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 Post subject: test style papers
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:19 am 
Hi, I was wondering if anybody else is suffering the same problem as my daughter. She can happily do a page of maths in the same subject i.e fractions or area etc. However when given a test paper with mixed questions of varied difficulty she seems to freeze and think she doesn't know how to work out a solution, when really she has covered it many times.

Any help anyone?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:29 pm 
Is it worth compiling your own set of questions (from the tests you have) using just 2 or 3 question types at first and then gradually adding in more as she gains confidence?

 Post subject: test style papers
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:33 pm 
izzy, thank you, i will have a go.

 Post subject: maths
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:59 am 
Are you sure that you have correctly identified her difficulty?

I have taught maths, and I am wondering if there is some other significant difference between the material on the pages of questions of the same type she is happy with, and the mixed types of questions she is not.

e.g. on the pages of the same type of question, has she really understood and consolidated the concepts in her mind, or does the page start out with an example and the questions are in increasing level of difficulty but really only require using the same mechanical method almost by rote again and again?

Sorry, but without some examples of the questions she can and cannot do it is difficult to guess what the stumbling block might be. Does she have a similar difficulty in VR and NVR?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:46 am 
Perplexed - no she is absolutely fine on VR, NVR and English. I am beginning to think it is a confidence issue. She sat an NFER VR paper the other day which should have been 50 mins but she finished in 30 and got 88%, said she felt confidence doing it too.

However with the maths, its like she sees one or two difficult questions and then thinks she cant answer ALL the questions.

My husband thinks we need to build up her confidence a bit and see if this helps.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:28 pm 
All answers above seem helpful, and your current approach seems right. I don't know if it will help, but additionally you could try explaining to your daughter that in the real exam there will be questions, no matter how good she is, that she cannot do. It is still possible in Kent to get the top score of 140 without getting all the questions right. Is this true in your area? In some years the percentage of questions you need to get right just to pass rather than get a really high score is actually quite low.

So one of the techniques you need to teach her is how to identify questions she cannot do (or that are taking her too long) and to move on to the next question. If the real exam is multiple choice, and you are sure there is not a negative marking system for wrong answers, teach her just to put down a random guess for these questions, and move on. She also needs a method for knowing which ones she guessed so that she can come back to them at the end if necessary.

Then when you go through questions during your practices that she cannot do, try to find a way that she can do them from her current knowledge. There are generally so many ways of doing the same maths question that whatever the content you can probably help her to find a method that she already knows. This will help to build her confidence too.

Go back over the types of questions that she got confused on again and again until eventually you can demonstrate to her that she can do the ones she initially could not do straight off.

Maybe sometimes rather than getting her to sit down and actually work through a paper, get her to talk you through the sort of method she would use on each question.

Good luck!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:49 pm 
Thanks, Perlexed, I think you are right. She is such a hard-working eager pupil that she likes getting the answers right, and at school she usually does! The maths expected for the 11+ is considerably harder and I think its been a bit of a confidence knock.

Since going back to school in September she has a new Maths teacher at school that she doesn't like - she adored the last one so much; he was so great at building confidence and the children in his class actually enjoyed maths!

I have taken on board the comments about talking through the paper with her and seeing what methods she knows how to use. I also agree with your earlier comment, however, that it is much easier to do a whole page of one subject, starting with an example and getting more difficult. I think I will move away from these and use mixed papers more.

Thanks again. :)

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