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 Post subject: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:25 am
Posts: 39
My DS found English and Maths ok but found VR quite daunting and ran out of time. Did anyone elses DS feel the same?


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:10 pm
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Yes mine was the same. He said there were about 80 questions and with only 40 minutes to complete this sounded very tight for time. He got to about question 60 with minutes to spare so guessed the last 20 questions. So doesn't sound like he has done too well on the VR but it accounts for only 20% of the overall mark. Hope he's done enough on the other parts. But am very proud nonetheless...it was a very long day for them.


Edited by moderator to remove test content-I know it wasn't much, but just being careful!
Surreymum


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:42 pm
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My son had the same experience, he got to question 60 in the VR and guessed "C" for the rest, hoping he is lucky. He thought the English was fine and the Maths more difficult. I do worry about the exam being all multiple choice as there is such a fine line between some answers. I guess it is the only way they can handle the volume of applications.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
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Perhaps we shouldn't discuss the content of the exam or the individual papers in too much detail as those who missed yesterday's exam through illness will be taking it at a later date.

I don't want to sound bossy :oops: but I am pretty certain I have read in previous years that they use the same exam for later dates and that board members are told to keep the exam contents secret.



I agree about the surprise amount of multiple choice questions. My DS prefers standard format ones but then with so many boys taking the test, I do not blame the school for wanting to simplify the marking schedule (especially as they are one of the school that give us early results). It was a very long day - much longer than we expected. DS arrived for the 1:20pm session on time and the boys were dismissed at 6pm (parents who had been waiting an hour cheered at this point!). DS came home and hoovered up dinner - by this stage he hadn't eaten for nearly 7 hours! He definitely had a dazed look about him :? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:46 am 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:37 pm
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Hadn't eaten for seven hours? :shock: Do they not give them a break? Can they not take water and snacks in with them? This doesn't sound like an ideal circumstance in which to do your best.

Sounds like it was very tough! Good luck to all who entered and have yet to take the exam.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
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The letter detailing the examination times said boys are allowed to bring a small bottle of water and a book. All stationery is provided and snacks were not mentioned at all. No boy had a snack that I saw. The boys do have breaks between exams but, unless they needed to pop to the toilet, these were spent sitting at their desks. I had visions of them being allowed to stretch their legs on the field and I even heard rumours that one year biscuits were provided for break times but DS assures me they were kept in the exam room for the whole time.
If you are planning on doing the exams next year, I would advise a hearty lunch, some slow release carbs and an interesting book :)


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:35 pm 
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Deleted.


Last edited by Ladymuck on Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
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The late starts pushed each subsequent session further back I think. Certainly the 1:20pm slot was more than an hour late starting although we did not know this at the time. The boys were queuing on the pavement to go in and were left at the school by their parents once the gates were opened at about 1pm. We did not know that they would be kept waiting such a long time before the exams got underway, we did not know that collection would be so delayed and we did not know that we wouldn’t see them again until 5 hours later at 6pm! When the doors finally opened and the first boy emerged, the parents who had been standing outside in the rain and drizzle for an hour literally clapped and cheered!!

Also, in future years, better maps would be very advantageous. Telling parents to go to the Year 10 playground or down an access road led to a lot of confusion because of course, unless you already have a son at the school, you will not know where these places are so you do not know where to queue or where to go for collection. The staff and boys helping were very polite and helpful but it just seemed an obvious oversight to force all parents to seek assistance. The map provided only showed the school's position in the road - it did not show the key areas that parents were asked to go to.

I sympathise with the school. It must be a nightmare to come up with systems and procedures to test 1500+ boys but maybe if the instructions on locations were clearer to minimise time spent getting lost and maybe if they specified strictly that no late entrants would be accepted at all plus said in the letter to allow at least 30 minutes for parking and walking back on yourself then this would help to make things go more smoothly. I don't know really but it was a very hard, long day.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:56 pm
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I too was very unhappy about how this test was conducted. My DS was in the 9am session in the sports hall. As mentioned earlier, it took so long to get all the boys in through the single front gate that the start time of the test was delayed.

My DS also reported that when it came to the VR paper, half the boys had no paper and that a member of staff was sent off to photocopy more! Surely they must have known how many boys were going to be in that hall! How much time did that waste? The boys in the sports hall came out an hour later than the boys in other venues of the school. They were very tired and very hungry from not having eaten for such a long time. Not very conducive to good performance in that late VR test! Due to the high number of boys in the sports hall, the toilet break took a long time, thus causing further delay. My DS also reported that unless you went for a toilet break you were sitting at your desk for more than 4 hours! He eventually came out at around 1.20pm and as we were leaving we could see all the afternoon session boys queuing outside the sports hall to go in. So it was of no surprise to hear of the subsequent delay of this further session!

I also agree that the collection instructions could have been much clearer regarding area for collection and times. I subsequently found a link on the school website, after the test, regarding approximate times for collection. Why was this not sent out with the original information in the post?

I would be very interested to hear comments from any other parents whose DS was also in the sports hall morning session on that day.



I


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 Post subject: Re: Wallington Exam
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
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Yes - we were the sport's hall too but for the afternoon slot not the morning one and DS confirms that, unless you opted for a toilet break, the whole 5 hours was spent sitting in silence inside the hall at your desk. A lot of the parents standing outside were very upset about it all. When the news came down the queue at 5:15pm that we were actually going to be waiting another 35 – 45 minutes, people were getting very very annoyed indeed.

It is not fair on the boys who took the test in the Sports Hall at all. They were kept in pretty unpleasant conditions for over an hour longer than the boys who took the tests in other locations. Water was only listed as optional on the letter and snacks were not mentioned at all. 5 hours, possibly with no water and certainly no food, sat in silence unable to stretch your legs more than the distance taken to queue for the toilet is actually pretty barbaric. That sounds a bit dramatic so I am sorry but I am actually quite cross about the way my son was treated and that his first experience of a "proper" exam was so awful. And that is totally aside from the fact that the boys who suffered these delays must have had their exam performance and concentration levels severely affected compared to the boys who had been dismissed far earlier and whose tests went more smoothly. I am not so much upset about that, although I do believe it had a large negative impact and that boys who deserve a place will miss out on one because of this, as the fact that it was such an arduous and gruelling experience.


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