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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:20 pm 
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I have heard before, and Fairyelephant has quoted Athey on another thread, that after a certain amount of practice (Athey say 12 papers) a DC (or anyone for that matter!) cannot improve on VR, no matter how many hours they put in.

Is this the experience of other people on this website? Or, like other subjects, can DC 'get it' with enough practice?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:01 am 
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Surely some children will never "get" it whereas others will continue to improve. Mine certainly did up to the point where they were getting close to 100%. Mine may well have been different with NVR or maths.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:49 am 
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My DD has definitely improved with practice and and has got quicker at answering questions too. Some question types are more difficult than others but if your child is having problems with certain question types then I would recommend Bond's Book 'How to do Verbal Reasoning'. It goes through the question types and offers advice to parents too on how to help the child. Don't give up.....practice makes perfect!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:27 pm 
Hi fatbananas

I understand that the 11+ VR papers are won or lost on vocab. It seems therefore best to read, read and read to improve. Things like codes can be practiced but there probably comes a point where time is better spent on reading & vocab.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:39 pm 
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Hi, thanks for all the replies.

I've just introduced yr 4 DS, in a very informal way to the Bond 'puzzle books', as I've called them. He likes doing them; he enjoys playing with words etc. We haven't got to anything so taxing that I've needed to look at the how-to-do books yet but, looking ahead in the bookshop at the ones for the 11+, I can see that I'm going to have to seriously get to grips with some methods :shock: !!

But I'd just heard this thing about not being able to improve. Instinctively, that doesn't feel right, but equally, I didn't want to start too soon and 'peak' too early. But it sounds like that has not been most people's experience - that DC can improve, slowly and steadily, as SteveW61 (I think it was) recommended; so that is reassuring!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:51 am 
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In my experience, in VR, you improve a lot with practice in codes,sequences and maths etc but you need a solid foundation of vocab. If you do not have that, no matter what you will not improve in those areas like antonym,synonym,compound words etc. So i would suggest that you concentrate on the vocab and more vocab, rather than the bond books, which are nothing like the GL papers and a bit too easy!

With practice you improve a lot on your timing and know all the shortcuts to finish the paper well in time. The method and technique book of IPS is good I believe and they have good practice and further practice books, have a look at those.

You have plenty of time, which school are you looking at for you DS?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:21 am 
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Hi Fatbananas, my answer is "I don't know".

This is what I intend to do - and this is very different from probably what will happen in reality as my child will probably not "play ball" when the time comes. :(

I am going to buy the practice papers which are closest to the real paper - for us this is the GL assessment practice papers. I am also going to work through the GL assessment book "VR explained" which explains in detail how to do each GL assessment question type. GL assessment sets the Kent paper, so this way I am doing the closest possible preparation for the real thing. This book also suggests some games and things which help in the preparation - but they are suggestions specifically linked to the question types rather than blind pieces of advice like "expand your vocabulary".

Then I'm going to go through all the practice papers myself, long before I ever put them anywhere near my child, and make notes on how to solve each question and which question type they are from the the "VR explained" book.

I think I will then be a little closer to answering your question. I think the answer is that focused practice and appropriate teaching for the weaknesses will make a huge difference. I am not sure how much vocab will matter yet.

By the time I've got round to doing all this ( a long while off :shock: ) if we are at the stage where the practice papers are too hard ( as we're only year 4 now) I'm going to take a good look at the Bond VR books for the year 4 age group and see if they fit well with the GL assessment practice papers. If they don't I'm not going to use them. Instead I'll have to think of my own way of building up gradually to tackling each question type.

This site is great, but of course everyone is sitting different papers from you, so you might read advice on here which is, say, right for Buckinghamshire, but not right for whatever school / county you are going for.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:30 am 
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I was looking at some old papers DS2 took when he first tackled VR and he has improved dramatically..mainly in the codes and swapping letters to make new words..things you can't really work out for yourself perhaps without a bit of teaching. The other thing I've noticed is that he is still rubbish at the find the opposite meaning questions ( but great at the closest meaning ones :? ) and one of the number sequence questions...usually getting less then half right, but because the papers have 80 questions , his score is always bumped up by the other sections...so perhaps don't worry too much if they can't grasp one particular thing !


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Yes, significantly higher scores can be obtained with practice. This does reach a plateau, though. DD is now consistently scoring around 95% but there are always questions where she simply doesn't know a word or where she's made a daft mistake. I'm more than happy with that and I suppose more practice is unlikely to make much difference now.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:18 pm 
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.


Last edited by Belinda on Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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