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 Post subject: Mock Exams-advice please
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:44 pm
Posts: 12
hi,
I have a child due to sit the Consortium exams this September and wonder about the pros and cons of sitting mock exams.
I feel that they will give good all round exam experience, but my hubbie is very wary thinking that if our child does badly or has a bad experience, then they might then do badly in the real exam and all our hard work is out the window.
There are a number of Mocks operators in the area, Harrow, Hatch End, anyone used them and can give an opinion.
Can anyone who has been thru this please advise, just not sure what to do for the best.
Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Post deleted: wrong consortium. Sorry.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:08 pm
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Mock exams in the SW Consortium area are a relatively new phenomenon.

Looking at the availability in the thread topics above organised by this site there is only one available date left - 31st August so you need to make your mind up soon!

There is a local tutor to us who has just started doing mock tests (maths & VR) at the leisure centre. She's booked up for this summer. Actually this was quite helpful - very specific feedback about what to focus on, also gave percentage and average in group, although the scores are not standardised. DS did creditably well in maths but got a very low score on VR - food for thought. We are not aiming for super selective though - aiming for top set in comprehensive - so say 60-70%. I am really pro tutoring and preparation - this sets them up well for SATs and CATs in Y6.

By the way, DS seemed very well prepared for maths exam because they are used to sitting timed tests in this subject but the VR is another matter - without preparation it can be very dispiriting for them to encounter an unfamiliar question type and also the sheer volume of the questions (DS is very young in year so maturity plays a part).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Location: Herts
In my opinion if you have your dc's first experience of an big exam with hundreds of students as one where you really want to pass then that is really unwise. If you do mocks you will iron out any problems in a forum where it does not matter. My dd's sat exams from November to February and both told me how much better they got with each passing exam. The one that mattered most was the first one, though they both did Sutton Mocks first. If you choose the 11 plus route there is no protecting your dc. You cannot do it half heartedly, you have to get out there and go for it and be prepared to cope with failure. Is it not so much better to do badly or have a bad experience in a mock and then learn from it than to muck up that one, never to be repeated opportunity in the consortium exams. I have posted lots on the Sutton mocks and others if you want to do a search. DG


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:08 am 
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Can only agree with above posts. Mocks were invaluable for our preparation, I only wish I knew about them when my eldest was sitting. My younger son did not pass the Sutton Mock because he had never used a multiple choice paper before and got out of order. Imagine if it was the real thing. It told us his strengths but equally we had to pull our socks up in certain areas. He could not believe the numbers who sat. I think despite what I was saying to him re numbers he still had the idea it would be just a few.So that was also a good experience for him. Go for it, better to not do well in a mock and pass the real thing. My eldest is in y10 and doing GCSEs this year and next, i would not expect him to go into a public exam without completing mocks and practice papers and its the same for the eleven plus. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:39 am 
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Neither DS1 or DS2 did formal mock tests before the real thing. I did make DS1 sit in the local library and do a timed set of papers (one after the other with a break) in as close to exam conditions as I could get. They both got the scores they needed in the real thing. DS1 scored high enough for WBGS. DS2 scored much higher than he would have needed for any school (boast alert).

The actual test for the consortium is standard format, not multiple choice. The VR has 100 questions in 45 minutes. The Maths has 50 questions in 50 minutes. Make sure that any mock exam you book has a similar format. If you are only entering the consortium test, then at this stage, there is nothing to be gained by your child sitting a multiple choice paper (which requires a different technique) or papers in NVR or English.

In terms of getting used to the conditions of the test, the best preparation is the music aptitude test, which usually comes first.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:50 am 
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I agree with what HenryVIII said about the VR.

100 questions is a lot to fit into 45 minutes. There will be question types he has never seen before, so best to practise on a wide variety of papers. The VR comes second, so they're already tired.

About the Maths, it's worth pointing out that because the paper is always fairly straightforward, with plenty of time, the mean score is VERY high. Children last year came out with standardised scores much lower than they were expecting. The extra time can be used for checking answers. It's wise to be aiming for 50/50 in this one, as anything below 47/50 may not lead to the standardised scores needed for WBGS / WGGS / Parmiter's.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:46 am 
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The music aptitude test is AFTER the main test this year.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:00 am 
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Silverysea: thank you for clarifying; I didn't realise that.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:44 pm
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Thanks everyone, comments are all very useful, you have helped me make up my mind.
We are not aiming for Parmiters, but yes to the Grammar.


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