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 Post subject: Format of 11+
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3810
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
For those of you who are new to the Essex 11+. I have put up all of the information that I have, perhaps some other "old hands" could add details that I have omitted.

The test is taken in one of the local high schools. You can choose which school, it does not have to be your first choice, within the limit of girls at Girls Schools and boys at Boys Schools.

Nervous children may be better at St.Bernards and St.Thomas More as fewer children take the exam there.

Format of the exam
40 minute English test (25% of the marks)
Very short break (while the papers are swapped - children remain seated)
35 minute maths test (25% of the marks)
Long break (15-20 mins - children leave their desks)
50 minute VR test, 80 multiple choice questions (50% of the marks)

The English and the maths papers are written by one of the teachers from the Essex High Schools. The VR paper is provided by GL Assessment. The two previous years' maths and English papers can be purchased from the consortium of selective schools in Essex (CSSE) http://www.csse.org.uk. Older papers are not available. A sample VR paper can also be purchased.

Suitable material for the English paper can be hard to obtain, many local tutors write their own papers in the appropriate format.

Maths needs the development of problem solving skills, Primary Maths Challenge style questions are helpful.

The English paper is a comprehension, usually from a 19th century text. There are 50 marks.
The paper usually has about 30 marks allocated to comprehension skills. These are often subtle and quite difficult. The format is tick box style, with some written answers.
10+ marks for word matching. Find the word in the text that means....
6-8 marks for punctuating a piece of direct speech.

Edit: The 2011 entry paper was still a comprehension, but the word matching section was omitted and a spelling section was added. There were questions on the parts of speech and literary devices such as personification, simile, etc. The maths paper for the last three years has been easier than those given previously.

The maths paper is tough, harder than the GL assessment papers. It begins with arithmetic on the first page, there are questions involving area, bar charts, angles, percentages, ratio, BIDMAS, algebra, etc. Often the questions are not straightforward and the final question has been of the standard expected for the Junior maths challenge (aimed at bright year 8 children).

The VR paper follows the format of most other counties, it is essential that children learn how to use the multiple choice format. This has only existed in Essex for a few years. This site has a great deal of information and resource lists.

Only Colchester Royal Grammar School has a 13+ entry system and they only have four places available.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Southend Girls were kind, they gave the children a small good luck token. However, the girls were then taken to one of two large halls where they had to sit in silence at a desk until the exam began. Many found this stressful. Unfortunately the exam was delayed as a couple of girls were late arriving. 30-40 minutes sitting in silence.
The girls were advised to bring a book, but my daughter and many others were unable to read whilst waiting.

Southend Boys waited with us until the exam was due to begin. Much nicer. Most were in small classrooms, but some were in a large hall.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:31 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
1997 The Road to Wigan Pier - George Orwell (old style paper) (pub date 1937)
1999 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain (pub date 1876)
2000 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (pub date 1847)
2001 Kipps - H. G. Wells (pub date 1905)
2002 Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (pub date 1874)
2003 Tobermory - H. H. Munro (pub date 1909?)
2004 Silas Marner - George Eliot (pub date 1861)
2005 The Snow Geese - William Fiennes (pub date 2002)
2006 The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot (pub date 1860)
2007 Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (pub date 1891)
2008 The Destructors - Graham Greene (pub date 1954)
2009 Longitude - Dava Sobel (pub date 1995)
2010 Bleak House - Charles Dickens (pub date 1852-1853)
2010x Hard Times - Charles Dickens (pub date 1854)
2011 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernières (pub date 1994)
2011x Atonement - Ian McEwen (pub date 2001)


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 Post subject: Essex English
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:32 pm
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Thankyou for the previous posts on all Essex English comprehension text. Has anyone any practical tips on how to prepare for the English exam?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Read widely, build up word knowledge through games (Boggle, Scrabble, www.freerice.org) and comprehensions. Listen to story CDs in the car and at bedtime. Discussion of broadsheet newspaper articles, read a good quality columnist every day. Enlarge the vocabulary that you use so that your child is exposed to a wider range of words. Bond books are useful for the development of comprehension skills.

A Christmas Carol is my first recommended book. Share with your child if they are not willing to read it alone. Make comprehensions based on the real papers.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:37 pm 
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moved wrote:
1997 The Road to Wigan Pier - George Orwell (old style paper) (pub date 1937)
1999 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain (pub date 1876)
2000 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (pub date 1847)
2001 Kipps - H. G. Wells (pub date 1905)
2002 Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (pub date 1874)
2003 Tobermory - H. H. Munro (pub date 1909?)
2004 Silas Marner - George Eliot (pub date 1861)
2005 The Snow Geese - William Fiennes (pub date 2002)
2006 The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot (pub date 1860)
2007 Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (pub date 1891)
2008 The Destructors - Graham Greene (pub date 1954)
2009 Longitude - Dava Sobel (pub date 1995)
2010 Bleak House - Charles Dickens (pub date 1852-1853)
2010x Hard Times - Charles Dickens (pub date 1854)


Sorry if these have been discussed previously but what is the above list?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 612
Location: essex
Hi Grover,

These are the books from which passages have been taken for the 11plus English comprehension exam.

I am ashamed to admit I have only read a few of them myself. I believe the Tess paper is truly infamous. The word on the street is that last years Dicken's paper was also pretty tricky. My daughter did the Graham Greene one and got in.
You can order copies of past papers from the CSSE and see for your self what sort of direction you need to be pointing your child in. I would recommend lots of vocab work and the usual FTQ (read the question ) drill.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
You can obtain the last two years' papers. The list is there as a guide to the complexity of the texts - please do not get your child to read them. Some deal with material that is highly inappropriate for a 10 yr old.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:35 am
Posts: 3
Thanks Marigold and Moved. For a minute I thought my DD would have to read these :) .


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 Post subject: Re: Format of 11+
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:00 am
Posts: 6
My Son has read Christmas Carol, now moved to Oliver twist. These books are really hard even for me, he is struggling to read own his own. We always have to have dictionary with us. Any suggestions how to improve reading.


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