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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 8:52 pm 
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Dd did a mock in Gloucester today.
She has been doing really well, and maths is her strongest subject. In the material we have been using I have been comfortable with her progress, and her timing has been OK. Still room for improvement, but fine.
She likes tests/exams and doesn't get over stressed or anything.
She came out of the test saying she hadn't finished any of it. Hadn't even got half way through the maths paper. Couldn't do it.

:shock: :shock:

Feeling a bit baffled and not sure what to do now. :(


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 9:54 pm 
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Our son did a mock test through *** Advertising Censored *** at Hartpury College last summer and had a real meltdown on the day, even leaving one section part way through as he was so upset. We seriously thought about whether it was just too much for him. We thought that he must have done really poorly, but when we got his results he was still in the top ten of 25 boys that had sat the test. When he then sat the 11+ test he came out really calm and said it was much easier than the mock test and he passed for both schools we put down, Tommies and Crypt. I do think the mocks are deliberately difficult to make you panic and sign up for extra support, which we did, but their online daily tests for 4 weeks were good practice, particularly at working against the clock.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 10:12 pm 
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Thanks for that FODmum.

I know they would like us to sign up for more, but we can't afford that, and we have been happily DIY until today.

She can't tell me any of the questions (we will see paper when they send results)
Then this afternoon she remembered that one math question was about mode. We had come across this only this week as a gap in her knowledge so she has only had a quick lesson on it, so not surprised she forgot that. I know there are a couple of things in that category which we need to practise. She didn't finish the English because she got stuck on a question and didn't remember to move on, so that is exam technique.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 11:00 pm 
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DS is off to Tommies in September having ranked within the PAN. Late spring last year we did a mock in Gloucester in which he did really badly, in contrast to how he appeared to be doing elsewhere. When we looked at the actual paper I wasn't terribly impressed with the relevance of the paper or the format. We nearly lost faith but thankfully decided not to do more mocks and just keep going. I'm sure that company will have reviewed and refined now that there is more knowledge of what the CEM test involves. The mock still served as a good experience of having to sit a test in a group of strangers. It was expensive and we decided not to do more. My main point, though, is please don't lose heart. It sounds as though your DD is on the right track so just keep doing what you're doing but don't pile on too much pressure. You don't want to peak too early. I got to the stage where I was trying to do practises with him in the summer and he couldn't see the wood for the trees, even in maths, forgetting simple things like times tables.

Good luck to you and your DD in September


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 10:08 am 
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Same for us too. We did a mock last Summer a hall in Cheltenham and our child bombed and came in the bottom half and in some areas quite low. The 'mock company' in question that we had booked the exam through were simply terrible with feedback and even when asked for a sliver of information on the results they refused. Another parent at our school had the same experience. It was a cash making exercise. And looking back at my emails that I have kept they were pretty rude too :oops: . We all had a wobble and though 'OMG there is no way they will pass' etc. Even thought at home the practise papers that we had done had been fine etc. Both children thought it way harder than they were used to.
But both kids passed for all selected schools and will be going to their 1st choice this September. As an aside our child peaked too early and refused to do anything from around 20th August onwards. With hindsight I would have eased off a little over the summer as they do need a break. If they don't know it by then well. Little and often , even a few mins a day. Just my own humble opinion.
So good luck and fret not. Trust me, its not that bad!


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 10:37 am 
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Feels a bit early to be doing a mock IMHO, the test isn't until Sept and it's only May. When we did the 11+ last year, my daughter was still very much on the upward learning curve in May and would've bombed it too. So I wouldn't worry too much, each month they are learning and growing a lot at that stage.

You say you're DIY'ing, I have to say the one big thing we got from tutoring was the whole exam technique thing: timing, reading the questions, knowing when to move on and when to stick with a question etc. I think we could have DIY'd on the subject matters but we're not teachers and instilling that exam discipline would have been beyond us, so maybe worth considering some assistance with this side of things?

Looking back, even if she'd failed the 11+, I would still have considered it worth tutoring, as it has made a step change to her confidence in exams. She's just done SATs and took it all in her stride after the 11+, for some kids it was their first major school exams and it didn't affect them well. I guess it depends on your school, but in our local one they don't seem to have done much structured testing until now, another reason we wanted tutoring, to bridge that gap - they just don't seem to teach exam technique in primary schools, or at least ours.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 12:56 pm 
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Location: Cheltenham
Agree about the effect on SATs. DD showed signs of getting wound up about them, so I nipped that in the bud:
Me: Do you know who gets judged on the results of SATs?
Her: No
Me: Mr <teacher's name>, not you.
Her: Really?
Me: Yes. The exams that actually mattered for you were the grammar school tests last September, and you did fine in those. These ones won't have any effect on your future at all.
Her: So If I had a teacher I really hated I could do badly on purpose so he'd get in trouble?
Me: [Laughs] But you don't hate Mr <teacher>, do you? You like him, don't you?
Her: Yes
Me: So do as well as you can for him, but don't worry about it for you.
Her: OK


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 1:04 pm 
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DebsB wrote:
Agree about the effect on SATs. DD showed signs of getting wound up about them, so I nipped that in the bud:
Me: Do you know who gets judged on the results of SATs?
Her: No
Me: Mr <teacher's name>, not you.
Her: Really?
Me: Yes. The exams that actually mattered for you were the grammar school tests last September, and you did fine in those. These ones won't have any effect on your future at all.
Her: So If I had a teacher I really hated I could do badly on purpose so he'd get in trouble?
Me: [Laughs] But you don't hate Mr <teacher>, do you? You like him, don't you?
Her: Yes
Me: So do as well as you can for him, but don't worry about it for you.
Her: OK


You do know the result will affect her don't you?

See the thread about how they are used in secondary ...


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 1:09 pm 
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Location: Cheltenham
Guest55 wrote:
You do know the result will affect her don't you?

See the thread about how they are used in secondary ...


Maybe a little. I doubt it'll make much difference though.

I'm a secondary teacher. We don't use them at all.

DS went up to secondary 3 years ago. He was taught maths mixed ability for a month and then tested. Setting decisions were made on the basis of that test. No other subjects were in sets until Y8, when they were done on the basis of the kids' performance in Y7. His SATs results made no discernible difference to anything.

Anyway, she's worked well all year, she's been entered for level 6 in all available subjects, and feeling relaxed about the outcome won't stop her trying her best to answer the questions as well as she can.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 1:23 pm 
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DebsB wrote:

Maybe a little. I doubt it'll make much difference though.

I'm a secondary teacher. We don't use them at all.

DS went up to secondary 3 years ago. He was taught maths mixed ability for a month and then tested. Setting decisions were made on the basis of that test. No other subjects were in sets until Y8, when they were done on the basis of the kids' performance in Y7. His SATs results made no discernible difference to anything.

Anyway, she's worked well all year, she's been entered for level 6 in all available subjects, and feeling relaxed about the outcome won't stop her trying her best to answer the questions as well as she can.


Your school must use them - I'm a secondary teacher too! We use them to track progress as Ofsted and RAISEonline uses them.

Don't your school use FFT for grade estimates? I don't know any local school (Bucks) that don't use KS2 results in some way as the school's inspection outcome depends on them!.


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