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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:01 pm
Posts: 84
Dear Mods,
I know its not allowed to talk about mock exam centres, but please allow me to ask one simple question, without taking names. I really need advice from experienced parents. Thanks

Dear forum members,
I have seen many mock exams adverts, some starting as early as April :shock: .
1)When should we ideally beging taking them?
2) How many mock exams should we take?
3) Is it worth taking them or can we buy GL assessment packs and do them at home?
We are AGSB aspirants, so please advice accordingly.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:20 pm
Posts: 94
Mock exams are a definite - if nothing else but to get your child used to sitting down and focusing, understanding the process on the day so that nothing is unexpected.

Primary Schools often arrange these or tutor groups.

My DS took one in April and we were surprised at how low a certain section was, focused on coaching for it and he really started to improve.

I think an April Mock exam really does get the child into the 'this is important' zone of thinking.

Just my POV of course - my son took AGSB last year and passed, ,y DD is in Y8 at AGGS and we followed this route for both of them and found it really helpful.

That said, nothing can prepare them for the actual day when they see 1200 other children and 2000+ parents - this really did shock my DS back in October, so much that he asked how many children actually got in. Make them aware that it will be very busy (think the Trafford Centre on Xmas Eve and you might get the idea).


Hope this helps, happy for you to PM me for any further help i could give and GL


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:04 pm
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Essential. Without a doubt, absolutely essential. It makes the whole process real.

Ds took one and scored well, so we didn't do the second, but the experience of arriving at a strange school with 200 other children he didn't know, plus 2 of his classmates was the best wake-up call that he could have had.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:35 pm
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Hello,

My DS also went for a mock exam- well he didnt particularly score well, but i found out at later stage that kids who use the website where the mock exam originated really do well in that mocks. And the style of questioning is different to ABGS. There were only about 50 kids- and the feedback was not very useful either.

Even though DS aced his alty exam .......i think what prepared him was the mock exams i had for him at home. 6 weeks prior to exams, every weekend we had a mock exam. Timing and practice are the key words for 11 plus exams. The more practice you have, the better and confident one will become. During mock exams- we planned for all types of scenario- noises, toilet trips, pencil dropping, strict time guidelines- and what to do when if you find yourself running out of time.

I found the mock exam we paid for, quite a fortune, was not really necessary- but i can only say that on hindsight. If i have another child who is going to go thru 11 plus- i dont think i will pay for a mock exam- i will just conduct one on my own. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Just to give the opposite view, I have to be completely honest, 2 sons, 2 x 11+ entrance tests, 2 super selective GS's achieved. No mock tests ever. Was not even aware they were offered and would not have done them if I had been. Certainly would get them used to working to time limits (as out system uses CEM, this involved giving 10 minutes to do a piece of maths or 5 minutes on VR, for example) but never felt the need to put them through a mock.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:19 pm
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Personal opinion, no.

in terms of the exam day experience an mock doesn't compare ( about 1000 at AGSB) the year my son sat and passed.

I have heard that the papers and scoring isn't particularly indicative either and whats the point of getting yourself into a state the results aren't great? If they mark against the cohort taking the exam, then that not going to be that useful either.

My sons tutor did a mock style exam with her students, it was very low key at her house with about 6 of them, it was more for the one paper after another practice than the exam day experience.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:01 pm
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Thanks everyyone for your views. Seems like everything, it boils down to "choose what will work best for your DS".


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:51 pm 
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We were quite late starters with the prep and only really began revising around the Easter of the year my DD took her exams so really thought a summer mock exam would be beneficial to DD. Was not a 100% positive experience for us and only really gave a slight impression of what the exam situation may be like on the day. Scores were lower than expected and no feedback. IMO I have question marks over how these 'mocks' are marked and approached by those who conduct them and confidence was knocked dramatically in DD with the lower than normal score (which of course could be a positive thing getting it in a mock and not the real thing) We did nearly throw the towel in - yet she came back with some great grammar results on the official exam days! I'd just say do your homework/get word of mouth before opening your wallet and if score comes back not as accepted get feedback. Definitely would 'home mock' if there was a next time.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:56 am
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I think the mock was invaluable. Gave us a detailed feedback but most importantly DS had realised that going to the loo during the exam can cost him marks. I think you have to book at the most popular centre, the atmosphere is very similar to the actual exam and could be a wake up call for your DC. And it did not cost a fortune, I found it reasonably priced. Good luck.


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