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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:31 pm
Posts: 1
Our eldest will be taking 11+ exams for Sutton/Wallington/Wilson's and Tiffin this September.

We have been working at home, covering bases needed for the exams but I think he would benefit from a week's worth of prep during the Summer with people who know the exam format and can specifically help him understand how to approach the exam.

There seem to be a few companies out there who provide this sort of thing but I would love some personal reviews as otherwise I feel as though I may well be just picking a name out of a hat!

Thanks in advance.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Kingston upon Thames
We had a tutor who ran some extra sessions towards the end of the holidays. Sorry can't give a recommendation as didn't just use it as a one off week.

It is however worth remembering that if you are applying to multiple schools their exams will not be identical. So if they taught exactly to one schools exams, wouldn't be perfect for the others. Exam technique experience needs to be acquired, it is not something schools normally do in year 5. Its completely different to a small classroom test where a bright child doesn't really need to try that hard to get a good mark. In some ways a bad practice test can often focus the child that they are being tested against other tutored children (in some ways its better to mess up a practice and learn from it, than discover weaknesses in the real exam)

In preparing for exams there are two elements, one is timed mocks, the emphasis changes from doing early practice papers where understanding the question is important (even if answering is quite slow) to powering through and skipping difficult areas so that you finish then go back to fill in missed bits (there is no point in answering half the paper brilliantly but running out of time and leaving a chunk unanswered). The second one is getting used to exam question styles (to avoid panic). Realistically you want to build upto finishing an hours paper in 50-55 mins to understand the pace, its not a natural enviroment and a bit of spare is useful for checking for silly mistakes.

If I was you, keep the existing arrangement for learning and understanding question styles, and the summer sessions for practicing exam technique and a few pointers towards areas that need a bit more work. Hopefully this will help in choosing as you should ask the potential tutors of the format of sessions on these cram sessions.

Another thing you should consider is the timing, ideally do these as late a possible in the summer holidays (availability of places might be a factor here), what you dont want is to lose all the momentum of practicing by then having a long gap where not much happens (remember its the school holidays, so picking up a textbook wont be your childs natural way to spend a holiday).

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