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 Post subject: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 1773
Well my ds sat a mock exam at the weekend and I've never seen anything like it. He absolutely bombed and looking at the paper I can see why. It is incredibly difficult and no wonder he looked dead on his feet when he came out. I was hoping it would calm nerves, but it's actually the opposite to the point where I can't see the point in him sitting it. He has been getting 75% type results on the study papers I've been giving him so I don't know what the heck is going on. I actually wish we hadn't signed up for it as ignorance can be bliss!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:59 am
Posts: 155
Location: West Midlands
Others might know your area better to tailor a response, but for starters, was it timing, technique or actual subject skill that he came a cropper on?

What's your analysis, and his honest and constructive opinion, if he can manage that? Stay positive you. We all get disappointments in life; how you handle them and are affected by them is what makes the difference though. Keep your cool for his sake.


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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
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Thanks windowglass. This is the first year for the CEM type exam here. I first joined this forum when my dd was going through her exam. Boy, was that easier than this. When he came out of the exam he knew immediately he'd done badly because he answered so few questions. He is exteremely easily distracted so I suspect this didn't help. However, a lot of the content of the questions he hadn't come up against before and I don't think the Queen uses much of the vocabulary that was in it! Seriously, I'm not being negative, just realistic; he has never done this badly in any test. I absolutely don't want to spend the summer stressing and putting him through this - it wouldn't be fair. He was very upbeat and just wanted an orange juice when he came out and to go to the park bless him. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Ignorance is not bliss. The mock has done the job that it was supposed to do. It has shown you and your son where you need to focus so that he will secure the place at the school he wants to go to. Imagine how you would be feeling now if you were meeting him after the real exam in September and you then knew that there were no chances and all hope had gone. The purpose of sitting a mock is not to do brilliantly and then feel you can take your foot off the pedal. It is to show you what you need to do next. I write mock papers that are deliberately much harder than the real exam. It would be an absolute disaster to sit an easy mock, do wonderfully and then have a lazy summer thinking you are going to get into the school of your choice. Reassure your ds that this was all part of the plan, to find out what you need to do next in your ongoing campaign to get his school place. I am hoping that several of the complacent students I know will do really badly in the Sutton Mocks and will be shocked into working harder. In September there is nothing you can do if he comes out having done badly. In May there is lots and lots you can do. Students I know have not even started until the summer holidays and still got a place because they have worked harder and smarter than the students who started in Year Five. Don't believe the hype about CEM. I see students getting better each time they sit a paper. You need to find out his weak areas and create worksheets on those things so he can focus and improve. What was the content that he had not met before? The vocab words are supposed to be hard. Will you be getting a list of all the marks from the mock? If it was hard then it will have been hard for everyone and he may well have done a lot better than he thinks? When will you get the results?


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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
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Thanks so much daogroupie - you have made a lot of sense and have helped me get things back into perspective (a night's sleep helped too!). Missing out questions completely really hasn't helped - I think he panicked. Will pm you if that's OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:03 pm
Posts: 1413
Daogroupie wrote:
Ignorance is not bliss. The mock has done the job that it was supposed to do. It has shown you and your son where you need to focus so that he will secure the place at the school he wants to go to. Imagine how you would be feeling now if you were meeting him after the real exam in September and you then knew that there were no chances and all hope had gone. The purpose of sitting a mock is not to do brilliantly and then feel you can take your foot off the pedal. It is to show you what you need to do next. I write mock papers that are deliberately much harder than the real exam. It would be an absolute disaster to sit an easy mock, do wonderfully and then have a lazy summer thinking you are going to get into the school of your choice. Reassure your ds that this was all part of the plan, to find out what you need to do next in your ongoing campaign to get his school place. I am hoping that several of the complacent students I know will do really badly in the Sutton Mocks and will be shocked into working harder. In September there is nothing you can do if he comes out having done badly. In May there is lots and lots you can do. Students I know have not even started until the summer holidays and still got a place because they have worked harder and smarter than the students who started in Year Five. Don't believe the hype about CEM. I see students getting better each time they sit a paper. You need to find out his weak areas and create worksheets on those things so he can focus and improve. What was the content that he had not met before? The vocab words are supposed to be hard. Will you be getting a list of all the marks from the mock? If it was hard then it will have been hard for everyone and he may well have done a lot better than he thinks? When will you get the results?


A really helpful and supportive post, DAOGroupie. I shall be reminding myself of that! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:29 pm
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I would just add that try to encourage him to write an answer than nothing at all. At least he will have a chance of getting it right then. Good luck !....

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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Thanks sunshine - we'll be working on that even more. For some reason he just doesn't like doing it. He just seems to think that if he doesn't have a good chance of getting it right, he won't bother. Weird.... and frustrating!


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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Quote:
He just seems to think that if he doesn't have a good chance of getting it right, he won't bother. Weird.... and frustrating!


Frustrating but normal. How often do you put your school girl French to use in France...too scared of getting it wrong? The have a go mentality is not natural for many many people, particularly those that are more reserved or more scared of the implications of error. I am not suggest you are telling him off, but if he puts something daft do you raise a higher eyebrow than a missed question? I know I do, which is why a teacher I will never be!


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 Post subject: Re: Shocked at Mock!!!!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:26 pm 
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southbucks3 wrote:
Quote:
He just seems to think that if he doesn't have a good chance of getting it right, he won't bother. Weird.... and frustrating!


Frustrating but normal. How often do you put your school girl French to use in France...too scared of getting it wrong? The have a go mentality is not natural for many many people, particularly those that are more reserved or more scared of the implications of error. I am not suggest you are telling him off, but if he puts something daft do you raise a higher eyebrow than a missed question? I know I do, which is why a teacher I will never be!


That is such a good point and something I need to work on (likewise I'm just not teacher material). I'll start building up his confidence to make mistakes, which does feel counterintuitive given what we're doing, but it's definitely worth a try. I'll try to pay equal credence to missed answers and incorrect ones as well. PS, my attempts at speaking French usually result in them saying "it's OK, it's easier if I speak English"!


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