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 Post subject: Kent test 2007 format
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:56 pm 
How was the format and level of difficulty of this years exams ?

I am tutoring my son for next years test.



 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:43 am 
Hi there!
I can't really comment that much yet- as they're sitting the Maths and English today. I've no doubt we'll get a post mortem from my son later, though. I'll post more when he's fed back!

He seemed fine yesterday- although he told me that alot of his peers said they had guessed many of the questions. I'm not sure if this was due to difficulty levels or time running out. My son has always had problems with timing, himself- but said he only needed to guess about 4 at the end because of time (he did guess a few he didn't know earlier- he reckons about 7 in all). He said it was pretty much as he expected and very similar to what we've done at home in format (VR). He was pleased that they had the code questions as this is a strength of his- but they were near the end, so time may have been a problem. He didn't think there were any big surprises. It was the standard 80 questions in 50 mins.
The NVR threw them a little because of the timing of the sections. He's been used to 12 questions in 6 minutes- but these were 18 questions in 9 minutes. It still equated to 2 questions per minute, so he was fine with that. Again- he didn't think there were any big surprises. he thought the level was very much what we'd practised. It seems to equate roughly to the NFER C papers. NVR is his 'strong' paper, so hopefully that's helped him.
We'll have to see how today goes.....!!!!!

 Post subject: paper format 2007
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:16 pm 
Well it's all over for son no 1! He thought papers seemed straightforward. Both son and friend thought the maths paper far easier than expected. They had 60 minutes to complete 50 question. However, one girl did find it hard and she is very able, wo we will have to see! He managed to finish the VR with 10 mins to check over and said it had all the expected sections - codes, hidden words between words, etc. He just had to make the best guess on a few of the NVR but finished all papers in time. The NVR had a section they did not recognise but was explained to them beforehand. The paper was in sections of 18 questions, to be answered in 9 minutes. Unfortunately, got loose tooth knocked at lunchtime, just before the writing task. Did not eat any lunch and sat writing essay with tooth dangling by its root, drooling saliva over the desk! Headteacher thought he managed okay in the circumstances! He was determined not to let it bother him. He has just managed to get tooth out at 5pm and hasn't eaten since breakfast. What an end to these two days. Fingers crossed for a pass! Good luck to everyone!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:13 pm 
Hopefully the tooth fairy will have been looking after him this afternoon!!

New section on NVR - was it something radically different or just a variation on one of the normal themes? Can't really imagine any more types of NFER qn!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:50 pm 
Thank you Kent Mum and kentmum1.

I agree with guest above; it would be interesting to know the variation of this years NVR .

I wish your sons the best of luck and hope they get into the schools they want.


 Post subject: paper format 2007
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:13 pm 
I have asked son and he says just a variation. He was very well practised but had not seen this before. Didn't really it that difficult though. A governor of a local secondary school tells me the birth rates are lower this year. This can affect the test in that it can be a bit easier, as they need to fill their spaces. However, also depends on intelligence level of group. It varies year on year and is impossible to predict. The only thing I can suggest is to be as prepared and practised as possible. Just prepare for it to be very hard and then they may find it much easier than expected. Can't believe my son has found it such an enjoyable experience! Let's hope it has actually gone as well as he thinks!!!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:32 pm 
My son took his NVR and VR yesterday and his Maths and English today. When I asked him about the formats of the different tests, here's what he said:

NVR: four sections of 18 questions each, 9 mins per section

Section 1: had questions like section 5 of NFER 11B practice paper
Section 2: had questions like section 3 of NFER 11B practice paper
Section 3: had questions like section 1 of NFER 11B practice paper
Section 4: had questions like section 2 of NFER 11B practice paper
The 11B paper was just the example I showed my son to ask him what kind of questions they were. The thing that surprised me was the difference in format from the NFER practice papers (5 sections of 12 questions each, 6 mins per section) but my son wasn't phased by it - he said he finished early and didn't find it particularly difficult. No mention of any new variants?

VR: 80 questions in 50 minutes
He only said that it wasn't very different in format or difficulty from the NFER practice papers. He said he finished in good time.

Maths: 50 questions in 60 minutes
He said that the questions were more challenging than the NFER practice papers but wasn't specific about in which way. He said they were only "moderately difficult" though, whatever that means!

Overall, he thinks he's done okay. I see in another thread (viewtopic.php?t=886) that for Kent PESE tests in Jan 2005:
The score of 140 equated to
VR approx 75%
NVR approx 71%
Maths approx 75%

A minimum selective score of 120 would have equated to :
VR approx 51%
NVR approx 52%
Maths approx 48%

If the 2007 figures are anywhere near the same ballpark, then he should have no problems at all! I can't help thinking they look far too low though?!

Anyway, big sigh of relief that the 11 plus is over - only the Dover Grammar tests on Saturday remaining!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:29 am 
Woo-Hoo... it's over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Apart from the waiting :? )

My son didn't like the maths paper, but then he isn't very confident about his maths, even when he does well. He said it was very similar in content to the practise papers (Nfer).
The English was a straightforward piece of creative writing. He was a little despondent about that, which surprised me, as it's something he loves and excells in- and he said that he thought of a better idea for one of the other options half way through the one he'd chosen- but it was too late to change by then! He said he didn't have any problems with his choice- it was just he liked his other idea better. He was so down about it that I thought he'd decided he'd blown it- but I think the anti - climax effect of all the work and trying not to worry and finally doing the tests has hit him. He just wants to forget about it now until the results.
It's so hard to judge from their reactions, sometimes, isn't it?
Anyway, there don't seem to have been any big shocks or surprises in the tests. It seems that the Nfer practise papers C / D have been pretty accurate in content and level from what most of the kids have said.

It may be worth finding out nearer the time how they sit the tests. We didn't think to ask and just assumed that it was a case of 2 tests in one day- one in the morning , one in the afternoon.
I know that a child's optimum concentration is in the morning (worked enough years as a TA to know that!) but hadn't actually thought all the tests were together.
Yesterday they did VR in the morning, had a 20 minute break, then into the NVR. Same again today with Maths and English. It wasn't a problem for him, but my son wasn't expecting it.

Finally, I'd really advise just boosting them up all the way. One boy in my son's year is a high achiever, and is expected to sail through easily. He fell apart yesterday during the NVR and was removed from the room sobbing and wasn't in school for the rest of the day. When we got home, I just asked if he'd been there today. My son said "Yeah" then just said quietly "Thanks for not putting pressure on me Mum."
Felt all choked up!

 Post subject: format 2007
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:18 pm 
I totally agree with removing the pressure towards the end. For the last week, we made lots of jokes about it and kept all the revision in quick 10-minute bursts and made the questions like a fun "weakest link" type quiz. I highly recommend the Bond "How to do 11 Plus Maths" . This was such a great revision tool to use at the end. We started using it daily for a month or so as it has about 27 10-min tests (1 for each day!) with a revision exercise to reinforce the test. You soon see if they have any weaknesses with this book and how to tackle it. My son's tutor really approves of the book too, to be used alongise normal practice papers. It's a good thing having the Christmas break beforehand as you can really concentrate on this revision away from normal school work. My son did have a tutor for the last 6 months, who was not only excellent but very jovial with it and we can only look back and think what a positive time it was. His tutor insisted that CONFIDENCE is key to passing the test and one must really try and build this up, despite any weaknesses. However, I would say I have done most of the preparation with him and have learnt so much in the process. Now on to the next son no. 2 - I have three in total! I

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:22 pm 
Sorry one more comment - very wise comment about when the children are sitting the tests. We did ask this question and then told the children to eat something from their lunch boxes during the morning break. Nothing worse than 11am hunger pangs otherwise! I also made sure he had a protein packed breakfast - 2 eggs, etc!

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