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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Completely new to this forum so quite hesitant to post but I realised that it is now just 4 months and a few days before my DS (who will only have turned 10 less than 2 months prior to test day) will sit the Bucks transfer test. I would be very grateful if the lovely, knowledgeable members of this forum can advise a newbie like me on what to focus on at this stage of my DS' preparation. I realise there's really not long to go but can we still do something to at least prep him for the day? He is determined to give it a go. I have been enthusiastically reading book recommendations etc on this helpful forum but what would be a reasonable sample schedule and type of materials he should focus on? Would half an hour a day suffice? Should he focus on books and leave the practice tests until a month or two before the actual thing? Do people recommend online practice (seeing as the Bucks transfer test is paper-based)? I do apologise for all the questions but I come from an entirely different educational system and would be extremely grateful for any advice/tips, no matter how little. Please be gentle... :D


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:25 am 
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You have plenty of time and you both seem very motivated and that is the most important thing. Lots can be done in 4 months. I know of a student who started preparation in July for North London selectives and got them all because she - like your son - was very motivated and wanted to do it.

I would sign up for a mock to help you see his current levels and how high the mountain is to climb.

Little and often is the key. Look in the forum shop for some great ten minutes tests, they have a special section on CEM.

Be prepared for first cut to be terrible. Students I know of get very very low marks in their first attempt. Get a notebook, keep a record of all marks and watch them climb daily.

We record pw ( personal worst) and pb (personal best) and it is wonderful to see the progress.

Use CGP and First past the post CEM publications. DG


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:32 am 
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Most of the Bucks people on here do not recommend mocks as the Transfer Test requires 121 to qualify and score doesn't come into the allocation of places. DG does not live in Bucks.

Other than that - are you in Bucks? If not, do check you have a reasonable chance of getting a place if qualification is achieved.

Read the pages here:

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/education/sch ... sfer-test/


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:01 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Most of the Bucks people on here do not recommend mocks as the Transfer Test requires 121 to qualify and score doesn't come into the allocation of places. DG does not live in Bucks.

Other than that - are you in Bucks? If not, do check you have a reasonable chance of getting a place if qualification is achieved.

Read the pages here:

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/education/sch ... sfer-test/

Just out of curiosity (and having read through the admissions link info) - does it mean that grammar school places are allocated based on distance from school? How do numbers of those who qualify compare to the number of grammar school places available? I didn't realise that GS entrance rules are so different between counties; in Surrey the higher the score, the better, although some schools have catchment or priority area rules to go with the scores.

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:10 pm 
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All students living in Bucks catchments are guaranteed a GS place; not necessarily their first choice though.

There are enough places for all the children living in county who qualify - indeed many living outside Bucks also attend GS.

Several of the GS have increased their places in recent years and a couple are consulting at the moment to increase.


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:21 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
All students living in Bucks catchments are guaranteed a GS place; not necessarily their first choice though.

There are enough places for all the children living in county who qualify - indeed many living outside Bucks also attend GS.

Several of the GS have increased their places in recent years and a couple are consulting at the moment to increase.

Thank you. :) That's lucky for those who live in Bucks. In Surrey schools the number of children who are eligible for a place is always higher than a number of places. For example, after last year's exams, boys' grammars in Sutton qualified about 550 boys for 450 places, so those with lower scores end up on waiting lists.

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:24 pm 
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It's because the top third qualify [the raw mark for that varies each year] so that ensures all local qualifiers can have a place.


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:29 pm 
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It makes sense and is certainly less stressful for children and parents than a system in which passing an exam does not guarantee a place...

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 1:45 pm 
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However, I think the Surrey system is an opt-in system, i.e. the parents choose to apply for a GS place, with the large majority of children going to a comprehensive?

In Bucks, it is a totally selective system. The grammar school system was never dismantled here in the 1970s. This means unless the child qualifies for a grammar school place, they have to go to a secondary modern school. There are some good ones, but many are struggling. There are no comprehensive secondary schools in Bucks.


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 1:58 pm 
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Lillie wrote:
However, I think the Surrey system is an opt-in system, i.e. the parents choose to apply for a GS place, with the large majority of children going to a comprehensive?

In Bucks, it is a totally selective system. The grammar school system was never dismantled here in the 1970s. This means unless the child qualifies for a grammar school place, they have to go to a secondary modern school. There are some good ones, but many are struggling. There are no comprehensive secondary schools in Bucks.
Thank you for that explanation, Lillie, I didn't know that. You are right, in Surrey parents either chose to apply for a GS place for their DC or apply for a place in a comprehensive. Of the latter, some are pretty good, but some not so - just like everywhere else, I guess. Some parents opt for GS because they have no chance of getting into one of the good comprehensives - they are very oversubscribed and their catchment areas can be very small.

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