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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:12 pm
Posts: 5
First off, apologies as I'm sure this sort of thing has been posted before. I'm starting to think of preparation for DS entrance exams for Gloucestershire grammar schools later this year. I think I have identified from this very useful forum that Gloucestershire uses the 15 VR questions types only and that Bond papers are not suitable for this practice but I'd really appreciate help with some more information.

Could anyone tell me please what would be good practice for our area? My son has done the free Tutors on screen practice questions, which he found not too bad. I see the Tutors have a downloadable CD of multiple choice questions. Does anyone know if these are better than the individual Tutors downloadable question papers or if they are the same?

I've also seen that IPS produce material that might be suitable for Gloucestershire but the review on this website says they are particularly useful for Bucks and Kent - does anyone have experience of these papers as practice in our area?

Does Gloucestershire use the multiple choice format or standard format questions?

Finally could anyone recommend a tutor in the Cheltenham area. I know you're not allowed to mention on the forum, but would be very grateful for a PM.

Many thanks!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
Posts: 739
Location: Gloucester
Welcome Chilternpark!

Firstly there is a wealth of information in the sticky on the Glos part of this forum.Note also the earlier test date this year-October and not November.

Gloucestershire use multiple choice-all details are on the sticky.

I used Susan Daughtrey and Walsh for prep with DS but my memory has gome slightly with regards to other materials used as we are talking about nearly 3 years ago now! I'm sure others will be along to give you their experiences soon

if anybody has any recommendations for a Cheltenham tutor then please reply by PM,

Thanks,
Gloucestermum


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:14 am 
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Posts: 333
Hi Chilternpark and welcome to the forum.

I will try to answer some of your questions briefly (I could talk for hours about 11+ - our DD sits it in October too.).

Firstly, I think general consensus is it's all 21 question types, not 15 for Glos. It's definitely multiple choice, and a lot of the info. you can find on the Bucks forum from Patricia also relates to Glos.

We have been doing some stuff on online with our DD, but having moved on to 'paper' questions, I think these are more valuable, because the children need to get used to using rough paper to work out their answers, and transferring their answers on to the answer sheet correctly.

We have started with the IPS 50 questions in 30mins papers and are planning to also use the Tutors level 3 15mins papers (and nearer the time level 4). We will buy the Bright Sparks and possibly Walsh papers too.

Main things to concentrate on are Vocabulary and Mental maths (all four number operations, fast!)

Hope this helps.

Pixiequeen


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:17 pm
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I have sent you a PM regarding tutoring


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:12 pm
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Wow - what a speedy response - thanks so much Gloucestermum and pixiequeen. This is very useful stuff. I'd still be interested if anyone know what the difference between the Tutors e-papers and cd of practice questions is.

I think we'll try the IPS, thanks pixiequeen.

Ciren mum - I will return your PM thanks.

Chilternpark


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:55 pm 
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thanks for the PM.

I found that printing off the vocab list from the download section of this website was very useful. We then tried to teach my son a few of these words each week. He said that some of the words did come up on the real paper.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:21 pm
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I 'tutored' my son myself from the begining of September for a first weekend in November exam.

I used the susan daughtrey series which was great, as basically all I did was open the page and make him read it for 10 minutes a day, just there to help when he couldn't understand bits. The books cover all types of verbal reasoning questions.

I was lucky that he was very well motivated and a voracious reader which I think is a huge advantage with the vocabulary. He managed to qualify for all four of the county#'s grammar schools. I think that doing it in a short period made him focus better he knew we couldn't afford to miss a day. Good luck and try to enjoy the ride.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:59 am 
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my son really enjoyed the work - bit bored with slow pace at school and he liked (well, generally, let's not pretend he's a saint!) getting his teeth stuck into it all.

He did do Bond with his tutor (group tutor, will PM if that appeals? a good and nice woman but strict, which is fine by me) - I think it makes them think. They have to work the answer out rather than relying on multiple choice, so it grounds their initial understanding of the question types. Later on, there is a knack to using the answers to help - some can be discounted - but at the beginning don't rule out Bond. Our tutor used it. She also did lots of comprehension work since vocab is key. My boy is a voracious reader - a book a day - and I'm sure it was that which helped him secure a very nice high mark. Times tables needs to be at their finger tips - and I went up to 5 x everything up to 20. Not that I needed to since luckily my DS2 is very quick on his mental maths. His bro, DS1 is pretty poor at maths (although instant on his tables) and hates reading (though a good vocab) so don't go thinking you need to be a genius. Or, er :oops: that your child needs to be a genius (so easy to think of this as self rather than them :oops: ) I'm just hoping, too, that these things he finds easy now translate to life in Big School :?

Best, too, to do different types. I think the rigidity of "only 15 types" is the wrong approach - you never know what's going to be thrown at them in the test (the papers are a closely guarded secret and each year there's the fear that something new might be chucked in). Best to be prepared at confronting all sorts.

Remember that the long questions (Flo sat on the right of the child with a kitten, Gordon hates cats but likes hamsters, where did Susan and her puppy sit... etc) only attract the same points as all the other questions. So Leave Til Last. My child is a bit OCD and wouldn't leave anything til last (maddening) but the advice to a more flexible child is not to get bogged down on either very long ones or ones which don't appeal to them. Again, DS2 hated one or 2 types but would battle through them and we had to rely on his great speed in the "easy" ones, the ones he "liked", to make up time.

Susan D, yes; walsh yes; learning lab, yes. There's also AE but we didn't know about them then.

It's hard. I didn't know about this site first time round and was rather hands off - I thought my boy was clever (top tables throughout at high achieving school) and that would be that. He got into Tommy's easily enough, but not with a huge margin by any means. Then I found this site and used it for my second boy, I don't want to sound boastful, but his score ended up being about 40 points higher (he did score highly) - was it this site or him? Bit of both? He's def happiest immersed in learning so I don't want to imply he wouldn't have got it or that his place is not valid - he worked out all his own systems for attributing number values to letters, for instance, and can do 3 figure multiplication in his head quickly and saw mirror codes long before I did but I felt so much better prepared this time round thanks to all this lot.

Good luck. It's stressful - but keep that side of it to yourself!! And, amazingly, it doesn't go on forever. Phew.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:48 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Don't forget that these items can be ordered from this site (click on the book shop tab at the top). We recently ordered from here (primarily due to the good price) and was amused to get a reply to a query about the order at 7:30pm - someone works late. Books arrived next possible working day. And, no, I have no connection to the management!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:39 pm 
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Posts: 108
With some trepidation I tutored DD1 last year, following advice from very experienced friend. I used a variety of papers IPS, Bond, Learning Together but have to say found the Athey Educational by far the best (if a little old-fashioned, but this certainly aided the extended vocab!). Combined mostly VR, some multi-choice, some not, with a bit of maths & comprehension too to break the monotony! :D

Also used questions on Pates website as top-up 'spare few minutes' - DD felt better about doing a page of their questions than being faced with a whole paper mid-week. Watch out for a few typos on those though - DD quicker to spot them than me! :oops:

Try to do at least one paper first thing each Saturday morning (we ended up managing 2 with a break) from September to test day. DD not always too pleased with no let-up but she was calm on the day (just me & DH a mess :shock: ) and it all paid off in the end!

Overall a rewarding experience for both of us, but be prepared for a dumpy ride - there's nothing quite like teaching your own kids to raise your bloodpressure! When the struggles did arise I have to say DD talked herself back into doing the work more often that I did - the challenge of it all I think.

Mostly good luck! :lol:


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