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 Post subject: Papers not set by NFER?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:48 pm
Posts: 163
I've just spoken to admissions at a highly selective independent school my DD will be sitting for in January. Apparently the VR papers they use have not been set by NFER up till now ( although the registrar said they may be changing them this year but didn't say to what). I'm familiar with the practice material required for NFER (IPS, The Tutors, Bright Sparks etc), but will this be ok to use if the paper isn't NFER? Or should we be using other material aswell? If they're not NFER, who could they be set by, and what's the best practice material to use? I'm assuming that some of the NFER 21 types would still come up anyway?
Sorry, lots of questions! But any info would be appreciated[/i]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi Jess

Some independent schools have a team of teachers who write bespoke entrance tests that change from year to year rather than use organisations such as NFER or Durham University.

There can be differences in question types depending on whether the tests are multiple-choice or standard format.

For example, a standard format paper may contain anagrams or grids to enter numbers or letters into, these are not suited to a multiple-choice format.

Multiple-choice questions tend to have a higher level of difficulty as the answers are already provided.

The starting point is the 15 standard question types set by NFER, irrespective of the organisation setting the test these types of questions are likely to appear on any test.

The additional six question types that appear on the extended NFER tests are then worth looking at.

Again irrespective of the organisation setting the tests a good level of vocabulary and basic arithmetic is required as well as a good level of reasoning for working out codes and series. These skills can be acquired by completing the full range of NFER question types.

After mastering the 21 NFER question types then look at authors, such as Athey and Susan Daughtery (original series of books), who write some question types that do not appear in NFER papers.

Regards

Mike

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:07 pm 
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Thanks very much Mike; that's really helpful


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Jess

Which school is your daughter sitting for?

If I remember rightly, at one stage you were going for Tiffins [21 types VR]

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:07 pm 
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Hi Patricia
We decided against going for Tiffin in the end (after all that!). The journey would have taken just a bit too long (around 45 mins to an hour) but more importantly we felt that the amount of practice my DD would have had to do to score highly enough would just be too much on top of maths and english practice needed for independent exams (which we would have had to enter her for as back-up). I was also a bit disillusioned by the open day at Tiffin; I was told by a number of Tiffin girls that 'everyone is tutored' to get in and I was just left with a sense that it had become an exercise in jumping through hoops; it just becomes about familiarity, speed and accuracy, rather than the measure of raw ability/potential it was intended to be.
I also went to look around a number of independents (St Paul's, JAGS, Alleyns, LEH etc) and I was genuinely impressed with the breadth of what they offered. We're fortunate that private school is an option so we've decided to concentrate on them-and at least the practice DD will do in maths and english will benefit her wherever she goes


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:32 am 
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Dear Jess

So glad I remembered correctly!

Schools that do not use NFER tend to write their own or buy in shop bought tests. Therefore keeping to the 21 rypes would be narrowing your field of questions. Do you know whether its multiple choice or standard form? It is times like this that Bond and Susan Daughtrey [books 1-7] come into play.

Perhaps you should ring the school again [under a different name!] and ask some more questions.. Do they set their own tests, if not who is the publisher? Is it M/C or Standard form? If they are going to change the tests this year, when will that decision be made? What will they change to? Is it in house marking or are they sent away?

Good LUck

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:48 pm
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Hi Patricia
I did ask most of those questions but the lady in admissions was rather vague. Up till now the test has been standard form and has been set by an outside body, not written in-house. She didn't know/wouldn't say who the publisher was and said only that 'we're thinking about changing them this year I think'. I did get the impression that she genuinely didn't know. I'll call back after the holidays and see if I can get any more info, and in the meantime keep working on 21 types, and order some 1-7 books to get additional questions. Luckily DD is naturally good at VR (more so than NVR!) so I think (hope) she'd cope if something she hadn't seen before came up.
I am wondering though if they're thinking of changing to NFER


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