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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:56 pm 
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Hi, my daughter is 10, will be 11 in January, and will sit the Kent test next week. She has always been in the top 3 in all subjects in her class, and her teacher actively encouraged us to put her in for the test.
She achieved the highest mark in her class on her y5 maths sats, so we were understandably optimistic about her chances of getting into grammar school (specifically Folkestone school for girls).

However, since we have been doing practise papers at home she has been consistently underachieving. She rarely finishes the tests within the time limit, and seems to get bored or stressed about time towards the end. We are trying to encourage rather than force her, but with her only scoring just over 50% in all subjects on most tests, i`m starting to worry.

I dont understand it, as i know she has the ability to do these tests. I think it is a lack of preparation from her school (they dont seem to have covered most of the stuff in the practise papers, so makes me worry about the actual tests).

Can anyone offer any advice on what i can do to help her?

Also, would the scores she has been achieving be enough for a pass?

Any help would be appreciated, i`m new to all this and its been so long since i sat my own version of the test i dont remember anything about it (other than passing way above the required mark and refusing to attend grammar school, much to my parents` disgust).

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Kelly M Reeves


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:48 pm 
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My gut feeling is to say to you that maybe she's just had enough of the practice and needs to get on with the test! If she is genuinely bright which by the sound of it she is, she will be fine on the day and rise to the challenge! Maybe a break from practice would be better now?
I know saying dont worry is easier said than done, we are all scared stiff and just want, no, need this to be over now so keep in touch with us all on here - it wil help you stay sane! :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:16 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:28 pm 
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keljbj wrote:
I dont understand it, as i know she has the ability to do these tests. I think it is a lack of preparation from her school (they dont seem to have covered most of the stuff in the practise papers, so makes me worry about the actual tests).

Can anyone offer any advice on what i can do to help her?

Also, would the scores she has been achieving be enough for a pass?

Any help would be appreciated, i`m new to all this and its been so long since i sat my own version of the test i dont remember anything about it (other than passing way above the required mark and refusing to attend grammar school, much to my parents` disgust).


Unfortunately you are in the position a lot of parents of children at (I assume) state school, often of probably the brighter children, that you thought your child would be OK in the 11plus, and when you do the practice tests a couple of weeks beforehand, you have a rude awakening. I was in the same position last year, but had about 8 weeks more to work with. KS work is not geared towards the 11 plus, and does not cover the questions or subject matter applicable to the 11plus. Even more so this year, with the test being 4 months earlier. Further, schools are not allowed to prepare or coach pupils for the 11plus.

Being honest, 50% in the practice papers is unlikely to be enough in my view, but if you can eke out an extra 10/15%, this could put you in the sporting chance category. you might have nothing to worry about and DD will perform on the day.

But my advice at this stage would be not to work on subject matter, but on exam technique.

Tell DD to pick off all the easy questions first. each question is only worth one mark whether it takes 2 secs (and some do) or 5 mins. If cannot get the answer, try and narrow down to say 2, and mark on paper to come back to. When it gets to the last 1min of exam, just go through the answer sheet puuting in any answer. Do not leave empty boxes. statistically 1 in 5 chance of getting right, and better if already narrowed down.

Maths.

Do quick questions first. Things like picking out shapes, series, number machines, graphs. If DD cannot "see" how to do question immediately, or it requires a few steps of arithmetic, come back to it (in practice most of the seemingly difficult questions have short cuts, but this is where previous practice helps). If you want to do further subject matter, I would concentrate on percentages, fractions, and decimals. forget algebra at this stage.

VR

Important, skip time consuming questions, and pick off the easy ones: opposites, odd ones out, substituting numbers into equations. Then work on number series and codes. These are easy marks once you have the knack. Try and work off the answer sheet where poss. Once you know the question type, don't need to look at the question paper. And then at end tick through the empty boxes.

NVR

Again pick off ther easy ones, and concentrate on codes/symbols. The other question types need either an inherent knack (which your DD may have) or practice.

If you have done little prep. up to now I would do a few intensive practice sessions before the exams. However, you are better in tune with DD and what has already been done, and what she can cope wih.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:12 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
We suddenly found our DD 'couldn't do' NVR just before the test. When we went through them with her we found that she was thinking too hard - she thought the questions were more difficult than they really were!

In the end she passed with flying colours (without tutors or lots of practise) but I did beat myself up about 'not giving her the best opportunity' beforehand.

All the best.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:20 am 
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As far as pass marks go, looking on the Judd website it does say 75% would be equivalent to a score of 140 and a pass would be about 50%. This has kept me going because I was under the impression that they needed 100% to get full marks. Hope this helps!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:53 am 
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shuff wrote:
As far as pass marks go, looking on the Judd website it does say 75% would be equivalent to a score of 140 and a pass would be about 50%. This has kept me going because I was under the impression that they needed 100% to get full marks. Hope this helps!


The Judd site also says that about 50% will get you a pass. however, I think it is accepted that pupils generally score worse in the actual tests than the practice tests. No doubt there are exceptions that get their act together on the day. Hence why I suggest above that an extra 10/15% in practice tests is probably needed. But this can probably be best achieved by better exam technique at this stage, rather than any further learning of subject matter.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:28 am
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Location: Kent
Hi Keljbj,
It depends on the temperament of your DD whether going through picking out the easy ones first would be appropriate for her. For some children, feeling the stress of a one-time only test, this is just too confusing and may result in question boxes unmarked at the end of the test through poor time management, as it is difficult to know how many you have actually completed in how much time. If you do choose this route, it would be safer on 'missed' questions to circle the question, write preferred options beside it the make sure you mark a guess in the box. This way, if you mess up the time and don't get back to it, you've still got a chance of getting a mark. If you do get back, you have a starting point to quickly get to work.

Many children do rise to the challenge - I know two children who were told they definitely wouldn't pass but did, one with full marks on one paper. Fatigue/boredom is common at this stage, especially with maths. If the ability is there, she'll do it when it counts!

Good luck, can't wait until it's over now


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:48 pm
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Thanks everyone :)

I`m not a very stressed out person, but even i am sitting here biting my nails and worrying, with a hard knot in my stomach.

I`m trying so hard not to be pushy with her, as i know she reacts badly to pressure. But its so frustrating when i know just how bright she is, and it seems like shes making the silliest mistakes.

It makes me doubt the whole process tbh. At the end of the day they are still only children, and to put them under this level of expectation seems so unfair. I can understand why the grammar schools want to seperate out the top children from the reast, but surely doing it with an exam that has no basis on anything they have learnt in the classroom isnt the best way to go about it? I realise as parents we have as much responsibility for our childrens education as the schools do, but this whole 11+ thing has been casting a shadow over my family for weeks now, and i`m sure many of you feel the same.

There must be a better way :(

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Kelly M Reeves


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:53 am
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Location: kent
Hi

I think evey parent is stressed.

Those whose children are scoring high in practise papers, worry that thier children have peeked too soon, or dwell on the horror stories which abound of very able children seen as dead certs by the rest of the playground not getting in. If your child isn't now getting the scores you know they are capable of you question whether you should have done something differently. I cant think of any parent who is feeling so confident now they don't have any concerns.

All we can do is have some faith in their abilities and be ready to support them and fight for their chances of a grammar place if they dont do themselves justice on those two days.

I think they are handling this much better on the whole than us.


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