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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:22 pm
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Location: Sunbury <MIddlesex
I am posting my question again as I did not give the last question a proper title.

My son is achieving between 38 and 44 out of 50 in the IPS VR short papers. We have just started the cd's and he is getting 100% almost every time. Surely the cd's are far easier than the papers?
(it is not possible to cheat is it?)

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Barbara


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Perhaps the computer format helps him to focus better than the paper format?

Is the CD a mixture of questions - or just one type at a time?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:48 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Barbara

Nice to see you back - have you been lurking all this time?

I actually think the two types of practice have their easier and harder points. The Code questions are much harder to do on the CDs because the children are working entirely visually, whereas on the papers they have the opportunity to move their pencil along the letters. On the other hand, I think the larger typeface and more spacious layout of the CD questions helps the children to focus on each individual question more readily.

Also, bear in mind that on the CDs the children are simply working on one question type at a time, so they can be more focussed, rather than having to "multi-task" as they do on the practice papers.

Don't despair - we were getting the same problem, and gradually the IPS papers started to improve. We were getting 96% just before the 12+.

Do check that it isn't one or two particular question types that are giving him problems on the IPS papers. If it is, check his method of working them out.

Sally-Anne

P.S. Barbara - have deleted the other wrongly titled thread.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:25 pm 
As a parent that got their child into a grammar school successfully a couple of years ago and is familiar with the CDs subsequently launched I can perhaps share my views on this debate.

To get close to the finishing line of verbal reasoning preparation your child needs familiarity with circa 2,500 to 3,000 words of vocabulary and an efficient technique with dealing with all the types of questions tested on in the examinations (e.g. Buckinghamshire’s 21 types, Berkshire’s 15 types, Hertfordshire’s 15 types etc). Furthermore, subject to the school applied for, your child needs to be able to stay focussed for between one and two hours straight depending on the school applied for. This is the objective of all parents. After all this it will depend on your child’s nerves on the day, the ability of the other children sitting the same examination etc.

One of the quickest ways to achieve the above is through CDs. Given the question is about Buckinghamshire take the interactive CDs by The Tutors as an example though there are others by Learning Together and Tuition for You.

The Tutors started with a list of a few thousand words that they felt that an eleven plus candidate should know. Then, as they worked through each question they crossed of words already used thus each subsequent question enhanced the vocabulary as it was testing a new word. As the questions are designed to also give practice in the different types of questions they met the above core dual objective plus have the flexibility of setting the time spent.

When comparing the IPS or indeed any other author with CDs they are in fact in some ways complimentary and different in other ways:

1. The CDs accept that IPS guide book on techniques is an excellent starting point. This book covers all the types of questions known to be on the NFER database and so which ever area you are in it will prove invaluable. This company was the first to strip down the NFER question set into types of questions.

2. The carefully constructed IPS verbal reasoning question set is of a high quality, however they are yet to produce a 50 minute paper, which is the minimum quantum of focus any child needs. The CDs, depending on which ones you purchase easily facilitate this.


3. The CDs time, mark and record every attempted question and hence even if the child gets the question right you can go back and still see which questions took the longest and therefore serve as a diagnostic tool for parents. This is almost impossible to do with a paper based examination. Incidentally the fact that a single question is on the screen at a time and there is a clock timing the question makes the child focus on the task at hand, one question at a time.

4. Although the exams are paper based for most grammar schools there are many independent schools now setting computer based verbal reasoning exams (for example Eton). Irrespectively, the thinking process is the same (they both require the same techniques and both require the same high degree of vocabulary), it’s just how you answer the question (click on A to E or mark a horizontal line on paper) that they differ on.


5. When you engage in paper based revision you will end up purchasing papers by many different authors since there are none so far that give 2,250 questions back to back by the same authors (e.g. Tutors CDs). All these paper based authors are working on a different vocabulary list and there is likely to be considerable overlap of vocabulary tested between many different authors. The net effect of this is that the child’s score appears to be improving however it’s a mirage due to this overlap. Working on a single course set by one author, be it CDs or a series of books like AE Spelling and Vocabulary would be a better initial approach to create the necessary foundation for the verbal reason examinations i.e. a broad vocabulary.

6. Whilst products such as the CDs get you close to the finishing line quite quickly the final practice has to be done in the same format of the final examination. For those sitting the paper based exams appropriate paper based material should be used to finish upon. So for instance in Buckinghamshire this would include Bright Sparks series by Susan Daughtery, AFN, e-papers by The Tutors and of course NFER practice papers bought in the shop (bear in mind the latter contain only 15 types of questions whereas the actual examination in Buckinghamshire is 21 types).


Finally for the sake of completion The Tutors are a team of two professional graduate tutors running a successful tuition centre who have been preparing children for over a dozen years for the eleven plus exams in Wirral, which have the same examination format as Buckinghamshire (2 papers of 18 question types each, together testing 21 types of questions). Their level of experience is therefore on a par to that of all other authors who are specialists in Buckinghamshire.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:48 pm 
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Dear Guest

Although I agree with most Of your very informative post. There are two observations...

1] The Tutors CDS vol. 1 and 2 are the ONLY CDs relevant to Bucks, the others do not keep to the 21 types as used by Bucks, the Wirral etc.

2] The two papers offered by NFER [21 types] and the Tutors cover 12 not 18, types of questions per pairing, 21 over the 2 tests]

Patricia


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 Post subject: Bucks Papers
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:38 pm 
Hi

Given that this is a whole new game in my parenting life - can someone - anyone help and give me some pointers. My duaghter is going to sit the Bucks Papers in October - are there any specific papers she should be practising on? We've got a whole array of different. Any tips or pointers would be gratefully received. Starting to panic a bit already.... :?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:14 pm 
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Posts: 2660
Dear Annie

Firstly, panicking not allowed!

Grab yourself a large glass of wine and read on....

Are you ready for this?.......

The 11 plus exam in Bucks consists of 2 Verbal Reasoning, Multiple choice tests. Each paper has 80 questions to complete in 50 minutes. Your child only needs to pass one of the tests, the average score is no longer used. The school will provide 5 familiarisation sessions [covering the 21 types of questions] followed by 3 practice tests.

The tests are published by NFER.

Publishers which currently cover the 21 types required for Bucks include:
AFN, IPS, SUSAN DAUGHTREY [Bright Sparks only, NOT her books 1-7], THE TUTORS.

NFER, who publish the Bucks tests only contain 15 types of questions…..it is therefore necessary to practice HIKNOS while completing these tests. [HIKNOS are 6 types as identified by IPS or you can view these types as 16-21 on the Tutors Demo]

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/cd/the ... lume-1.php

I would recommend that you start by buying a method and technique book in order to teach yourself how approach each of the questions [IPS]

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/list.php?ex=85

IPS also publishes a book containing a selection of each type. Before you administer your first test, teach your child the types contained in that test using the IPS additional questions book, continue this method for the first few tests.

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/list.php?ex=90

Use tests in the following order…..

1] IPS, 10 tests 50 questions, 30 minutes [shorter tests good to begin with] only use about 5 of these as actual tests, use the rest as some form of practice.

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/list.php?ex=88

2] THE TUTORS, 12 tests, 80 questions, 50 minutes…..these come as E papers or in packs of 4

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/ ... p?g=f&p=21

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/epaper ... =f&c=1&p=6

3] SUSAN DAUGHTREY [Bright Sparks only], 4 tests 80 questions 50 minutes x 2 sets [total 8 tests]
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/list.php?ex=120

4] NFER, 4 tests, 85 questions 50 minutes [remember to practice HIKNOS from IPS when completing these tests, also need to cross off the last 5 questions, as the real test only has 80 not 85]

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/list.php?ex=14

Between steps 1-4 use the 2 CDs produced by THE TUTORS, Vol.1 contains 50 questions of each type. Vol.2 contains 12 tests. The CDs relieve the boredom of pen and paper tests, helping to increase speed and accuracy. They have received many good reviews.


http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/cd/the ... lume-1.php

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/cd/the ... lume-2.php

Ensure your child reads out loud to you at least 3 times a week, making note of all unknown vocabulary. If you look at some of the posts concerning the 2006 11 plus, the majority of posters, mention vocabulary as being the biggest problem [and I whole heartedly agree]
See the following link, bottom of the page, for my list of words with an explanation of how to use flash cards as an aid

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/revisi ... wnload.php

In addition, there are 4 types of maths questions, they are not rocket science, BUT require an ability to quickly recall the 4 maths operations i.e. adding, subtraction, multiplying and dividing. The quicker the child can recall, the more time can be spent on codes [easy marks, but time consuming] Basically if you ask for 8 x 7 you want the answer 56, now not in 10 seconds time, once they know their times tables inside out and back to front [ up to 12 x] then division becomes easy. Adding and subtraction should be practiced using numbers under 150….try making up games, giving quick fire questions in the car, out for walks etc.

This forum is a wealth of information, look around, take note and get teaching! Any problems just ask, there is always someone willing to help.

Patricia


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 Post subject: cd's versus papers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:22 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Sunbury <MIddlesex
Thankyou for all these replies.
We will continue with both .The paper tests seem to cause him anxiety and he is very restless whilst doing them(we have not started the longer ones yet).The cd's are quick and obviously more fun to do.We have not looked much at timing so far ,firstly because he is not yet very quick at doing them and secondly because he has a tendency to get upset and be very critical of his own performance.
It has been difficult to play down the importance of passing these tests. He is a bright boy and he knows that I have bought property in Buckinghamshire so that we can be living there in December if he passes.
I am grateful we have had success with the cd tests (doing one of each question type )and that he has seen some good marks.
Many thanks again to everyone who replied.

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Barbara


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 Post subject: Starting our mission
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:20 am 
Patricia

Many thanks and yes I agree that the forum is a wealth of information and also as a counselling service for all the other parents who slowly lose their minds.

Am I already behind? My daughter is above average ability but I think she can do this well with a bit of coaching and perhaps some tuition. Reading some of the posts makes one a little apprehensive and a bit initimidated. We have 6 months...

Annie


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Annie

Although there are always lunatics who coach their children for years on the 11+, this is a perfectly reasonable time to start.

Just go at a steady rate, and try not to break off for the whole of the summer holiday, but don't take homework with you when you go away!

You will almost certainly find that your daughter will be confident on most types of question, but have issues with a very few. Address those between now and June if possible. Once July arrives, gradually start to shift the emphasis to timing, making sure that once her speed goes up, her accuracy stays the same.

Sally-Anne


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