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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:40 pm 
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looking at all the non catchment grammar schools/options - how many exams would be deemed too many to take this Sept 2012?


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:43 pm 
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My DS sat 4 this school year - 1 in September and 3 over 10 days in November! He was OK with it!

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:15 am 
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yummycool wrote:
looking at all the non catchment grammar schools/options - how many exams would be deemed too many to take this Sept 2012?


As many as your DC could have a go at. Only make sure that he/she is not burnt out before the tests for your real choices. :D :D


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:25 am 
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Son did five and that was really enough - they were spread over about two months. He did really well and passed all three 11+ ones, got 96% on the WT and I'm sure would have passed the other selective comp one but it was 5th on our list and results weren't disclosed.

I think our son probably did best in the first exam he took (which was his third choice but his first CAF offer) so be warned. I think it is very difficult for the children to keep that momentum going after doing lots of papers over the summer hols. I think our son peaked in September to be quite honest when he was fresh from summer hols and hadn't really got stuck back into school work and Year 6 responsibilities.

Personally I think that as this year the exams are going two-tier for some schools that just adds to the pressure and prolongs the exam-sitting agony. I would say five or six is probably the upper limit to be quite honest.

Our son didn't do the Tiffin Test because we felt it was a rather anomalous exam and having already decided upon the other super-selectives we wanted to go for and the selective comps, we felt that one grammar school had to be sacrificed for a fall-back comprehensive option (it would have been arrogant to just assume he would waltz into any of his selective choices).

Good luck but do think hard before committing your child to too many exams - although our son did enjoy doing the tests, I think we would have been pushing our luck with his willingness to do them, if we'd stacked up another four or five on top of the ones he did do....they are only ten or eleven and not exam machines!


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:22 am 
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I think it really depends on your child and really only you know that.

DD1 did 4 state school exams in this order:

- Nonsuch (Sept)
- Wallington (Sept)
- Tiffin (Nov)
- Wandsworth Test (Nov)

In my experience, she did better on the later tests with Nonsuch being her worst schore and Wandsworth being her highest (100%). She got a place at Tiffin on the first round of offers and would have got places at Nonsuch and Wallington on the first round if they had been her first choice.

DD1 was extremely nervous on the first test so accordingly did worst on this. She was not in work mode after the long summer break and we had done virtually no work over the summer. So for her, she preferred the later tests. However the poster above has a different view which shows you that no 2 children are the same in terms of how they approach exams and how many you feel they can cope with.

Strangely DD1 enjoys testing - she loves a challenge. She then went on to do 3 private school tests in January (2 for selective schools) and got a scholarship for one, on the scholarship waiting list for the other and on the non-selective called back for scholarship interview but no scholarship.

So in our experience, 7 exams was okay for my daughter and she relished them.

With DD2, I think it will be a very, very different story.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:09 am 
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Scoopy19 wrote:
I think it really depends on your child and really only you know that.

DD1 ......................:
In my experience, she did better on the later tests with Nonsuch being her worst score and Wandsworth being her highest (100%). She got a place at Tiffin on the first round of offers and would have got places at Nonsuch and Wallington on the first round if they had been her first choice.



Your DD must be very bright child if even at worst score, she would have got Nonsuch & Wallington. :D


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:04 pm 
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My DD did 4 tests in the space of just over 3 months: our local comp selective stream test early Oct, Tiffin Girls in Nov and 2 local indies in early January. I thought this was enough, and observed that children doing several (>4? and as many as 6 or 7??) found it hard to sustain the momentum, particularly for the indies as they are usually closely bunched straight after the New Year break. Peers commented that making a child take more exams usually meant that the parent hadn't done their sifting thoroughly enough after their first round of school viewings. I feel it would be unusual to have 6 or 7 first choices, ultimately 2 or 3 are going to come to the top of your list, though obviously back ups are no bad idea! If you think your DC can cope with doing a whole run of several, and is able to keep the quality up, then it is down to you to decide what is right for your own DC. I agree that a two stage section process for Tiffins for example will ramp up the pressure on those who do make it to the second stage.

In our case, by viewing lots of schools lots of times very early, we did the sifting and prep so we could make the process as straightforward for our DD as we could. She knew what she was trying for and what she needed to do to achieve it and is extremely self-motivated, which helps. She was successful in achieving offers from all 4 schools, including scholarship offers from both indies, and we accepted TGS without hesitation, our first choice of all. I looked at 10 schools in total, but for us, 4 tests were more than enough.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:41 pm 
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My son did 5.

Two Indies and three grammars.It really does depend on the child.
I think the number for my son was just about right, by the last one
he was getting a little fed up.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:49 am 
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Thanks everyone :)

I think we too will choose a mix of grammar and ind. Its good to know that its not unusual to sit at least 4-5 exams should it be required!
I am mentally preparing my dd - at the moment, most the grammars are in the same week :( she is going to be exhausted. Will will be doing our best to keep her spirits bouyant.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:24 am 
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yummycool wrote:
Thanks everyone :)

I think we too will choose a mix of grammar and ind. Its good to know that its not unusual to sit at least 4-5 exams should it be required!
I am mentally preparing my dd - at the moment, most the grammars are in the same week :( she is going to be exhausted. Will will be doing our best to keep her spirits bouyant.


Number of tests is not as much a problem as the spread of these tests. Last year, 4 tests would be over a period of 3 months between September to November for Grammars. Indies are all clustered in early January.

This year, Grammars tests are very close to each other. Some parents enter their children for all the available tests from Slough to Sutton and more. This year, such practice would make children very exhausted at the best. At worse, they might get too stressed and severely under perform at the key test (Tiffins for example as that is the last one in September). However, parents know their child best and would have to see what they could do.


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