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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:42 am 
I have a son who has always been one of the top in his class. Currently he is at a well performing state primary school. In last years optional SATs he got 5s across the board. He reads a lot for pleasure, has a broad range of interests. He is bright, articulate and has a reading age of over 14 and scores very highly on comprehension and critical analysis tests .

He has not had any tuition for the 11+. We have done a very little bit at home though frankly I have struggled to be able to help him much with the questions that he finds most difficult (codes etc).

I had him do a test paper yesterday and realize now that there is a very good chance that he is going to fail the exam. Yet, all seem to agree that he is so clearly good grammar school material. His teacher is equally surprised.

So, my question is, is the 11+ exam really an effective test? Does my son's apparent difficulty with certain types of questions mean he can't be an academic high achiever?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:59 pm 
No it doesn't mean that, but it does re-emphasises what we all know is true without tuition no child will pass the test. Remember it isn't like any test he will have taken before and not part of any curriculum. If he is taking the test in a couple of weeks you may still have time to give him some help. Where will he take the test and what did he score when you tested him, what is he struggling with most.

Mel


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Hi,

I am really sorry to hear your story. Your son's SATs results show that he have the ability, but isn't achieving in the 11+ practice because he hasn't been tutored. It is almost impossible to get thought the Bucks tests without tuition nowadays.

If you think that is not far from the pass mark, you can try to coach him for the next few weeks. You would get a lot of advice from this forum.
The other option would be to enter him for the 12+ next year.

Your son may do well anywhere anyway, and he may be very successful in a secondary. Are you happy with your backup secondary?

Stay on this forum and you will get a lot of support.

Best wishes

Catherine


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:33 pm 
Hi Catherine

Like many boys his age my son will happily do the work asked of him and usually do it very well. He won't however push himself that extra mile unless it is a subject that interests him especially. I don't think that is a flaw, just normal.

While he would happily cope with the demands of a Grammar School I think he would coast at an Upper. His work would probably sink down so that it was good but not outstanding. He is exactly the sort of child that would benefit most from a shift in gear by all around him.

Meanwhile I am reading the Secondary Admissions guide which insists that extra coaching makes only a slight (if any) difference to the score.

I have just spoken to a tutor who wants £10 an hour. Fine, except that we simply don't have the money with trying to cope with Bucks house prices (up to overdraft limit at bank already).

This is so unfair and surely not what the County intends.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi YAWM

Firstly, some practical help

The Tutors have provided a free Verbal Reasoning Methods & Technique Course that explains all 21 question types used in the Bucks test and refers to free question sets that are contained on there Verbal Reasoning CD1.

Unfortunately, Elevenplusexams.co.uk have not provided a direct link to it on their front page, so you will need to "find it", so here is the link.

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/pdf/th ... hnique.pdf

Not to evade your question about whether the Bucks tests is effective.

The Bucks test is effective in selecting children for Grammar school places based on two Verbal Reasoning tests with the highest test being counted.

Some would argue that it is an effective test in selecting the brightest children for Grammar school places.

A few problems with the Bucks test is it is by far the easiest formatted test for 11+ in the country, therefore the pass mark is extraordinary high. As the majority of the question types in the test are non-curricular parents generally need to provide a source of tutoring whether through a tutor or through DIY. So do not take too much notice of the Secondary Admissions Guide.

I think that 10 pounds per student per hour is a low price for tuition. As the tests are getting closer use the course and this forum for support. You will receive plenty of free help.

Regards

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
Yet another worried mum,

For what its worth, I'm in a similar position. Child is very good at schools (gets great marks), reads quite advanced books all the time for pleasure AND has had 11+ tuition.

But she is a bit of coaster/dreamer, doesn't naturally think laterally (can get locked into one thinking pattern) and, as it turns out, picks up general meanings from the books she reads but not necessarily individual word meanings (and doesn't care that much about individual word meanings).

I can only compare her to me and my sisters - we all passed outright - and I can see that when you scratch the surface of school results, she doesn't quite have the same inquisitive mind and the constant sub-conscious snapping up of knowledge that we had/have.

If she passes I'll be very pleased. But if she doesn't, my simple view is that the system will have done its job in finding someone who, behind the glowing facade, is just not quite up to the mark yet (and, let's face it, "the mark" is very demanding for the average 11 year old).


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
My son is the same as yours. He will do what he is told to do but nothing extra. Nothing special or to worry about I think!
As for the Bucks CC advice, it is definitely flawed. I really feel sorry for people who get caught out.

At this stage, I would be careful with tutors, because most good tutors are going to be fully booked, and if you are not happy for any reason it's going to be too late.
There is enough advice on this site for you to tutor yourself, and you can get started already with Mike's advice and free material.

I am sure that Patricia is going to turn up and help you as well.

Catherine


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
Yet another worried mum,

Do use the DIY resources on this site in the remaining time.

Is the Head recommending GS entry? If you need to go to Appeal the predicted KS2 levels and HT recommendation are vital -

Don't give up yet


Personally I would ban the word 'pass' - you qualify or not - the bar height depends on the cohort and there are children with 3 level 5s who thrive in Uppers.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:07 pm 
Guest55 wrote:
there are children with 3 level 5s who thrive in Uppers.


but, most such children will do significantly better at a Grammar School, if not then why on earth do we have this system?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
No - some children with 3 level 5s cannot cope with GS - it depends on personality too -

I am a teacher and parent so see it from both sides - children at Uppers can get lots of A*s and sometimes being at the top of the pile suits some children.


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