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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi

The reference to 21 question types on the forum may lead some parents to believe that there are only 21 question types for the children to cover.

However, question variance within a question type is important to consider.

Question variance can be anything from the formatting of a question, the method and technique required to answer a particular question type or the use of different vocabulary structure within a question type.

As such children need to learn in the region of 50-60 different techniques and identify the full range of question formats and structures. As well as developing a reasonably good level of vacabulary.

It is therefore important that children have exposure to the full range of variance within the testing organisations question types contained in their practice papers and familiarization papers, if they are available.

Taking tests, whether short form or long form, before covering question types in depth does not give children exposure to and practice of the full range of questions they may find on testing organisation question papers or on preparation papers written by a range of publishers.

Taking tests at an early stage of the process does not give the child full coverage of the 21 question types. For example, most test pàpers contain 11 or 12 question types plus one or two Z type question.

Therefore, if children are being set one full test per week they will need two weeks to cover all 21 types. However, they would not cover all the variances in that period.

Finally, as children become more familiar with question types their speed and accuracy levels naturally increase. Placing time pressure on children to complete 50 or 80 questions within 30 or 50 minutes, when they are trying to complete test questions that they are unfamiliar with, can lead to stresses and anxieties that are best avoided at an early stage of 11+ preparation.

Regards

Mike

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:57 pm 
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Dear Mike

Will never agree on timing, I will always time, I tell the children they will not finish in the beginning so they dont need to worry , they see their own natural progression, the smiles on their faces when they finally crack it... is lovely.

Variants, yes there are differences within a few questions, what an easy test it would be if there were none. e.g.....

Codes Type C x 2, Type U x2 [ ie standard and mirror image]

There are variants in the sequences for types L K and P but thats sequencing, no one expects +1+1+1

Mike Edwards wrote:
Taking tests, whether short form or long form, before covering question types in depth does not give children exposure to and practice of the full range of questions they may find on testing organisation question papers or on preparation papers written by a range of publishers.


Where would customers find all these variants other than in tests? Parents can only use what is on the market. We know that you need to cover the basic techniques first,[IPS] you will probably not see all the variants but by covering the tests available, children will see all over a period of time. [all at once would be too much to take in]

Covering 1 test per week, plus work on each type [for which parents could use IPS/your CD/AFN ] and vocab is more than enough. In fact thats how you told me you work... You have them in for testing on a Saturday, followed by an hour in a group of 4 [2 + 2 ] covering appropriate questions suited to the child.

Mike Edwards wrote:
Hi Patricia

How do we work ?

Although I may have referred to groups of students in previous posts the way we work with them is as follows:

Students attend our premises as a group on a Saturday morning, they are set a test under exam conditions, then leave. The papers are marked and students return for a weekday evening session where individually their papers are reviewed and relevant guidance is given.


Patricia


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Posts: 625
Hi

Myself and Janet Peace have been tutors for over twelve years the advice that I give in the forum is based on the years of experience we have gained within the tutoring environment and the level of analysis that we apply to the learning material available.

The question variances for each question type, based on The Tutors cataloguing, are:

Type 1
No Variance, however vocabulary level does increase.

Type 2
There are at least 14 different types of groupings.

Type 3
There are five variances; word to code, code to word, forward, reverse and mirror.

Type 4
No Variance, however vocabulary difficulty increases.

Type 5
No Variance.

Type 6
Variance occurs within the word length.

Type 7
No Variance, however question structure increases difficulty level.

Type 8
No Variance, however there is both phonetic and change of intonation within the question.

Type 9
There are four variances; standard forward reverse, alternating, mirror and wrap round.

Type 10
At least 8 different groupings including; similes, opposites, anagrams and homophones.

Type 11
At least 16 question formats including Fibonacci and square number sequences.

Type 12
No Vaiance, however there is both phonetic and change of intonation.

Type 13
No Variance

Type 14
No Variance, however there are forward, reverse and wrap round questions.

Type 15
At least 6 different types of question structure.

Type 16
No Variance, however vocabulary level does increase.

Type 17
No Variance, however structure of question increases difficulty level.

Type 18
At least 16 different question formats.

Type 19
code to word and word to code.

Type 20
No Variance, however structure of question increases difficulty level.

Type 21
No variance, however vocabulary level does increase.


We would continue to recommend that, at the early stages of tuition, children are not timed and it is not necessary to time them whilst completing type questions.

The basic techniques and type questions are available from more publishers than IPS. Also the full question variances, as listed above, are available from this site as a free download.

As far as our testing of students is concerned the quote referred to courses we run twelve weeks prior to the tests and your description for that is correct.

However, when students first come to us, particularly early, we concentrate on the question types first, before proceeding to short question papers, then full question papers. Once the children are completing test papers they are timed.

Regards

Mike

(wipe that smile off your face Sally-Anne)

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Mike Edwards is a co-author of The Tutors product range.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Dear Mike

I am quite sure Sally-Anne has a beautiful smile on her face (':o')

We will have to beg to differ on timing [and thats on several years of tutoring experience too!]

Your lovely list of variants is of course to be expected. These variants will be seen over the tests. I would without a doubt NOT teach absolutely every variant before testing [far too much to take in, little and often is my motto... more likely to stay embedded in te brain]] Of course most of these variants are from sequencing and to be expected the analogies and odd ones out to be expected too.

Which other publisher gives lists of each type before testing? Not counting your CD at the moment because there are different techniques/variants in using a CD as opposed to pen and paper Dont wish to confuse at an early stage..

Now off to do a bit of tutoring, have covered the 21 types in the basic form, they have completed 5 mini made up tests [about 5 types of 4 questions each] They can all recognise every type without reading the instructions. Will be putting them onto IPS 30 minute tests next week. I will continue revising the types gradually INTRODUCING the VARIANTS over the weeks....

Your very best sparring buddy :wink: :wink:

Patricia


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:44 pm 
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Posts: 625
Hi Patricia

The Tutor's CDs were written at the invitation of elevenplusexams.co.uk and VR1 gives substantial coverage to all question types. The skill of clicking on a correct answer is transferable to marking a line on an answer sheet.

We recommend that children work the questions out with pen and paper, obviously they cannot write on the computer screen.

To help with the coding questions we have submitted a number of alphabet lists to elevenplusexams.co.uk for inclusion as free downloads.

Elevenplusexams.co.uk have created a software package that allows, children, parents and tutors the opportunity to mark, assess and track improvements that in a paper environment would create a small mountain of paperwork.

A new product has been written to address the issue of a lack of questions in a type format; the Beginner CD, that has been referred to elsewhere, that focusses on the lower difficulty range.

Also short graded question papers will be available as e-papers soon. There will be four grades of questions starting at the lower, beginner range, up to the more difficult questions. This is as a direct response to requests for such material from some forum members.

Over 5400 verbal reasoning questions, not including free stuff will be made available jointly by The Tutors and elevenplusexams.co.uk.

Regards

Mike

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Mike Edwards is a co-author of The Tutors product range.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Dear Mike

As you know I will always recommend your e papers and CDs as part of a regime. The CDs are of value in the middle of of the coaching plan. In the beginning pen and paper practice is needed in order to get used to the method and techniques [which is different from the techniques used for the CD, regardless of whether you have paper next to you] Towards the end of the process, pen and paper tests become paramount.

The CDs are good for relieving the boredom of pen and paper. [ I do not use the CDs as part of my tutoring process, however I do recommend them to my parents if they so wish.] The E papers are of the greatest value. If schools start using on line tests, I will of course re evaluate my thoughts...

Patricia


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:10 am 
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Hi Patricia

There are no different techniques required to answer any of the Verbal Reasoning multiple-choice question types on any of The Tutors CDs.

A difference does occur when the children input the answer on the screen, rather than draw a line on an answer sheet.

Some tutors do teach children to work questions out to a standard format i.e. work out the question using pencil and paper, then write the answer out in full, rather than drawing a line on an answer sheet. But, this is the difference between standard format and multiple-choice formatting not between different methods & techniques for multiple-choice format questions alone.

Regards

Mike

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Mike Edwards is a co-author of The Tutors product range.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:31 am 
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Hi patricia

Schools are using computer based tests.

Many of the top Independent Schools are using computer based testing for the Verbal Reasoning component of the Common Entrance Tests.

Regards

Mike

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Mike Edwards is a co-author of The Tutors product range.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:51 am 
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Most 11+ tests are not computer based and will not be for the 164 Grammars for many years -


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:42 am
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Location: South Warwickshire
Hi Mike,

I have some of your material and I think it is very good. But how worried are you about the trend towards fairer, "less coach-able" tests such as the CEM approach in use in Birmingham and now Warwickshire, as well as some of the top Independents? Do you think you might be left high and dry with your material in the next few years? I guess there would still be plenty of scope for coaching more generally, but no scope for you and Patricia to dance on the head of a pin about how many official variations each question formula has!


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