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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:20 pm
Posts: 4
I am reposting this from the Verbal Reasoning forum as I did not get much response. Hoping to have better luck here. :)

I'm wondering if you have any advice for preparing an American child (currently age 9) that will be moving to the UK this summer. We are moving to the Gloucestershire area (Cheltenham) so, as I understand it, he needs to prep for the verbal reasoning test. (For the fall of this year.) We've just begun to study and so far have been using the materials provided on the school website. I know I need to purchase study materials and I want to make sure that I choose the right ones. I know there are lists on this website which are helpful, but if you think there is anything in particular I should choose (or avoid) given the different educational background that would be helpful. This is obviously a child who is less familiar with British English so this is a big focus. He is an avid reader so if there are British children's novels anyone can recommend that would also help. I've also been trying to find and introduce some British television shows as the language differences seem to appear most dramatically there. We recently came across a question where the answer was "dinner ladies" which we had to Google to figure out what it was. A couple days later we watched a Dr. Who episode where Rose was complaining of having to act the part of a dinner lady. So yes, it now seems we are using Dr. Who as a study aid. Probably need some better materials. LOL.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Quote:
We are moving to the Gloucestershire area (Cheltenham) so, as I understand it, he needs to prep for the verbal reasoning test. (For the fall of this year.)

Hi, I'm only replying because no one else has and I am not going to be any use to you on the specifics of preparing for the exam. I just wanted to make sure you knew that firstly, there is no compulsion at all to sit any exam - it's only if you want your child to go to a selective school (there is just the one in Cheltenham) - most children do not sit an exam and if you are happy to use a non-selective school there are plenty of good ones in the area. Secondly, have you checked residence requirements? My DD has some American friends who were not allowed to enter the state system as American citizens and had to go to independent school. I'm assuming you must be planning to stay in the UK and maybe you or your child has citizenship here in which case it won't apply but there are some rules I think - I also taught a girl from another country who faced the same issue and had to go to private school.

I'm sure someone with better knowledge of preparing for the tests will come along to advise soon. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:27 am
Posts: 340
Hi,
If you have a look at the tutor section, one of the tutors (Patricia) has posted how to do DIY preparation. To start with you need 2 books. The IPS series - one is called Method and Technique and the other is the first practice book. (see her listing)

With those two you can get the idea of the tests and work out the question styles

Then it is a matter of practising them and getting faster.


You do not have to sit the exam, and because it is not a complete grammar system. In other words, only some children sit, many of those who could, choose not to. (this is in contrast to some areas where everyone sits and so all the brighter children go to the selective schools)

The grammar school in Cheltenham is called Pates and is one of the best schools in the country. This also means it is very hard to get into, only the very top marks get in.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:14 am
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Hi Starbuck,
There is a comprehensive reading list somewhere on here, started- I think- by Amber ,which will give you plenty of ideas for good literature to read. Very good luck! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:08 am
Posts: 125
Hi,

Here is the linK:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=30178&p=364493#p48510

Cheers,
Dr. Watson


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:19 am
Posts: 32
Hi Starbuck,
I have been in your shoes and will pm you over the weekend if thats ok (just need to organise my thoughts and am a bit busy right now). When I began this journey I came to this forum too - it helped so much.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:20 pm
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, I know that he doesn't have to sit the exam ... though I admittedly am still trying to wrap my head around the different systems. It is nice to know that lots do not sit as I assume this mean that the non-selective schools are deemed quite worthy. Fact is, that ds is an academic at heart. Not much of an athlete, etc. School is basically his thing. When I discussed with him what I had learned, he seems up to the challenge and in fact, is approaching the studying with quite an optimistic attitude. That said, I know his different background likely puts him at a slight disadvantage ... so we will just see what happens.

Will be happy to hear from anyone with more insight. I have not been presented with any evidence that we would not be allowed to send our children to state schools and will definitely look into this. As we will be coming only after we have all appropriate paperwork/visas and as I have been instructed will be subject to both U.S. AND U.K. taxes (yikes) had assumed that we would have access to those things (like schools) those taxes pay for. Thanks for the tip, will definitely try to dig into this more.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 159
Both my children were US educated Grades k thru 6 and are now at Gloucester Grammars. Their local schools were very good and they had a very thorough elementary school education making them well prepared for eleven plus. There definitely are a lot of vocabulary differences which do feature in the VR paper. Reading lots of British Children's books really helped.
Which State are you moving from?
I will PM you with my details if you want more info.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 923
I am a US citizen with a British mother, have been in uk over 20 year and my 2 DDs were born here and are in state school (primary and non-selective secondary). I work for a uk university so pay uk tax, I have to fill in us tax form ever year but you deduct the uk tax which ins is always more, so owe irs nothing.

I think tv programs are a good way to go, what about PBS? That's where we got our fix of uk programs. We were in Iowa.

Fawlty Towers? Upstairs downstairs? Old I know.

My daughters have kindles and there are loads of classic on there cheap or free. For more modern brit speak DD2 recommends Harry potter, Ann fines as author, adventure island series (Helen moss). Roman mysteries. Aquila magazine is very good. Off the top of her head. Pm me if you want more info or have a question.

Kindles have a handy dictionary feature built in.
Sorry about typos I'm not good on the phone.

Knowing your address in uk will help you see what schools are in the running.


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