What are the best tutorials and practice papers for the Watford Grammar School test?
Should we be using multiple choice, standard format papers or both?
You could try asking any or all of the 7 schools in the consortium that share the tests, but they may be reticent or vague. I understand that Rickmansworth School administers the tests.
The papers have been standard format for as long as anyone can remember, with the maths being NFER, and no more challenging than KS2 maths. For VR, It's reported that they switched to Moray House a year or two ago, but Moray House papers are problematic because there's a limited number of them. St Michael's in Barnet had to hurriedly set a second group of tests last year because of allegations that tutors had given the very same papers to their charges for practice. If I were running the SW Herts tests, I'd take that as a warning and be looking for another VR supplier.
Are we spending the right amount of time practising? - My son is above average at Maths, but struggles with some aspects of Verbal Reasoning (especially word codes).
It sounds like VR will be the main problem. Many of the problems are maths in disguise, but vocabulary is also very important. Have you tried playing Boggle (perhaps not worrying about scoring)? I thought my children would see through it as a transparent exercise in building word recognition skills, but they actually enjoy it.
In the tests themselves, the schools make considerable efforts to put the children at ease, but if you had evidence that your son needed to take the tests in a different environment I'm sure they'd consider it.