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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:32 pm
Posts: 192
My DS took an assessment test at a very well known 11 plus centre in b'ham the other day to see if he could be tutored for the 11 plus next year although i am DIYing him at home, when i asked him what was in the test he said it was 1 spelling test and the rest was maths, now i know that maths is my DS weak subject (although it is his favourite subject!). I was suprised that the tutor didn't give him any NVR, English or VR - just maths. When he gave me the results he said very harshly and bluntly that he isn't 11 plus material and that he isn't going to accept him. I questioned why he only gave him a maths test because he wouldn't have got the best out of him and he stated that if a child is 'no good' at maths theres no point in him going for the 11 plus exams. My DS is presently getting at least 85% in NVR, 80% VR and English comp 70% but maths 55%, in practice papers and Bonds and free tests i have been getting form the web.

Does he have a chance to pass the Queen Marys 11 plus next year?

I feel really disheartened by the tutors comments as he said he doest have any chance and that i shouldn't bother and my DS has his heart set on Q.M.

I am going to continue DIYing him as i am more than determined now.

I am looking at this forum regularly now as i need all the help i can get with the Q.M exam so any help would be useful. I have read the sticky on the contents from previous years but so far no content from this years exam has come on the forum.

What are everyones thoughts on the comments from this tutor? Does my Ds have any chance if he is weak in maths?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:28 am 
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I know that many of the 'best' tutors select the pupils that they take on as the key thing for them is a high success rate and the easiest way to acheive that is to only take the kids that should pass easily. It doesn't mean that the others won't pass.

If you are keen on QM I don't see what you have to lose by carrying on but this is perhaps a reminder that it is important not to pile on the pressure and make failing to get a place at a certain school seem like the end of the world. I'd certainly go and visit other schools and make sure that you point out the positives at those too.

I also wouldn't get too fixated on the content of past exams - the key thing is solid basic skills and the confidence to apply them to any question. The maths questions are not straightforward but seem to require the chilldren to first figure out what is being asked and then do the necessary calculations. In an exam situation I think the first part is often the tricky bit.

What does your DSs current teacher think of his maths? My observation over a few years is that the kids in the top set and at the top end of the second set seem to be capable of passing the 11 plus. His teacher should be able to tell you where his weaknesses lie so you have somthing to work on. When my DCs are struggling I tend to sit and work through the questions with them rather than set repeated tests where they do badly. I think a lot of maths is about having the confidence to have a go.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:40 am 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Firstly it seems odd that a tutor is making a prediction one year ahead, about whether a child will pass the 11 Plus examination.
So much can happen in a year; children can and do make enormous progress depending on their own motivation and home support.
They can also drop significantly if they lack motivation or perhaps have a chaotic family life during this time. One year is a long time in the life of a 9/10 year old.
This is particularly true with mathematics, which is usually much easier to 'fix' and tutor intensively, than weak literacy, which can often not be remedied in a year..

However, I would say that if this tutor is teaching in a group, even a small one, they do have the right to make a decision about whether a new entrant is best suited to the pace of that class. If they are not, then joining would be detrimental to current pupils, and would likely result in little progress for your son, as the level is not right for him.
I'd respect a tutor who makes that decision over one who simply fills their class (and coffers) with children who are not really benefiting.

I should note that the Birmingham exam favours a child with stronger literacy (with proportionally more marks available).
The Walsall exam (if it remains as it has been over the past few years) favours a child with stronger Maths/NVR (with proportionally more marks available).


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:54 pm
Posts: 483
Both my kids who have taken the 11+ made significant progress in maths in Year 5 - my daughter moved from a 3a to a 4a in the first few months and my son managed to raise his level from a 4c to a 5c. Although National Curriculum levels are no guarantee of 11+ success, it showed me that they were both in the right ballpark. Both have stronger literacy skills. My daughter gained a place at KEVIHS. Still waiting for my son's KE results, although he scored higher than last year's lowest entrant for QMGS.

As muminbrum said, it's about solid skills in all areas. And the maths questions are usually long problem solving ones, so good literacy is key to figuring out which numbers to crunch.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:15 pm
Posts: 62
We had a tutor few years back from a very popular institution who was actually the head of the institution .He was giving our DC massive writing tasks every week .When asked why,he told me that DC would be doing writing and summarising in the KE
exams .That was all we need to move our DC from that place .We did most of the work at home only use a tutor with few months to go to help with the NVR .The new tutor was quite honest and told us that was the only area DC needed help
with .Some tutors do a lot of research others don't .


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:01 am 
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I agree that you still have a significant amount of time to make progress and that maths is relatively easier to "fix" than English.

The fact that you say your child is weak in maths but it is still his favourite subject bodes well. He still has the enthusiasm for the subject which , in my opinion, is a very positive sign.

It reminds me of the situation with my own DD. She had the willingness in maths but wasn't achieving the results she needed. She was always middle to low in her year group. She was in the lowest group for maths at school. However despite being assessed in Year 4 and told it would be difficult for her to achieve a Grammar place, I didn't give up. You can't when your kids are involved. We plodded on and with a positive attitude she made amazing progress between Year 4 and Year 6, when she took the exam.

You have time, he has enthusiasm and most importantly, he has you!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
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Rubbish. Teach him maths yourself, and if necessary hire a one-to-one tutor for maths nearer the time. You won't regret it even if he doesn't get in to your chosen school-it will be a great springboard into the rest if his school career.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Total rubbish. If you are both keen to apply then you can diy the work and prove this tutor totally wrong. I hope you decide to. Best Wishes. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:41 pm
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Have you taught him the KS2 syllabus? Books like the CGP KS2 Maths books and the 11+ AE, CGP and Bond Study/learn Maths books are really helpful.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 625
Peter Robson books are really good to cover the whole syllabus and also have lots of practise material on each topic so you can target any weak areas with extra work.

The whole set, including the answer books, are available from this website


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