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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:51 pm 
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So now dd has fallen in love with WGGS we are now aiming for the school as our first choice.

Dd is Year 5 so we have about 11 months to go. We are also preparing for HBS entry which is also CEM.

How does the Watford consortium test compare with first round HBS?

What should we be doing now in terms of preparation and how much? Dd is having tuition for English and will hopefully start Maths soon. What are the best materials to use?

We are outer catchment, how competitive will it be to get a place?

Any other tips or advice would be extremely welcome! Thank you.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:48 pm 
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Middlesexmum

You have the advantage that the basic preparation for SW Herts and HBS round 1 will be the same.

Although they don't share a CEM VR paper, I'm guessing that all CEM papers are of a similar level of difficulty (someone with experience of both schools can confirm!).

There is a stylistic difference in GL maths and CEM NR questions, but the underlying maths knowledge is the same. So once you have prepped up to the necessary standard, you can do the different practice papers to cover both styles.

The big difference comes in HBS round 2. With only a few weeks now between the rounds, you need to fully prepare for long-form maths and English over the summer. With no past papers available from HBS, your practice material is DAO and independent school past/sample papers. To reach that level by the end of the summer, you need to complete the "learning" phase of your prep by the start of the summer at the very latest - so you can then focus on practice papers.

Regarding competition, it's not good news - but I'm sure you already know that!

HBS is one of the most competitive schools in the country to get into. With WGGS, there's no way of knowing how many DDs sitting the SW Herts exam are actually prioritising the school. But in the outer catchment, you're fighting over just 10% of the total intake.

Good luck to your DD


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
As you already have a dd at HBS you will have no doubt been able to choose an English tutor who has the necessary knowledge and experience to prepare girls for HBS.

How many girls did he/she get through to the second round of HBS this year?

Watford girls and DAO use exactly the same CEM paper and HBS and DAO have the same format second round so an tutor who knows how to prepare for both HBS and DAO will be able to get your dd an excellent chance at both schools.

It is better that your dd prefers WGS as it is a lot easier to get into than HBS as you know.

2400 dds sat the first round of HBS this year and 2100 of them did not make it. General expertise in CEM has increased dramatically since your dd sat and the number of publications available to prepare with has increased tenfold. There are whole counties/London boroghs ( Such as Redbridge, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Bexley) now that are 100% CEM so some dds are going to be spending a lot more time on CEM preparation than just 3 years ago.

In my opinion you would be very wise to encourage your dd's interest in WGS as a place there is a lot more likely than HBS

The SW Herts results will be out Monday and then you will be able to see the levels that are posted on here which will give you some idea of what you need to aim for. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:31 am 
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I chose WGGS over HBS (my old school) for my DD as I preferred it for her, so you're not alone!

Contrary to what Daogroupie says, it's not necessarily noticeably easier to get into WGGS (especially from the outer area) than HBS. To be in the top 300 of 2400 girls, you need to be in the top 12.5%, and if your DD is a big reader/enjoys writing, then the English exam need not be terribly difficult, and being in the top half of those 300 (ie. the top 6% of all candidates) is perfectly achievable. To get into WGGS outer area, in the past, has sometimes required you to get a mark that would suggest you are in the top 5% or so. So probably equivalently difficult to get into.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:33 am 
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The style of the two schools is different - only you and your dd know what is right for them.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:55 am 
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Location: Herts
You don't have to do any comprehension or composition at all to get into WGGS. As this is a major weakness for many ten year olds I would continue to argue that it is more straightforward to get into WGGS.

To get into HBS requires a good score in four different formats: CEM, Standard format Maths, Comprehension and Composition.

To get into WGGS requires CEM and Maths. I know of students who have got one of the three non catchment area spaces at Parmiters but spent quite some time on the DAO waiting list.

HBS and DAO use the same formats (except for CEM Maths) for their exams. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:31 am 
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Funnily enough, although dd is strong in English and a keen reader, it is the comprehension she is currently finding hard. She knows the answers in her head but finds it hard putting it into words. But I know there is time for lots of practice and improvement. In some ways it will be a relief not to worry about it for WGGS but as HBS will be our second choice, she will still need to work at it.


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