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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:53 am 
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So, only 4 weeks to go till D day and poor DS has been worked hard but as per my previous post, he will only have had 8 weeks in total of prep for the exam. I have been making the poor mite sit one or two 50 minute tests per day, this has been useful in highlighting 'weak' areas but I am questioning the validity of this approach at such a late stage.

Am I correct in saying that we should completely stop the VR as it is not appropriate for the BIRMINGHAM exam?

It would be great to hear your thoughts on the validity of doing large amounts of test papers at such a late stage, I'm wondering whether it would be more appropriate to do more 10 minute tests and work on specific maths questions rather than him just working through paper after paper.

He also continues to make silly mistakes and knows he has done it - as soon as I point out the incorrect answer he'll say "Oh, it's not that one mum it's x", how can I encourage him to get it right first time?

If he comes up against something new he automatically presumes he can not do it as it has not been covered by the tutor, this frightens me as we all know that the CEM test will be packed full of stuff that he has not seen before.

I could go on and on and on but maybe I should stop there! Help really gratefully received!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:40 am
Posts: 96
Evening,

I wouldn't be able to make any specific comments on the Birmingham exam, but I have come up against the 'I've not seen it before therefore I can't do it' problem... Perhaps this could help:
We talked about a fireman. How he was trained for all sorts of situations, but ultimately when he got a 999 call he had no idea what he would find. He would have to work quickly to assess what was needed, and sometimes it would be his best guess. At times, he would have to step back and move onto something else.
It was this kind of 'do my best, and know when to cut my losses' that really helped my son. It took the fear of the unknown away, and made him realise that there was nothing to worry about if you didn't know everything. Stepping back and thinking 'how might I approach this' is a real life skill, far more than memorising endless lists of tricks.
Children are so different, it may not be helpful to yours at all, but hopefully something in there might strike a chord.
M


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:27 pm
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Maybe separating the 2 problems would be helpful in focussing the time spent working iyswim.
For example, do whole papers with primary focus on accuracy having discussed it with him and mix it up with times when he only does stuff on papers that you know he struggles with and do a collaborative, problem solving type approach with these compared to just leaving him to it with a countdown timer for the accuracy exercises.
I think that sometimes working down a level can give confidence and improve focus on accuracy (e.g if can do Bond 5 with silly mistakes, ask him to try a bond 4 and aim for 100%)
And just keep it all under review :D


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
ds isn't doing the Birmingham exam - but it is CEM where we are too so will be similar. I've certainly stopped giving him whole papers at the moment and am just concentrating on a few weaker areas and doing any oddball "different" questions I can find even if they're not from a traditional 11+ source. I am putting together a few custom "papers" (aka Word documents!) though which come as close as I can to mimicking (as far as I know) what the format of the Warwickshire papers is likely to be, so that he can do some practice with those and get used to the timed sections - with no going forward or back - that he'll have on the day rather than a whole paper which he can check through at the end as per the commercially available papers.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:00 am 
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We completely gave up on the 'test papers'. DS never ever got more than 65-70 on any of the ten or so papers he attempted. It was a nightmare and extremely frustrating!

Fortunately he scraped it through anyway as he naturally has good reasoning skills. I hate to say it, but it can be done without the extensive 'Bond Paper Approach' but only if the child is naturally bright enough.

Good luck :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
reeyah wrote:
the extensive 'Bond Paper Approach'
That comment made me laugh when I realised that although we've done all sorts of things from all kinds of sources (mostly not as whole papers as it happens - we just did enough of that to get him used to time management) the one thing I've never got ds to do is an actual Bond Paper!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:57 am 
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I also think it can't be done with the "extensive Bond approach" unless your child is clever enough.

A friend's daughter qualified for Camp Hill Girls last year on the back of around 10 weeks prep from (imho) a very poor tutor. It can be done provided your child is clever enough - and the same applies if you have 3-4 years head start on the prep and the world's best tutor.

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:04 am 
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Rather bizarrely DS appears to be enjoying the challenge of the test papers and they are quite good at highlighting the weaker areas. With only 8 weeks prep we're under no illusions, if the rumoured 85 - 90 percent figures are correct we are doomed! He's come such a long way in such a short space of time, I'm really proud of how hard he is working. Of course bribery helps, the merciless bugger keeps adding to the list of items he will get after the exam! We'll just keep bumbling along and hope for a fair wind on the day!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:02 pm
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The more practice then the more prepared

Never ditch or ignore any areas, as you don't want to regret on reflection.

Put it this way, you have nothing to lose but everything o gain from additional work, practice, effort.

No Pain No Gain


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
ChessDadPlus wrote:
you have nothing to lose but everything o gain from additional work, practice, effort.
Actually if you'd ever done any sports coaching, you'd know that that isn't strictly true. It is possible to practice beyond the point where performance starts to degrade - and if that starts to affect confidence it can then affect performance even more, even in subsequent sessions where the time gap would normally have been enough to allow for mental and physical recovery.


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