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 Post subject: Maths in the 2014 test
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:30 am 
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Did anyone get a sense from their dc if the style of questions was substantially different from the GL practice papers? Ds said that most weren't overly hard but that there were lots of steps or calculations within any one question, which was v time consuming. This has sent alarm bells ringing for me because it was typically these sorts of questions where silly mistakes were made by ds :( could there have been more steps in them than at the harder end of the GL papers?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:39 am 
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I think there might have been , Bananas but my dd said a lot of the time she came up with an answer which wasn't on the answer sheet and then realised she hadn't done the last calculation, read the question properly etc. So, I'm hoping unlike the GL papers, they didn't have the typical wrong answer that children commonly make or the answer to the first part of the calculation on the answer sheet.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:54 am 
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We have prepared for CEM not GL but have done 3 GL old style practice papers I still had from DD1 a few years ago. DD said that she tought the maths paper in the Kent test was nothing like the practice papers she had seen. She said that a lot of the question types did not come up. But as I said she only saw 2 of the GL maths papers and 1 VR once so she may be mistaken.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:13 am 
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Thanks for your replies.

So perhaps GL have been kinder in the answers than in the questions? Hope so.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:16 am 
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My DD did all 8 GL maths papers and didn't say there was anything special about the types of maths questions in this year's papers. She did however say that the timing per question was shorter than recommended in the familiarisation papers (which is already shorter than in the old Kent test). However, a couple of people have told me (who would have seen the papers) that they were hard questions. I don't know how reliable their judgement is though. Unless you could actually read the papers and the past years' papers - which we can't - we'll never know.

Old GL Kent test - 50 GL maths questions in 60 minutes
GL familiarisation papers - 50 questions in 50 minutes
New GL Kent test - 30 questions in 25 minutes

My DD could have missed the point though.

We had practised at the familiarisation paper speed as I guessed they may shorten the time this year because:

a) it seems to be the fashion
b) I didn't understand why Kent was allowing more time per question in past years

We didn't practise at an even higher speed though. And despite my premonitions and slightly faster practice - she didn't do all the questions in the time. So many people seem to be talking about having to guess 5 to 8 questions or so it is uncannily similar for all of them.

I guess there is a minimum amount of time it takes even just to read a question and all the possible answers, make your selection, move to the right part of the answer sheet, make a mark in the right place, and get back to the right place on the question sheet, even if the question itself is dreadfully easy. Particularly at that age.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:25 am 
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By 'harder', could they have just meant there was a lot to do in the time? Ds thought that the questions weren't as hard as the last 10 GL questions, but more convoluted than any of the others?

Sorry, it's probably not particularly helpful to overanalyse with so few facts. It's just, Dh and I were looking at previous years' stats last night. It seems maths determined whether or not you passed last year and we were speculating about whether English would be a threshold score only, and maths would be the decider? In which case, ds is probably borderline.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:31 am 
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I'm never really quite sure how any subject can be a "decider". In previous years each paper was standardised. Didn't roughly the same proportion of individual children get above the cut-off score in maths as in VR as in NVR?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:36 am 
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Apparently, 22% passed maths, 30% nvr and 36% passed VR, so it seems that you had to have passed maths to be sure of a place.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:44 am 
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My DD did not finish the last 7 questions. She is on the top table for Maths. She was 5c last term. I feel that she should pass but how well who knows. She also typically finds the more wordy questions more difficult. It is like she can't see the maths for the words. Having said that she quite enjoys puzzle type questions so it could be that the more difficult wordy questions were at the end of the GL papers (correct?) when she was practising and she was tired.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:48 am 
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It does always seem to be the maths which children fall down on and this year appears no different. No comments from my dd or others re the vr and nvr . You just can't tell. I spent six horrible, horrible weeks last time, certain my DS had failed and he hadn't . I feel slightly on the edge but am determined this time to just dismiss any thoughts ....until results week anyway ! Bananas, to be certain your DS is borderline , you would need to know how capable the other thousands of children sitting it are .


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