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 Post subject: Watches and reminders
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:25 pm
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In Kent test, are the children given frequent reminders of how many minutes left until the end of test? Or are they required to have wrist watches of their own and keep track of the time? At home I set a timer on my phone and DS checks it frequently to pace himself. Should I stop using the digital clock and get him to check against an analog clock on the wall?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:48 am 
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To be honest, I haven't talked to my daughter about keeping an eye on time as I would much rather she was getting her head down answering questions as fast as possible rather than being distracted by the clock.

Her tutor has told her to guess everything at 5 mins to go but actually I think that is counter productive as she tends to then give up at that point when she could be answering another 5r+ questions correctly.

We are practising in timed conditions and trying to get her to speed up but I think there is enough to think about and focussing on the questions is the most important.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:24 pm 
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My child practised with a very simple stopwatch at this stage - she could just quickly glance at it to see how much time had elapsed but I was a bit bothered about what she would do about timing in the real thing. I asked school and asked Kent and didn't get very conclusive answers about what reminders they would be given and when. I think they are supposed to have a big clock somewhere they can easily see it, and I think our school also told the children at the last minute that they would put some kind of countdown timer on the board .... I think. I don't know what happened in the end but my child (who is very particular usually about knowing what is going to happen) didn't seem to care two hoots in the end, didn't take in our stopwatch, just used whatever they were told / given at school and was perfectly happy with it all.

But you do hear tales of invigilators messing up timing (happened a bit in our KS2 tests) so if you want to know a bit more I'd ask the school where they will be taking the test .... but they might be deciding until the day before or might not know as they swap invigiliators with ohter schools in a bid to make it more independent and fairer.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:47 pm 
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Good idea to check with the host school and the council as well. I will do so on Monday. Thanks so much for your replies.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:09 am 
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It is more complicated to cater for the kent timing element than it was as you will not know beforehand what time per question it will actually be on the day and you don't want your child spending time on this on the day. So you need your child to be ready for timing surprises on the day and to move on to the next paper not concerned that they did not finish the previous one ( remember last year it only took 11 out of 30 questions correct to pass the maths)

Based on our experience last year I would suggest:

Maths - if you are needing a high score practice at the rate of 30 questions in 25 minutes. On the basis of last year it is not likely to get faster than this and if it gets slower you are prepared.

Non-verbal reasoning - practice at the speed stated in the gl assessment packs but in much smaller chunks.

Verbal reasoning - practice at the speed stated in the gL assessment packs.

E nglish - anyone's guess but make sure that you practice trickier multiple choice comprehension questions ( first past the post etc) - the paper was too easy last year (high raw score needed to pass ) so my best guess would be that the difficulty level will be pumped up on the comprehension - I really am just guessing.

On the maths speed, some questions do take longer than others so it's hard to teach the timing as you don't want your child to dump every single question that takes a little thought. I found it useful for many different reasons to time my child on each question and show them how long they had taken relative to the average time allowed per question. It gave a good feel for the passage of time and also reassurance that some questions are much quicker than others. It also enabled me to point out methods and strategies that could have saved time.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:03 am 
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Thank you for your invaluable suggestions mystery. We are OOC for Kent so aiming for high scores. Will definitely try the strategies you mentioned.


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