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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:38 pm 
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Hello I am new to forum but have lurked for a little while. I have read through quite a few threads about what constitutes a percentage/raw score pass in mock exams. Here is my understanding:

KenR posted on a thread whereby some percentage passes for CEM somewhere in 60's (I think, sorry I can't find the thread now I've read that many) and another person has posted CEM pass marks of 55% upwards based on their own anaylsis from informaton obtained from the KEFO.

Yet in the Bond CEM multiple choice test papers (packs 1 & 2) it says you need 80%. My sons tutor also informed him to be sure of a place he needed above 80%. I have been edging my son towards doing his best. I feel disheartened but also feel I must continue with the prep for KE and QM exams, just weeks away. I am anxious, I'm trying to manage my expecations and his through carefully working hard without harsh/overbearing pressure. Here are his mock results so far:

Mock exam (1) at a center 37%
Mock exam (2) at a center 48% - I have reservations about these results but thats a whole seperate issue.

Mock exam (3) at tutors 67% - CGP
Mock exam (4) at tutors 67% - CGP

Letts Cem papers pack 1, Test B paper 2 Maths 50% and English 71% (timed at home)

Bond CEM Pack 1 multiple choice timed at home
Paper 1A 70%, Paper 1B 55% - this averages out to 62/62.5 over papers and areas - his timing was much better as he answered all the questions on most sections only running out of time in one or two.

Paper 1B this am averaged out 53%, bombed out on short maths 44% whereas the other day he got 87% on that section. - mind he did seem in a surly mood so I wasnt surprised.


Q1) Are percentange scores on Bond CEM papers indicative of a possible pass on real exam for KE? I'm thinking he may scrape a place with 60% plus possible off waiting list.

Q2) is it still doable, am I normal to feel anxious? I still want to edge marks forward these next two weeks though more tests/targetted practice. I feel like Im losing it.

Q3) In your experience (if so) do you agree with my sons tutor who said he is borderline?

Q4) Are the KE tests multiple choice format in all sections (Ive tried to find this but most posts relate to timings and section content)

While his marks seem inconsistent, he has improved his comprehension and cloze very much recently, but does struggle with missing letter cloze. He can do the CGP CEM 10 minute timed book reasonable well and will get 8-9 out of 12 for the maths problems yet only got 3/11 on the Bond paper 1A.

I am an ex teacher I understand learning processes but this 11 plus prep has been a beast. I'm proud of the time and effort my DS has put in he will be rewarded for this no matter what. Ive told him we in good position for school choices come what may but the reality is I feel desperate for him to get a grammar school place.

Finally, is there anyone else out there feeling 'allsorts' about this process.
Thanks for reading.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:00 am 
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workethic wrote:
Mock exam (2) at a center 48% - I have reservations about these results but thats a whole seperate issue.

Can you please elaborate about these reservations? My son has appeared for all the mocks at this center and has done well. However I still have a fear that might not be enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:55 pm
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It would be interesting to hear your reservations. My DD did all mocks (just scoring over the cut off marks that the equivalent score from last year meant they would have got in). However I'm still feeling so nervous about the whole process, and am worried my nerves are passing onto her.

Just to add that I (probably wrongly) have not had DD do any other past papers - she has done one test so far from a 10 minutes Maths question book (10/12 with two very silly mistakes). She does however do daily online tests with the mock provider, and seems to be making good progress with these.


Last edited by cupcake19 on Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:08 pm 
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Hi ImranB and Cupcake19

Please dont doubt your childs performances on their mocks at the centre because of my grumblings! The mocks they provide are supposed to be (on the basis of their reputation) quite good indicators, and I dont doubt they provide a good mock exam experience.

My reservations relate to quite specific things about how my child performed in certain sections over the two tests earlier this year. I'd rather not detail them here as I can't know anthing for sure. In hindsight I wished I hadn't done the mocks so early and with a provider that does not return the actual paper.

My DS has a third mock with his tutor soon. I'm focussing on nudging that 10% upwards. He has improved his timing very much but seems to be inconsistent across sections.

Cupcake19 - I'm very nervous too, things got to me yesterday.

Imranb - if your son has done well, hold onto that - what I can say is I think my DS put on a brave face and did the two mocks at the centre, but when he did the mocks with his new tutor he said how much more relaxed they were. To me this indicates the center is more formal and realistic.

Cant not do this now, last two week push.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:55 pm
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It's only natural we're nervous - I think we just have to try so hard not to show it in front of our children and just keep telling them how proud we are of how hard they are working. We just have to crack open the wine and chocolate when they are asleep to try and calm our nerves.

Just think all mock exams will do him good - even the ones in the larger centre will mean the actual one won't come as such a shock. I'd hate to be 10 years old not having done an exam in a large hall before. Imagine how daunting that must be.

Fingers crossed for your next mock, and hopefully your son stays relaxed and sees how much progress he is making.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 am
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Location: West Midlands / warks border
I was in your position this time last year and know exactly how you are all feeling.

I have posted these figures before, but hopefully will give a little insight.

My DS and DD have both sat all mocks with the 11+ providers based in Shirley. My son did it 4 years ago and my daughter last year. Can't remember the exact figures but here goes from first mock to last (each getting progressively harder)

DS - 81% 76% 75% 71% - scored 237 on actual 11+

DD - 76% 63% 81% 63% 81% - scored 237 too.

As you can see my DS was more consistent than DD.

Interestingly they both had a bit of a panic attack during the actual exam, my daughter left the venue in tears, but their results show this didn't effect their performance.

My son is about to start year 10 at KEFW and my daughter starts there in year 7 next Thursday! (Another nail biting time for her)

I think the mock exams are a good idea, even if they only sit one, as they are carried out in strict exam conditions, which I think is a huge advantage for them as they know what to expect on the day.

Tips

1) next Friday, the day before, give the books a break and on the day of the test too. Let them relax and chill out a bit. There have been stories of kids pulling up to the exams reading their books in the car. Personally I think this adds to the worry, so my DD did nothing more from the Thursday night.

2) have something normal for tea on Friday I.e no special treat meal that may not agree with them and cause them to have a bad stomach!

3) do a dummy run to the venue later on in the week. The roads can get very contested and it is a very good idea to go a couple of days before, check out where you can park and check there are no road works around that could hold things up. I would suggest parking about a 5 minute walk away, this can help keep your child more relaxed and have a breath of fresh air before they go in.

4) if they take a drink with them, tell them to place it on the floor by their desks. There have been stories of children spilling drinks over their papers and ruining them and they are unable to redo the damaged bits.

5) keep calm yourself, easier said then done I know, but you want to keep your child as calm as possible. Last year at the exam centre at Sheldon Heath school a free for all broke out. Large queues waiting to get in to register and parents panicking their children wouldn't get it on time, so they all began surging forward, resulting In parents shouting at each other, resulting in a number of crying children, not a good start. So allow yourself plenty of time and keep calm.

I wish you and your children the very best of luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:56 pm
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Thanks Nervousmom. Absolutely amazing advice all round.

Just want to check with parents have they started receiving the admission 'pack' from the consortium that was promised for end of Aug? I haven't received anything yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:49 am 
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I haven't received anything yet.

Workethic - your son sounds very similar to ours, including the low mock result at a centre! In practice papers at home he varies between late 50s to 70% (his best mark yet!). I've always considered him fairly borderline, so I expect your tutor is right. It could go either way on the day! What school are you hoping for?

One problem we have is getting out of sync on the answer sheet. Does anyone have any suggestions to help prevent this happening? Can they use a ruler to follow the lines across and make sure they don't fill in the wrong line?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 am
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Location: West Midlands / warks border
If they answer all questions in order then there shouldn't be a problem.

However, chances are they may not know an answer and need to miss one out, it would be a good idea in this instance if they put a little mark next to any questions they miss on the answer sheet, to help them keep in order and know which ones to go back to.

If they find time is running out and the still have a number of questions left to answer, they should not leave anything blank, therefore they should fill all the remaining answers as the same letter, my DD chose C. they can then work back in the time they have left.

Theoretically they have a 25% chance of getting the correct answer, so if 12 questions remain and they answer C to all, the have a chance of 3 marks as opposed to 0 if they leave them unanswered.

Also make sure they are fully aware of how the answers should be marked, I.e circled, underlined, coloured in etc. if this is not done as requested then it will probably be marked incorrect. They need to make sure all instructions are clearly understood.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:51 pm 
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I think the mocks are useful, and they certainly were challenging. After ds2 sat the Walsall exam in July 2015, he sat the Shirley mock on 22 July. He attained 55%, a kick up the backside moment for us, as we realised we had to up the ante with his studying. He went on to gain 239 in the Brum exam. A couple of days earlier he sat the Bucks exam as a prep and achieved 136.


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