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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:49 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Rainham
There appear to be some misconceptions and a lack of information here.
Headteachers are instructed by the local education authority NOT to give children practice / preparation for the Medway and / or Kent tests. They carry heavy responsibilities and would not wish to go against the authority on this one. This is why children are not prepared thoroughly by their schools. It may be worth pointing out that this is the only public examination where schools are not permitted to prepare their children. Nor is there public access to previous test papers, indeed these are protected as if they are a matter of national security! I would be very interested to hear what the authority has to say on both of these issues.
I would also like to point out that the Universities nationwide seem to be able to allocate places in a myriad of subjects in just a few weeks once the 'A' level results are available, yet our poor children have to take a test almost a year before they change schools and just a short way into Year six.
We are also told that the tests are based '40% on Year 5 work and 60% on Year six'. How can this be so when this year the test was taken in mid October? This is about 16% of the time spent in Year six. I would also challenge the validity of this statement in terms of Mathematics. Just imagine: you are ten years old, nervously working through your Maths paper. You come across this question:
y is a square number. y is equal to or greater than 20, y is less than or equal to 80. If you add 17 to y you will have another square number. What is y? This is accompanied by the appropriate mathematical signs for equal to or less than etc. Remember, this is just one of fifty questions to be completed in fifty minutes!
I have presented this question to Higher level GCSE students and one Secondary School Head of Maths to be met with blank faces and incomprehension.
This and many other questions are totally inappropriate for ten year olds. The result of this is that the 'raw scores' ( the actual score the child achieves before age weighting is appplied ) are extremely low. Add to this the multiple choice scoring, where five possible answers are given, the whole thing is open to abuse: it would be possible for a chimpanzee to be trained to 'multiple choose' 15 out of 50 answers and be deemed suitable for a Grammar school education, if only in maths.
As far as the buying of test papers goes, beware. One website claims to supply 'Medway' tests, but it can only be legal to supply Medway 'style' tests and these are available for much less elsewhere. I also note that the site refers to ' Grammer school', not 'Grammar school'. Trust a test supplier who cannot spell? Anyone selling the real thing is running a risk of prosecution.
I have other information to impart and will willingly do so if anyone is interested. I think it is time this inappropriate and ill timed practice was exposed and then modified.
In my opinion it would be a very good thing if the Kent and Medway tests were run on the same day and they used the same test and procedure. It is far from desirable that children should be put through both tests and would remove the annual worry for parents that a Kent place may not be availble owing to the number of children from out of county being tested. A common test would encourage the two authorities to allocate places more accurately.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
Oldie wrote:
There appear to be some misconceptions and a lack of information here.
.


Sorry for my stupidity but what are they and where?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Medway/Kent
Hello Oldie
I read your post with interest and echo a lot but not all that you say. I have tutored students that have sat both the Kent and Medway tests his year and have not fared as well in Medway as the Kent particulary in the Maths. I do not however advocate the tests being on the same day as there are genuine reasons that make taking 2 tests viable.
In addition there are some schools that do prep and others that do not so where is the fairness in that?

I note that this is your first posting but sense that you are not a newie to the 11+ arena - I would love to talk in more depth PM me if this interests you.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:45 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Medway & Kent
Oldie wrote:
it would be possible for a chimpanzee to be trained to 'multiple choose' 15 out of 50 answers and be deemed suitable for a Grammar school education, if only in maths.


Firstly, can I say welcome to the site Oldie.. :)

Regarding the above point, in the Kent test, a child needs to get a minimum in each 3 subjects, math, verb and non verb, so I disagree that you could 'train' any child regardless of ability to pass this test. It is true that in the Medway you could score particularly low in Math and make up your points on English and Verbal, but again, highly unlike in my opinion to train any child regardless of ability.

Can I ask are you a parent of a child going through the process, or a teacher maybe?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:05 pm
Posts: 515
Oldie wrote:
y is a square number. y is equal to or greater than 20, y is less than or equal to 80. If you add 17 to y you will have another square number. What is y? This is accompanied by the appropriate mathematical signs for equal to or less than etc. Remember, this is just one of fifty questions to be completed in fifty minutes!
I have presented this question to Higher level GCSE students and one Secondary School Head of Maths to be met with blank faces and incomprehension.
This and many other questions are totally inappropriate for ten year olds.


I think this is more an indictment of the level of GCSE, not to mention the mathematical ability of a HT. I would expect an 11+ standard 10 year old to answer it in well less than half a minute. Only have to choose one of four numbers.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:43 pm
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dadofkent wrote:

I think this is more an indictment of the level of GCSE, not to mention the mathematical ability of a HT. I would expect an 11+ standard 10 year old to answer it in well less than half a minute. Only have to choose one of four numbers.

Sorry, had to laugh at the above - you would think so wouldn't you? One of the math papers a couple of years ago for GCSE had a line - about 6 cm long. The task was to 'measure this line'........


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:05 pm
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CanucksintheUK wrote:
dadofkent wrote:

I think this is more an indictment of the level of GCSE, not to mention the mathematical ability of a HT. I would expect an 11+ standard 10 year old to answer it in well less than half a minute. Only have to choose one of four numbers.

Sorry, had to laugh at the above - you would think so wouldn't you? One of the math papers a couple of years ago for GCSE had a line - about 6 cm long. The task was to 'measure this line'........


Don't tell me. You had to get it correct to +/_ 1.0m.

You can download GCSE papers off the internet. The level of them is, quite frankly, an eye opener. A child reasonably proficient, not necessarily capable of passing, 11+ level maths would be able to answer a significant proportion of the questions.
I remember my 70's O level maths, and it was necessary to be competent in basic Calculus.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:41 pm
Posts: 1596
Location: Gravesend, Kent
Oldie wrote:
It is far from desirable that children should be put through both tests and would remove the annual worry for parents that a Kent place may not be availble owing to the number of children from out of county being tested. A common test would encourage the two authorities to allocate places more accurately.


I thought Kent used to administer all the 11+ exams in the county. Then in the mid 1990s all Kent residents were asked to vote whether their own districts would still be administered by Kent, or become a unitary authority and receive funds direct from central government.
All districts voted to stay with Kent apart from Rochester upon Medway City Council and Gillingham Council. These two amalgamated and became Medway Council.

That's why there are two systems running side by side. Blame those voters from 15 odd years ago!

inky x
(former Rochester Council employee!)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Bexley
I have to agree with DadofKent. Even with my limited mathematical ability I didn't think this was a very hard question. In fact it seems to me like a typical 11+ question in that it's designed to look hard, but when you think about it it's not. I think an able 10/11 year old could work out the answer quickly.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 646
Oldie wrote:
You come across this question:
y is a square number. y is equal to or greater than 20, y is less than or equal to 80. If you add 17 to y you will have another square number. What is y?


I thought this question was quite difficult. I then sat there trying to work it out, and I was beginning to think that there is no number that fits. Then I realised that I read it as prime number not squared :oops: :oops:

I agree with the the above that any child in Y6 should know the square numbers, thus this question is not at all difficult.


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