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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 1:46 pm 
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Hi

Just after a little advice, we are DIYing for the test, is there any way of knowing if we are on track.

My DD has loads of practice books, we spend about 1 hour each Wednesdays and Thursdays working through the ten minute tests with CGP books, also Synonyms and Antonyms: Vocabulary for the C.E.M. Style 11 Plus, along with Brain Boost 1 and 2 Synonyms and Antonyms, Then on Saturday or Sunday DD will do a whole practice paper

Just wondered if this is enough, we don't do anything Monday Tuesday or Friday as she has 2 hours of dance each day after school,

Is there any way of knowing if she is on track with practice paper results

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 5:26 pm 
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Hi Tracy41, I think it depends on what % she is getting right, and whether the tests you do are timed or not. The actual exam is very time critical, so you need to ensure the practice ones you are doing at this stage are too, as speed is key. She may be getting 80 - 90% correct, but if you are allowing 15 extra minutes for example this isn't a true representation of the result.

To get a better idea there are mock exams she can do, along with hundreds of other people. From my understanding you will know where she is placed with regard to the others - my DS didn't do them, but I'm sure someone else on this forum can fill you in (DS2 will certainly be doing them when he is in Year 5). They will also give her the experience of being in an exam hall with many others - this can be off putting to those who have not experienced it and throw them off track on the day, which you obviously don't want. It will also allow you to then focus on the areas which she may be weaker at / slower at.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 6:06 pm 
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Helen0209

Yes every test she does is timed, as I understand the importance of the timing.

The last test we did this weekend, part 1 she got 47 out of 60 and part 2 49 out of 60

May look into a mock test

Thank you for reply


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 6:08 pm 
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80/20 rule is a good rule of thumb. DD1 consistently got 80%+ on bond papers (but must be done under time pressure as stated above). I would ease them into the time pressure though. The time pressure bit can be daunting.

Do the bond placement tests and I can give you comparable scores from September of yr 5 and April of Yr5 (ie two / three months before the CEM) test and the actual results.

I would also say with some caveats, to check their teachers assessment if they are emerging at yr 5, I think 11+ is going be a journey for them.

On a another subjective test too, I would say make an assessment of how independent they are in their learning. Don't get me wrong we had to push our DD at times, but lots of things were down to her. She was obsessive about spelling and the four basics on maths. All the time asking for sums or spelling so she could demonstrate she knew them.

I guess this last one is hard to predict / evaluate, may be some kids just have it in their bones. She is very different from DD2 of that I am certain, so that leads me to say play to their strengths and learning styles and keep it fun.

Also keep it in perspective. If your focused enough, have good habits (like regular homework), then your at a big big advantage, in the first place.


Last edited by Petitpois on Fri May 20, 2016 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 6:27 pm 
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Petitpois,

Thank you for your advice

Have pm'd you


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 6:31 pm 
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helen0209 wrote:
To get a better idea there are mock exams she can do, along with hundreds of other people. From my understanding you will know where she is placed with regard to the others - my DS didn't do them, but I'm sure someone else on this forum can fill you in (DS2 will certainly be doing them when he is in Year 5).


This thread might be of interest:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=45457


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 12:06 pm 
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Hi Tracy41

We did very similar (and I've posted elsewhere about what we did so don't want to go too overboard here - see http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=46110)

We used CGP CEM style 11+ practice papers this last time round (Sept 2015 11+) for small fry (typically scoring between 65% - 75% early on (April - June - maybe 1-2 a month/ not always timed) and 75%+ from July/ August in run-up to exam. In 2013, we used Bond practice papers and old NEFR style papers - hand-me-downs for little fish - I think they were a bit too out of date - but her scores were generally between 70% - 75% - so we knew it was 'borderline' going into the test - and indeed so it turned out.

At this point with both girls I had enough data from practice tests/ 10 minute bonds to see patterns in what was going well and what wasn't - our approach was to spend more time on the areas that were more of a struggle. (so 2x 10 minute bond practice in say maths (if that is the problem area) to verbal reasoning (if that's going well).

You should have a number of tests to refer back to now - so try to work out which type of questions are their strengths and which type of questions are their weakness - so maybe Non-Verbal reasoning is easy for them but Verbal reasoning is difficult (or visa versa).

Once you know that my advice is spend 2x as much 10 minute bond type on the difficult area as you would on the easy areas.

Within each category - Verbal (cloze & including synonyms/ antonyms with this)/ non-Verbal/ Maths/ English (comprehension & vocab) have a look at the type of questions comprehension vs. meaning of vocabulary/ calculation problems (maybe good at straightforward calculations but struggling with word problems), non-verbal (remember that nets/ cubes have historically never been used in B'ham) or verbal (remember that codes have historically not been used in Birmingham).

Find the problems/ questions that consistently are a struggle - and work on those. Give them more time/ practice them together with your child - explaining your logic step by step at first and then gradually have your child explain the logic. Don't worry about timings with this practice - more important to 'get it' as a concept in the next month or two - and then work on speed.

Finally - as ever - I agree with all who advise read lots and don't let a new word pass you by without looking it up.

Comprehension underpins the entire test - so really work on ensuring that your child understands the instructions/ terminology used on these tests. They will feel time pressured/ stressed on the day - being calm in those first few moments after you've opened the test section and absorbing what the task is and exactly how you are to answer the question on the mark sheet is time well spent. Classically the maths problems give children more information than is actually needed - so with word problems take the time (maybe underline) what precisely you are being asked to find out.

I don't see any Cloze practice in your list. If you are only using 10 minute bonds for verbal reasoning - I would strongly urge you to do some Cloze practice - fill in the blank in passages where you have a word bank or hang man style words in passages where you have a few letters (as a hint) and have to fill in the rest. Mixed sentences (where you are given words out of sequence and usually have to work out what the sentence is and/or which word is not used in the sentence) have historically appeared. Practice Cloze papers are available - just type CEM Cloze in Amazon or visit a large bookstore/ news agent. These are very different from the Bond style prep - but regularly feature on the King Edward 11+.

As ever - check the sticky on the top of this section to see past content of exams and use that as a guide to the general type of questions to prepare for.

Hope that helps.


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