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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:20 pm
Posts: 141
Hi. I have rather belatedly just found this board. Bit late as my son sits the test next Saturday!

He (and I) are a bit anxious, not about the actual test but about the way it is run / what he has to do. I just wondered if anybody who had older children who sat it in recent years could give a bit of info?

Are they sat in rows if desks like we did in a level exams and does he find his seat by name or candidate number?

Do they tell them when the 10 min reading time is up on the English paper and do they give them warnings when they are halfway through the exam or 15 mins to go etc?

What happens in the break between the two papers and how long is the break?

If anyone could answer these questions he would be extremely grateful! Thank you x


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:02 am
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Don't worry too much. They look after them very well and give clear instructions. They know they are dealing with 10 and 11 year olds after all. My DS sat last year and they were sitting at desks set up in the main hall just like GCSE's or A levels. They tell them how to find their desks. I think they tell them when the reading time is up, perhaps someone else could confirm. I worried about a watch but my son told me there were two big clocks he could see. He sat at CRGS. During the break they can use the toilet (advised) and were given a biscuit and a drink. Not sure if they tell them when they are half way through etc. I just coached my son to keep an eye on the time himself anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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It might help if you post which centre he is sitting at as specifics vary from place to place.
Dont depend on them being told when they are half way through etc - much better they track themselves.

While its good to give them a general idea of what to expect so also warm them that it could be slightly different so they don't get phased if it is.

Also make sure they understand that while it is a test the adults there want them to their best so will be helpful and understanding about practical things so they should ask if they have questions.

+1 for going to loo in break - some children don't like to in a strange place- and having drink and biscuit if offered ( even if they don't especially like it or you don't usually allow it) as it keeps them hydrated and energy levels going.

It's really important he is prepared for the large number of people who will be there and that you put on the calm face ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:02 am
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Ah yes, the calm face. I think I managed that ok while with my two DSs that have taken the test, and I saved my "crumpled-about to cry" face for when I had turned and walked away. I felt so sorry for them both. Such horrible pressure at such a young age. I saw other parents with the crumpled face walking away too. We gave each other sad little smiles of understanding. Best of luck to you and your boy. I hope he does well.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:20 pm
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Sorry, i realised I had forgot to say which centre but only just had the chance to come back on.
He is sitting it at Kegs in Chelmsford.

Thanks for replies btw.


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