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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:37 am
Posts: 99
Hi.

Can anyone please help with the following ?

1. Numerical questions - on the answer sheet, must they write the digits in the blank boxes as well as shade the digit options in each column ?

2. Should they aim to answer all the questions or use the time to answer as many as possible accurately ? If the former I'm afraid DC might rush it and make silly mistakes

3. Will there be more questions than its possible to answer in the time ? If so should I tell my DC this or will that lull them in to a false sense of security ?

4. Is it a good idea to use a watch ?

5. If they come to a question that they find is too hard or are spending too much time trying to work out and want to skip it and try and come back to, should they guess it rather than leave the answer blank ?

6. Are you still working hard with one week to go or easing off and letting your DC relax ? I'm thinking that we should ease off now as DC is getting fed up with it all.

Thanks for any help and good luck to everyone !


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
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duffymoon wrote:
Hi.

Can anyone please help with the following ?

1. Numerical questions - on the answer sheet, must they write the digits in the blank boxes as well as shade the digit options in each column ?

We don't know the actual answer sheet format, she must listen carefully to instruction.

2. Should they aim to answer all the questions or use the time to answer as many as possible accurately ? If the former I'm afraid DC might rush it and make silly mistakes

Answer questions efficiently, it's easy to spend to long trying to get the right answer, learn to guess and move on to other questions that will yield obviously correct answers.

3. Will there be more questions than its possible to answer in the time ? If so should I tell my DC this or will that lull them in to a false sense of security ?

Depends on the child and the test, my son finished it all last year but left out anything he didn't understand quickly. Moving on is the trick, if questions are left at the end choose just one letter to mark from all those empty boxes.
It's unlikely they will feel secure, my son thought he had scored about 100, it's fast and they will not answer every question which feels like a big deal. Tell them anything to make them feel happy, by the time they have sat the test it doesn't matter, but don't lead, let them talk about it, if and only if they want to. Obviously telling them they are sure to pass is silly, but allow them to move forward and feel they did ok.

4. Is it a good idea to use a watch ?

Only if they are used to using a watch, there will be a clock and audio time alerts.

5. If they come to a question that they find is too hard or are spending too much time trying to work out and want to skip it and try and come back to, should they guess it rather than leave the answer blank ?

Put a mark in a box, do not ever leave blank, asterix the question and change later if time. Leaving blank can result in the next question being marked up a row and thus everything that follows being wrong.

6. Are you still working hard with one week to go or easing off and letting your DC relax ? I'm thinking that we should ease off now as DC is getting fed up with it all.

This depends on your child and how confident and happy they are, if they want to do a ten minute test or two let them, but make sure they are easy ones, or rig the results. :wink:

Thanks for any help and good luck to everyone !


Good luck to your dc


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Quote:
5. If they come to a question that they find is too hard or are spending too much time trying to work out and want to skip it and try and come back to, should they guess it rather than leave the answer blank ?

Put a mark in a box, do not ever leave blank, asterix the question and change later if time. Leaving blank can result in the next question being marked up a row and thus everything that follows being wrong.

Excellent advice, and there have been several appeal cases in recent years where parents believed that leaving an answer box empty was their child's downfall, resulting in all subsequent answers being incorrectly marked.

However, please be aware that the instruction CD from CEM specifically says (words to the effect of): "If you do not know the answer to a question, do not make a guess; leave the answer box blank."

I'm afraid that is where I part company with CEM. It is rank trickery to expect a 10 year old child, working at speed and under pressure, to recall that they have left a blank space on a multiple choice answer sheet, something they may have barely encountered before and will hardly ever see again.

The root of this is a belief in "the system" that somehow (Lor' knows how!), some children were getting significant numbers of marks on the old test through sheer guesswork. Statistically, with 80 questions on each paper, and 5 options for each question, guesswork alone would have delivered a princely total of 16 marks.

For an able child, one "best guess" on a question might deliver a single vital mark that would prevent the child so much upset at not qualifying, and the parents from having to endure an appeal. Hardly criminal abuse of the system.

I don't expect CEM to instruct children to guess at an answer, but I would very much like to see the instruction not to do so removed from the CD.

I strongly advise all parents to tell their children to disregard that instruction, and encourage their child to mark an answer box for every question throughout the test.

<there endeth the rant>


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
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I applaud your rant S-A. Frankly I was always told as a child and hence told my own DC and others to answer every question, unless sitting an exam where wrong answers result in a deduction of marks. You can't get a mark when there is no answer and there are always those where you can put in an educated guess as well as those where it is a random guess. It makes absolute sense especially with multiple choice.

It's almost like advocating DC to do something really silly that goes against using their commensense especially as it will more often than not be the borderline DC who miss out.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:56 am 
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I agree - the multiple choice "guess if you don't know unless it loses you marks" rule applies far beyond 11 plus

(last used by me in an exam aged 40 something). :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:59 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Thanks, Tolstoy.

Tolstoy wrote:
it will more often than not be the borderline DC who miss out.

And the untutored children; tutors drill their pupils to disobey the instruction on the CD.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
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Sally-Anne wrote:
Thanks, Tolstoy.

Tolstoy wrote:
it will more often than not be the borderline DC who miss out.

And the untutored children; tutors drill their pupils to disobey the instruction on the CD.



Yes sadly very true as if the odds aren't already stacked against them enough. CEM and those that chose to use it must know that.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
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duffymoon wrote:
Hi.

Can anyone please help with the following ?

1. Numerical questions - on the answer sheet, must they write the digits in the blank boxes as well as shade the digit options in each column ?

Yes they must write the digit at the top of the column as well as shading the boxes. See the familiarisation booklet.

2. Should they aim to answer all the questions or use the time to answer as many as possible accurately ? If the former I'm afraid DC might rush it and make silly mistakes
Both. As many as possible accurately but not to dwell too long on a question. If question taking too long guess there and then and move on. Do not leave any answers blank. The CD will give a ONE MINUTE warning. Guess all remaining answers, then go back to where they were and carry on.

3. Will there be more questions than its possible to answer in the time ? If so should I tell my DC this or will that lull them in to a false sense of security ?

Generally more questions than able to answer. Yes tell them. They may panic if they do not finish a section.

4. Is it a good idea to use a watch ?

Yes! Officially all children must face the front. Officailly there should be a wall clock placed at the front for all children to see. In reality some schools do not keep to this rule. Your child may not be able to see a clock. CD will say when half the time has elapsed and when one minute remaining. However child needs to be "aware" of the time, to keep the pace up.

5. If they come to a question that they find is too hard or are spending too much time trying to work out and want to skip it and try and come back to, should they guess it rather than leave the answer blank ?

Move on BUT guess immediately, for two reasons, may not have time to go back. In addition it ensures they do not get out of sync on the answer sheet. As S-A has stated the CD will tell the children not guess. This is definitely one rule all children can totally disregard.

6. Are you still working hard with one week to go or easing off and letting your DC relax ? I'm thinking that we should ease off now as DC is getting fed up with it all.

At least keep up the reading out loud.

Thanks for any help and good luck to everyone !


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:37 am
Posts: 99
Thank you SB3, S-A and P for taking the time to reply. That all sounds like great advice which I will definitely pass on to my DC, so thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:06 pm
Posts: 73
1) Dd1 sitting cem test in a few days. 14th sept. At home, so far, dd has been practising doing Qs out of order (due to tight cem timing), hence leaving blank answers. & then attempting the leftover Qs she couldnt do in the time allowed.
In light of the above advice re not leaving any BLANK which makes so much sense as the timing ll b so tight, HOW do I make my dd change the habit practised so far & get her used to answering questins in ORDER & not out of order??? pls help!
2) dd has done lots of timed papers but without wearing a watch or timing herself.. I dont intend to send her with a watch as it'll distract & she'll feel more pressurised rather than getting on with answering Qs. Am I thinking wrong?
Thanks All.


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