back. The age standardisation of the results attempts to compensate for age-biased learning, such as vocabulary. However, in my humble opinion, it does not take into account the maturity factor.

This was my post on this forum on 26 November 2011 after the test: “My dear daughter today sat the Newport's test. When I picked her up, she was upset and in tears. She said, “ Eng/VR was very hard, did not have enough time to do all the Math questions, but OK with NVR”.

DD is quite good at NVR and Math, but less accomplished in English, as English is not her first language. In Newport exam, after finding the comprehension content of the test very difficult, which came first, DD panicked and this affected her confidence. I believe she could have done better, if I had prepared her psychologically to expect a difficult test.

For CEM test, an applicant with raw scores of 65%+ will probably will get an offer of a grammar school. For tests set by GL Assessment a child probably need to score 90%+ to get an offer. This is due to the difference between the levels of difficulty of the tests. Most candidates practice using GL Assessment practice papers, or similar, and in the real test they are expecting the same. However, CEM test is lot harder.

If your DS is sitting the CEM test, the best advice I can offer is to prepare him psychologically for this intense exam to avoid panic. The test is designed to be very hard and short on time and one should prepare the child for this.

I hope this will be useful.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:31 pm
Posts: 8
My DS is a summer baby too and he has got a place in KECB. He felt that the Maths exam was quite tough and 3 big questions (with 3 or more marks) were of the type that we hadn’t practiced at all and he said ‘I had to use my own logic’.
For the CEM papers, the best approach is to practice variety and tell the children not to panic if they can’t answer a question. As for silly mistakes, my DS is a master of it. In the last month before the exam, he was making 2+3=6 kind of mistakes.

The trick that worked with my DS was to compare his actual score on test sheets with the score he would have got if not for the silly mistakes.

If you find your DS ‘forgetting’ certain concepts, choose a day or 2 in a week where your DD can work on parts that have been done in the past. This might prove to be more relaxing for your DS.

For example, you can do Maths, verbal, non-verbal and English each a day and 1 day revision of this week’s work and 1 day catch up of pervious work and one day free.


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