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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 52
Location: essex
Each year people on the Essex forum (including me) seem to report that 11+ scores were lower than might have been expected. Do people think that more than nerves might be the reason? Surely not every child is so nervous that they all score a uniform 10-15% lower?

I think there must be something happening when the papers are marked. I'm not suggesting there is anything sinister going on but wonder if there is a statistical/mathematical reason.

I'd love to know if there are any theories out there amongst my cyber friends.

Lulu


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:20 am
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My daughter's marks in english and maths were as she was expected to get. Her VR on the other hand was much lower. This wasnt to do with nerves, more that there were a lot of questions of the type that she found difficult. Cant remember what type of questions it was but there was one particular type that she just couldnt get the hang of with her tutor. We had our fingers crossed that the paper would be full of all the other types that she could do and loved but we were out of luck!!! Her first words to me when she came out were that she knew she had done badly on the vr (which is a worry when that test makes up 50%).

However her english and maths were enough to get her a place at her first choice comfortably so at the end of the day it wasnt a huge deal, but if those marks had dropped lower it would have been :shock: !


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
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Hi lulu,
Can't say for certain of course.However older daughter didn't drop any points at all from practice, scoring in the nineties in all, on the day.When she came out I said," How was it"? She said, "like i thought it would be.I kinda enjoyed it". (strange I know)
Daughter no 2 was scoring almost identical scores in practice, using exactly the same materials. She looked worried going in and I did my best to reassure her.When she came out and I asked the same question, she looked worried still and said " It was REALLY scary".She did drop significantly her scores and scraped in - mercifully.
They both have very different personalities.

So no - not every child does drop in their scores but I think it helps to give them some real exam conditions somehow, (which we didn't), because I did not expect her to be SO affected. If I had done that, I would have realised that we needed to work on exam technique, confidence and accuracy under pressure more than we did.
Its impossible to say for sure the reasons.For example the girls in the hall over ran by 50 minutes so had been cooped up for hours.Who knows maybe that unsettled some.My own daughter had been off all week with sinusitis.It is impossible to tell but the more you can do to reduce the variables by, for example test conditions in practice, the better.Just my opinion. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:02 pm
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Also, don't forget it is impossible to get accurate examples of VR papers as the board that sets them don't release practice papers. We can only ever get Bond/NFER papers which we hope are similar. It is possible to get past papers, but as the format of the test has changed over the last few years, most people are only using a small sample of these past papers and the rest of the time are practising on similar papers. I do wonder if the paper gets harder each year to try and filter out those who are genuinely able from those who have been tutored to death! Both my kids and a number of others from their primary claim that the real thing is much harder than anything done in practice. Maybe nerves do play a part, but maybe it really is harder. My youngest got 80 % in the most recent VR 11+ exam when he had never scored below 90% in practice papers he had done.


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