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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Just wanted to get more idea about how your DC think they got on last week as my son has been really worried. We have been told from year one that he is constantly top of his class in pretty much everything, with above average SATs marks all the way through. So surely he should not be feeling the test was too hard/there wasn't enough time? in work done at home he is always very quick and he consistently performs well under time pressure tests at school. It would be a total travesty if he and others like him did not qualify and would surely point to a problem with the test itself. Anyone else feel like this?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Hi Poohbear
Yes I agree with you completely regards the test. My dc was upset and felt that it was all too much. 200 questions in 90 minutes - they are 10 years old for goodness sake.
The timings - 27 seconds per question appears to be on a par with Warwickshire - who have five grammar schools to Bucks thirteen.
It's going to be a long and worrying wait until 11 October.


Last edited by Garnett on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:45 pm 
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yes a very long wait indeed. I guess though if they all found it equally difficult then the result will be that they need less marks to qualify after standardisation, otherwise we would have some very empty year seven classrooms! wish I could fast forward to October.....


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:49 pm 
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I think you should try not to worry, poohbear. No child will have found it difficult or easy in the same way and it will not tell you how well your child has done. It's really not long until October. Previously it has always been the end of November. All you know at this stage is that 30% approximately will pass. And while it is difficult to be in the first year of a new test, at least it is fairer than previous years. Good luck to your DS, I hope you get good news.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:34 pm 
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poohbear wrote:
yes a very long wait indeed. I guess though if they all found it equally difficult then the result will be that they need less marks to qualify after standardisation, otherwise we would have some very empty year seven classrooms! wish I could fast forward to October.....


Me too...I am not very patient at the best of times!
I guess they will adjust the marks accordingly - 30 per cent pass & remember it is a small cohort this year.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:08 am 
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Yes. Didn't you need a very high raw score to pass in bucks in previous years? It would seem from people's feedback this year that a lower raw score will be needed. So really the hope for parents over the next few weeks is just the same - that their children got enough correct to make the cut-off point.

Assuming the new test has validity and reliability children who are "grammar fodder" should have similar fodder to before. It is still a test though where some of the right kind of preparation could help.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:08 am 
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I have only heard of a couple of people whose children felt they did well, and I know they were highly tutored, for quite a few years, and some of them are taking tests in other counties for superselectives. I think we are all agreed that it was a vicious test. I am very glad of this forum, because at least I have heard from other parents that their DC"s felt the same as mine, and have been able to tell her she is not alone and still has a chance of a pass. When she came out of the test she was crying saying she definitely did not pass, and like the original thread says this cannot be right when my DD is top of their class in a 100% level 5 Sat performing school predicted level 6 Sat Maths and poss English too. Se is a prolific reader. So we thought it was a given that she would pass, and so did her school!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:00 pm 
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The children at our local Primary where my DD attends all came out quite relaxed. There was nothing there they were not expecting - question types, number of questions etc ; some sections were harder than others depending on the child's strengths; a few struggled to complete everything in the time without any last minute guessing. When meeting parents from other local Primary Schools in our town over the weekend, their feelings were much the same

At the end of the day, my DD went in there fully prepared, aware of the time pressures, understood that it would be more difficult than the practice tests and that remaining calm, focused and sticking to a plan was the way to get through it. I have no idea whether she will have passed...but what I do know is that the foundations were all in place. She went in there fully prepared and as parents we could not have done more, and the rest was up to her and her natural ability. If that is not enough, then Grammar School is not the right place to be.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:14 pm 
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We are experiencing an exactly similar situation and also heard that the exam was easy for couple of kids who were highly tutored and had sat for super selective exams in other counties since July. They were boasting that they had one or two minutes to spare, doing nothing at the end of each section. The test was that much easy for them. But most of the other kids who were naturally talented(gifted and talented category in school) commented that they had to concentrate on the questions rather than rushing to attempt all the questions. My kid said she did the same. So we are waiting towards 11th Oct, to see that the CEM tests are "tutor proof"!!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:56 pm 
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OldMaD wrote:
The children at our local Primary where my DD attends all came out quite relaxed. There was nothing there they were not expecting - question types, number of questions etc ; some sections were harder than others depending on the child's strengths; a few struggled to complete everything in the time without any last minute guessing. When meeting parents from other local Primary Schools in our town over the weekend, their feelings were much the same

At the end of the day, my DD went in there fully prepared, aware of the time pressures, understood that it would be more difficult than the practice tests and that remaining calm, focused and sticking to a plan was the way to get through it. I have no idea whether she will have passed...but what I do know is that the foundations were all in place. She went in there fully prepared and as parents we could not have done more, and the rest was up to her and her natural ability. If that is not enough, then Grammar School is not the right place to be.

It sounds as though your school did a good job of making sure that the children were OK. my child had to take the test in a central location in a large hall with others she did not know. Although we do live in Bucks, we couldn't get her a place Ian local school so she goes to school over the border, there was no preparation for the test at her school and it was a very scary experience, going to the central location.


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