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 Post subject: Watford Consortium Maths
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:46 pm
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DD is preparing for the Watford Consortium exams this year and I’ve found this forum, and particularly posts by regular contributors, to be a wonderful source of information and advice.

I have seen posts that refer to Athey VR papers being the closest to the Moray House ones used by the Consortium. Does anybody know, from their DC’s experience of the tests, which publisher produces Maths papers that are closest to the real ones?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:42 pm 
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From the Parmiter's website:
http://www.parmiters.herts.sch.uk/admis ... emic-test/


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Thanks for the swift reply KS10. Parmiter's mention that the maths is similar to NFER, so does this mean that the GL Assessment (formerly NFER Nelson) practice papers are appropriate, or are there specific NFER ones that I just haven't found? DD has done three of the papers in GL pack 1 and they do seem easy, which I've noticed mirrors comments about the Watford paper. However, there have been posts saying that the pack 2 papers are much harder. Does anyone know if the actual exam is more like pack 1, 2, or somewhere in between?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Sorry, I can't help with that one as we did mainly Bond and any freebies that came our way. I'm sure someone will be along soon to clarify this for you.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Pack 2 are also similar to pack 1 maths papers in difficulty level. Both are not much difficult.

Also Latimer and DAO practice papers are very useful. After these papers, try independent schools past papers.

Tip: Read the question carefully (stating the obvious). Avoid simple (silly!) errors.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:30 pm 
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Thank you KS10 and tiffinboys. It sounds as though it'll be worth doing GL pack 2 and Bond papers, along with a variety of other papers.

Tiffinboys, I think I need to show your tip to DD and wait for the groan.... silly mistakes, often caused by not reading the question properly, are my main bugbear! :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:06 pm 
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We used Bond for practice at home then GL assessment papers as 'mock exams' in the library a couple of weeks before the test. As you may have read elsewhere on this section of the forum, the average score on this paper is quite high, meaning that a child really needs to be getting 47/50 or above in order to get a standardised score high enough for an academic place at Parmiters, WBGS or WGGS. With this in mind, it's important to teach them to be careful and accurate. Most children finish this paper in plenty of time to check answers.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:42 am 
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The most important thing in the VR is speed. Your dc will be required to complete 100 questions in 45 minutes. The questions are not difficult, there are just a lot of them. A important skill to learn is to move on and not spend too long on one questions. Able students tend to be reluctant to fail to complete a question and some can spend far too long on certain questions and then fail to finish. Both my dd's sat this test and I taught them to go and find the ones they found easy and do those first and leave the hard ones to the end. This worked for us but may not suit all students. The Maths is easy and this is a problem in itself. There is a thread from last year about this. Several very able Maths students including one of of my students did not perform as well as they should have done on this paper because it was too easy and they rushed the questions and lost out because there were no harder questions to shine with. Parents need to take particular care that this does not happen to their student by focusing on accuracy rather than speed. A different approach is required for the Maths paper compared to the VR paper. I would recommend signing up for the Sutton Mocks and doing lots of timed mocks at home. Sutton will provide you with a results that you can see in the context of the year group and will give you a good idea of your progress. Do as many different styles of papers as possible. My dd's found Athey closest to Moray not Bond but they had no problem with Moray. They had already done a Moray paper at DAO and because they had done lots of different papers they were not hampered by the format. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:08 am 
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Thanks for your advice 3b1g. You're right, I have read other threads about the maths exam being easier and how this means that a single mistake effectively lowers the standardised score to a greater extent than one on the VR paper does. This is what worries me, as it's the easier questions that DD makes the most mistakes on, e.g. silly things like missing off units or failing to notice that a question in cm is asking for the answer in m. It's frustrating as she has invariably worked it out correctly but throws away the mark by not reading the question properly!

Thankfully, we don't have the same problem with VR, but it seems that she's not going to be able to rely on a good VR score making up for silly errors on the maths. She hasn't set her heart on any particular Consortium school but obviously I would like her score to be a reflection of her ability, rather than her carelessness, so need to try to train her out of the latter!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:23 am 
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Thanks Daogroupie too. I thought that I'd reply to you separately as you've raised some other interesting points. I've followed advice on this forum about moving on from difficult questions and going back to them later. DD was very reluctant to do this at first until I let her spend 10 minutes on one question before timing her out with 15 questions left. I let her do the remaining ones, which she got correct, but didn't add them to the score. I think the penny finally dropped that it's better to leave one and finish, than miss out loads you could have got right and STILL not be able to answer the difficult one!! At this point she can finish 100 questions in 45 minutes but without sufficient time left to check back through but it's getting better.

On your advice, earlier in the year, I've booked her in for two Sutton mocks so we'll see how she gets on with those. It's really the maths that concerns me and it sounds as if I need to stop timing her for the moment and concentrate on the accuracy until it improves.

A big thank you to all of you who have replied and offered advice. It has all felt very 'real' all of a sudden, since March 1st, so it's reassuring to know that kind people, who have already been though this, are willing to help others.


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