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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Dear all

Whilst we wait for those all important results in the Kent test I would like to pull together a list of the best preparation materials for those who'se DC has still to take the Kent test, for the 3 subjects of maths, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning.

I have heard that Bond is good for maths but that there are other brands/authors that are good for verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

Please post a note here so we have all the best materials in one easy to find place.

Moderators, would you please be able to make this into a sticky :D

Kind regards
Villagedad


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
thanks for starting this village dad,i have been really rushed off my feet for last few months.

VR; nfer papers, new Letts papers, tutors papers and downloads. Susan Daughtrey bright sparks ( sets of practice papers) - NB NOT the susan daughtrey books, they cover types of question not used in Kent test.

NVR: I have found Bond How to do NVR useful, EPE downloads ,NfER papers and new Letts papers. practice materials for NVR are not as plentiful as VR. If you have time the AE tuition books are very good for beginners. games like Tetris, spot the difference, online mahjong and jigsaws help develop skills

Maths: I tend to work through paper to find weak points and then use various games, puzzles etc to help children grasp the idea. a knowledge of tables, quick mental maths ability, knowing prime numbers, factors, squares and cubes also important and I work on these skills every week. The Usborne illustrated Maths dictionary is brilliant too and useful into KS3.


also need to have good vocabulary, especially homonyms, antonyms and synonyms. games like scrabble, boggle, upwords etc are a;ways good

try Woodlands Junior website for a collection of online games to help with maths and literacy.

the "brain training" games are good too and puzzle games like professor layton help thinking skills.

all these , while not directly 11+ practice, also help woth school work in general


any other ideas gratefully received!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
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Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Any more tips and advice on the best materials and workbooks to use for maths, VR & NVR :idea:

A lot of you are now experts so would be good to share with those who still have the test to come :D

In addition to yoyo123 above I have heard the following materials are recommended:

Maths: schofield & sims mental arithmetic workbooks
VR: IPS VR method and techniques
NVR: AE tuition workbooks

Many thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:15 pm
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The IPS techniques book for VR is very good in that it breaks things down to easily understandable categories. It does contain question types that don't feature in the kent test, so you need to note what those are (types H,I,K,N,O & S), and ignore them in the book.

IPS short papers are good for continual drip feeding too, although the same caveat applies regarding question types.

More than anything, however, I think the important thing is to approach DC's progress analytically and methodically. To use the published materials as appropriate to the individual child, rather than relentlessly ploughing through them and hoping for the best. For one thing, the latter approach generates a lot more work for the child, much of it unnecessary.

It became clear to me around March/April that my DS was doing worse at VR than the other two papers, largely because he was never able to finish the VR papers in time.

So I sat with him while he did a series of papers, and made notes about which questions he seemed to take longest over. I then matched these to the categories in the IPS book and found that there were about three question types that he typically spent far too long on, and this was stopping him from completing the others.

I then made up my own materials for just these question types, but LOADS of them. The problem with published materials is that they tend to cover all types equally, but your DC is not going to need such an equal amount of work on them. They're going to need tons of work on some, and virtually none on others. So I made pages and pages of examples of these few VR questions, went through them with him and helped develop a more systematic way of doing them.

On the day he got 140 for VR. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
occasionally oneof the HIKNOS types crop up,

about 3 years type O questions featured, I usually cover the HIKNOS tyoes ,very briefly, just in case..


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Wow Jurgen, I think it's little tricks like that that can make such a big difference. It saves the child so much sweat and boredom just going willy-nilly through everything.

I helped a relative with maths 11+, and I massively improved his accuracy by going through his incorrect answers with a fine tooth comb to understand where and why he had gone wrong. When it was just a silly slip (i.e. a question he was capable of doing but had got wrong for some reason) I explained to him that he could have got that question right as he was great at maths. Then I gave him two marks at the end of the paper his actual score - e.g. 40/50, and what he would have got without silly mistakes e.g. 48/50. I got him to convert these into percentages and mark them on a graph each time. Over time (in fact quite suddenly) he saw the two lines getting very close as he stopped getting things wrong that he could have got right.

Then after doing papers covering a wide range of topics I picked up from his genuinely wrong questions (i.e. those where he did not understand the subject material) the syllabus areas we needed to focus on, devised practice exercises and questions in those areas, and then went back to the incorrect questions to if he could do them.

He enjoyed it, as I don't think feedback at school is ever as closely geared to the individual as this, and progress is not so obvious to the child - I couldn't do that, but now I can. He got 140 on the maths. His CAT in maths (or whatever it is) at school had not predicted such a high score.

Jurgen, shall we set up as tutors? We only need one more tutor for the other paper.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:32 pm 
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Location: Kent
Yurgen and mystery - what brilliant ideas. I have just started the journey with my DS - any more tips?? :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:01 pm 
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mystery wrote:
We only need one more tutor for the other paper.

Would NVR be able to be done this way too, i.e. are there certain questions types where you can often find weak spots, then be able to concentrate on those to improve score?

Thanks all :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Location: East Kent
every topic can be taught that way and it's what a good tutor or teacher should do, you find out the gaps and address them..simples


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:39 am 
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mystery wrote:
Wow Jurgen, I think it's little tricks like that that can make such a big difference. It saves the child so much sweat and boredom just going willy-nilly through everything...

I don't think feedback at school is ever as closely geared to the individual as this, and progress is not so obvious to the child


It's funny isn't it. I work part-time in education and I'm often surprised at how poor some teachers are at really analysing the way a child thinks, and helping to address any problems in it. I don't think it's only to do with the demands of teaching large groups: I think a lot of people just don't think that way, and the only thing they understand is the large-scale "scattergun" approach of doing as much as possible, and ignoring the obvious redundancy of much of it. Of course this approach does achieve some progress (if the child doesn't go insane first), so that works against people examining it too much and realising what a waste it is.

Quote:
Jurgen, shall we set up as tutors? We only need one more tutor for the other paper.


Sounds good. My boy actually had a tutor for the 11+, but while she gave him some very good guidance to start with, I started to feel soon after that that she wasn't really that much help, and I could do better myself.


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