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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:47 pm 
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Hi all my post is very innocent ie no offence to anyone. Many children came out of watford grammar test and said how easy the papers were, however ended up getting low grades. These are kids that are at level 6 maths and English and was able to do 6 papers per day. Got 250..Some got 214..217..223 etc. Paid tutors were involved in preparing these children. A warning for parents?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:11 am 
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kumarie wrote:
Hi all my post is very innocent ie no offence to anyone. Many children came out of watford grammar test and said how easy the papers were, however ended up getting low grades. These are kids that are at level 6 maths and English and was able to do 6 papers per day. Got 250..Some got 214..217..223 etc. Paid tutors were involved in preparing these children. A warning for parents?


As has been posted on here many times, the maths test is never easy. It is has tricksy questions with misleading wording and designed to trip the students up. In this it is very successful at creating a wide distribution of scores.

The tutor we used heavily emphasised the nature of the maths tests.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:57 am 
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Location: Herts
11 plus exams are designed to identify the strongest candidates who will bring their secondary school a clutch of A stars at GCSE's and A2s, The questions are full of tricks to mislead the candidates into thinking the questions are easy and the ones who fall for this most often are those who have been feted at school and told far too many times that they are really bright. It is so very obvious that the exams to secure places at schools where there can be 12 students chasing every place are not going to be easy. Parents and tutors who do not warn students about this are sending them in blind. Paid tutors cannot manage how students manage their time during the actual exam but they can make sure they go in with the right approach. Over confident students will rush and misread questions. Schools do not want those students as they are likely to do the same things in GCSE's and A levels. They want students who know how to behave in exams and this is what their questions are targeted to do, weed out those who don't. Exam technique is more important than anything. Many very able students let themselves down. They know the answer but they are not reading the question properly so do not answer the actual question they are being asked. I experience this from ten year olds every single day. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:34 am 
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I suppose all of that is true.
It does seem sad though if clever children have suffered or become more complacent at primary through years of work hasn't been pitched at their level and now need a tutor to correct any slap dash tendencies they may have picked up as a result. Surely a lot of that would be naturally ironed out by GCSE and they could still expect a clutch of high scores?

They have so many very clever children chasing each place that I know they have to make the cut somewhere but choosing a format which requires a tutor in the know seems to only increase the need for tutoring not lessen it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:35 am 
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One explanation is that the mean raw score for the Maths paper is very high. So to get a standardised score of 125 or over, a child would need to be getting possibly 47/50 or over. It would only take 4 or 5 careless mistakes (or misreading the question) to put them out of the running.

The other explanation is that the standardised scores are in a normal distribution, so there will be many, many more children scoring 190-210 than children scoring 262-282.

Lastly, a few of the questions are more tricky than they seem, as previous posters have commented.

On a separate note, 6 papers a day? I hope you are exaggerating. DS2 did fewer than 6 papers in total and managed to score 136 in the Maths. I would imagine that beyond a certain volume of preparation, you would start to get diminishing returns.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:37 am 
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Quote:
One explanation is that the mean raw score for the Maths paper is very high. So to get a standardised score of 125 or over, a child would need to be getting possibly 47/50 or over. It would only take 4 or 5 careless mistakes (or misreading the question) to put them out of the running.


Quite right, more than the tricky questions, it is simple mistakes that makes big difference. Also it is difficult to score more in easy papers as most children are well prepared and are scoring highly. It's comes down to exam pressure as well when even better prepared makes simple arithmetical errors.

Quote:
On a separate note, 6 papers a day? I hope you are exaggerating. DS2 did fewer than 6 papers in total and managed to score 136 in the Maths. I would imagine that beyond a certain volume of preparation, you would start to get diminishing returns.


Sure way of getting children tired and burnt out before the exam day. Less but often, testing concepts, is a better way, imho.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:50 am 
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@3b1g

I may be mistaken but didn't your second son, in spite of sitting the exams, benefit from the sibling rule (I think I read a previous post of yours to that effect)? If so, going into an exam knowing that surely takes the pressure off? In other words, it is not the same as the many children who step into the exam hall knowing that an awful lot actually rides on how they perform that day.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:39 am 
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Shawshank I think it depends on the child. DS2 already had a sibling place but he put the pressure on himself to get a place in his own right to the extent he was actually ill after the exams were over. My DD has been quite happy to just accept her brothers got a place for her and actually thanked them.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:44 am 
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My DD has been quite happy to just accept her brothers got a place for her and actually thanked them.


Very practical and pragmatic DD.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:52 am 
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Location: Herts
Loopylou, Ofsted is taking away outstanding from schools that fail to provide for their able students. I agree, it is a disgrace for bright students to languish at school with no challenges. Many students I know complain of being bored at school. This is a total waste and they need to be given work tailored to their ability level. Some parents tell me that they are applying for selective schools as they cannot bear to face more years of their students not being challenged. Sad that able students have not been taught any exam technique at school by the time they reach Y5. DG


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