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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 10:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands
My first son's had some success in the KEVI grammar tests and there's every chance his brother will want to do the same.

It's silly just now really, he's only seven, but I can't help wondering about these things even though preparation is at least a couple of years away.

I've gathered that paying a little more attention to non-verbal reasoning this time around might be the best way to boost overall score.

Raw ability's always useful and that's were I'll concentrate effort. But you also have to play the exam game to your best advantage and key to this is how the test is marked and whether it's worth 'ticking all the rest of the boxes' right at the end of the test.

I'm curious...
Has anyone ever finished, that is 'made a serious attempt at', all the NVR questions?
Does anyone know what raw score in previous years represented an average mark or a 'pass' mark?

I'm asking because my first son said he attempted around half the questions and didn't go on to randomly tick the remaining questions – and I'd say he's not all that good at NVR in the first place – yet he still got a standardized score slightly above 100.

Could he have got almost the same score blindly ticking all the boxes?

Or could there be a clever marking scheme to reduce the advantage of bulk, blind guessing?

--
Dibble


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:17 am 
My daughter's lowest mark was in numerical reasoning; and she's on target to get a 5 at KS2. This mark was what stopped her getting a grammar school place as her VR and NVR were OK. I don't think that you can really play the system; accuracy has to count.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 4:56 pm 
Hi Dibble,

In reply to your NVR questions:-

Yes I did obtain the raws scores for the 3 sections from the KE Foundation office for the tests in Nov 2004 for Sept 2005 entry.

These were a table of standardised scores, but for NVR for a child of my son's age (late Dec birthday), a pass core of 114 for this section (in this year) equated to raw score of 50 correct out of 70. (If you are interested, the corresponding scores for VR and Numerical were 64/100 and 44/82)

I don't think randomly ticking all the remaining question boxes would be particularly beneficial (we used to try this with sample papers when my son first started with 11+ practice questions)

However a good technique can help improve the probability. If you get you child to put a line through any solution they have identified as being NOT the answer - they if they can't answer the question they will have an improved chance of guessing the correct answer. This does work.


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:48 am 
Hi

I think it is important to emphasise how different children are. My first daughter could do NVR very well indeed - she could get 97 - 100% in the NFER tests with no problem at all - VR scores though were a bit of a worry, as she found it quite hard. However, my second daughter was good at VR and could complete the papers quickly but she found NVR a little more difficult and used to score less well in those papers.

My first daughter is very good at art and I think that being more observant helped her with NVR - she pays such attention to detail.

Wait and see what your second son excels in. He may like English or Maths, or NVR or VR. It all becomes much clearer after you have started practising.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands
jah wrote:
My daughter's lowest mark was in numerical reasoning; and she's on target to get a 5 at KS2. This mark was what stopped her getting a grammar school place as her VR and NVR were OK. I don't think that you can really play the system; accuracy has to count.

I'm sorry that you didn't get a chance to choose a KEVI school and I do hope there are other options for your daughter that she'll be happy with.

“accuracy has to count”? Yes. That's a very important 'yes'. I'll probably spend all my time talking about something else but that doesn't mean that I disagree with you on that point. And not just because of whether a child will pass the exam or not. The joy of the challenge is to *get - things - right*. Studying for exam technique, perhaps believing that others (or you yourself), succeed because of 'luck' sucks the fun right out of it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Dudley, West Midlands
Anonymous wrote:
Hi Dibble,

In reply to your NVR questions:-

Yes I did obtain the raws scores for the 3 sections from the KE Foundation office for the tests in Nov 2004 for Sept 2005 entry.

These were a table of standardised scores, but for NVR for a child of my son's age (late Dec birthday), a pass core of 114 for this section (in this year) equated to raw score of 50 correct out of 70. (If you are interested, the corresponding scores for VR and Numerical were 64/100 and 44/82)


Just a quick aside to any newbies lurking – and I was one of those a few months ago and made exactly this mistake: There is no 'pass mark' for each individual paper in the KEVI exam, it's just a way of speaking -a very useful way- but not actually true. Scores for all papers are added together and if they reach the magic number – you're in.

Thanks for those stats, it's really given me something to get my teeth into.
For NVR in 2005 it certainly seems that many candidates did have a good attempt at most of the questions. Answering half the questions wouldn't reach an average mark either, I think. Probably my sons recollection is wrong, or just maybe this year was markedly different from 2005

Anonymous wrote:
I don't think randomly ticking all the remaining question boxes would be particularly beneficial (we used to try this with sample papers when my son first started with 11+ practice questions)

Could it be that your practice questions were too easy, relative to KEVI exam, to show a benefit for random ticking? This is what I found anyway. If you're going to score 90percent in an exam then there's little room for improvement and even less need to worry about it.

Taking the 2005 Numerical reasoning as an example and assuming 5 options per questions. Around 2 in every 100 candidates could expect to get 24 of the required 44 marks by luck – perhaps 10 in every 100 should get 20 lucky marks - if they tick every question.

“Spend most of your time choosing and answering a quarter of the questions then guess the rest” would have been a bet worth taking for a struggling candidate - in that paper, in that year. And that's to 'pass' the paper of course. It is possible to come back from a merely average mark on one paper with good attempts at the other two.
Quote:
However a good technique can help improve the probability. If you get you child to put a line through any solution they have identified as being NOT the answer - they if they can't answer the question they will have an improved chance of guessing the correct answer. This does work.

No argument there. I guess the very brightest candidates don't have to bother doing that but everyone else should. From what I can work out – and I'll be very happy if someone wants to step in and improve or ridicule my maths – though guessing between three options is a marked improvement over guessing between four, guessing between five options is not falling off the end of the probability curve.

I'm not suggesting that bulk guessing on all three papers is ever going to get you through but very good exam technique in one weak area, and a bit of luck, might just turn a disaster into something you can make up for in the other two papers - and provide a bit of hope for a bright child who's spotted that they have a weakness in one area.

Unless of course, I'm being daft, my maths is wrong or the answer to the question “could there be a clever marking scheme to reduce the advantage of bulk, blind guessing?” Is "Yes!"


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