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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:37 am 
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DS is struggling with the comprehension aspect of the new-style exam. He seems relatively strong on the other sections but as an immature 9.5 year old he just isn't "getting" the nuances of texts and could well be his downfall. I've started reading with him and refusing to automatically answer his "what does that mean" questions which he trots out rather than working things out for himself. Should have started ages ago, but didn't realise I was doing it. I've bought a CEM study book which he has struggled with and he did the "taster test" on the Marling website which he got 77% on (took him 19 minutes though) and he was definitely weakest with the comprehension test part. Any tips would be helpful.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Don't worry, the new style is forgiving of weaknesses in one area, the result is aggregate, so I wouldn't stress him too much on this area and ensure he can get max points on his strongest areas.

For comprehension just read a little with him in the evening and talk about what he thinks about the book or read an article and ask his views. Use material he is interested in and so will switch on to.

Good luck !

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Que sera, sera


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:33 am 
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Thanks Sunshine; that's a relief. I've been looking at various comprehension tests and preparation and some of it looks pretty in-depth. One example was where the text was a letter of complaint to the Council from an OAP about the shutting of a community centre and the resulting roudy youths. First question, "Was .... older or younger than Mrs .....?" Obviously they're getting at what is an OAP. Fortunately he did know, but given that older folk are now more commonly known as "pensioners", I wonder how many 10/11 year olds will have heard the former term. Another cracker was "Mrs .... doesn't know the person she is writing to so how should she have ended the letter". The letter in the passage was signed off "Best Regards" and they were looking for Yours Sincerely". Really? I think that's pretty tough for ones so young.

So I guess, all in all, it's going to be best to just keep on reading about as many different things as possible and trying to get him to think about things that aren't Lego!.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:31 am 
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Wow ! yes pretty tricky. Lego bit made me laugh my DS is like that, a couple more years to go with him though. DD is ponies, ponies, ponies :)

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Que sera, sera


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:14 am 
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A cheaper hobby than ponies would be really good for us though!

As an aside, there only appear to be us and a few other souls still looking on here. Is it because of the new format do you think or is there a blip and less children taking the exam this year? DS has heard of a couple of children "drop out" because it looks so much more difficult than previous years which is sad.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:46 pm 
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I prefer the new format as I think it is more balanced. DS did the old exam and he has commented that it is obvious some children were tutored for the exam and are now struggling. DD is doing the new format and I hope her strengths will balance out the weaknesses. I know of at least 8 dcs in her year that are taking the test in September.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:44 am 
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I think the new format is better also as I think it is more representative of a cross-section of a child's ability than the old VR. Having said that, my DD would probably have failed the new test as she is very weak at maths. She is at Ribston and is absolutely thriving and her maths has improved no end- it is absolutely the right school for her and it's not nice to think that she may not have gotten there had she had the new CEM format. I'm not sure she would be doing this well at our local comp tbh.

This new format is, however, better for my son as he is stronger across the board so fingers crossed, although he has previous for messing things up during test conditions by forgetting where he is and letting his mind wander. In short, he just doesn't "get" urgency, which is something he displays daily!


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