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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:22 pm
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Hi all

newbie here! :shock:

My son is sitting the 11+ exam this year. He has been going to the tutor for about 8 months or so and she is really good, we really like her and so does my son. If you look at the results of her previous students she has an amazing record of getting kids into grammar schools. She is of the opinion that she'd be highly disappointed if my DS doesn't get in to one of Sutton, Wallington and Wilson's as he has ability. However, we have recently started testing him at home using First Past the Post (amongst others) and he seems to scoring around the 60-70% and we are now worried. He seems to be making really silly mistakes and we are at a loss as to how to address it. Any ideas?

KashifZS


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:45 pm 
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It is worth looking at the papers and working out whether there are gaps in knowledge, issues around timing, arithmetical errors or misreading of questions. All of these can be fixed, but you need to tackle gaps in knowledge first imo, before using lots of papers. For English, again which is the weakest area, comprehension, cloze, grammar or vocab?

At this stage 60-70 isn't necessarily that bad on the FPTP papers which are reasonably taxing. You should be looking at 80-85% under timed conditions by the end of the summer, but honestly, a lot of that will come through practice. So I wouldn't worry as such - there are still 3 months to go, and many children will increase by 10-15% over the summer holidays through practice papers. Certainly you're probably doing the right thing by supplementing what the tutor is doing, though it may be worth asking what material she is planning to over over the next 3months so you don't pay out for materials that she will be giving.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:34 pm 
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Do you know exactly what work he is doing with the tutor? Do you get to see the work he is doing? Did he do the Sutton and Wallington Mocks? What does the amazing record of the tutor consist of? How many did she get in last year? How often is he doing timed practice papers? As Ladymuck says can you identify his weaknesses? He can make dramatic improvements in the next few weeks but his work needs to be focused on weak areas. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:35 am 
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Just out of interest, what are the amazing results that the tutor is claiming?

One local tuition centre is claiming 2015 success in Tiffin (30), Tiffin Girls (25) and so on. Only if one could believe that high success rate.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:22 pm
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Hi all

thank you all for such quick responses. We do have visibility of what he is doing and we check the homework he brings and see the comments she has made etc. This work all seems fine, its just when he sits the timed paper he scores low - we are aiming at 1 a day but have recently stopped. The low scores are affecting his confidence and as people here have suggested i've started sitting with him and going through his weaker subjects. When I explain stuff he takes it in but he just seems to make so many careless mistakes! :oops:

He did sit the mock exam at WCGS and he came out saying it was easy - we'll see tomorrow how 'easy' it really was tomorrow! :)

The tutor is getting 5-10 kids a year into grammer schools. We personally know a few parents that have sent their kids to this lady and who's children are now at these schools.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:15 pm 
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I think a good tutor is usually quite cautious about predicting the outcome. Every year some bright children who have never been off the top table at primary and have been prepared will not make it through even to the second stage.I don't say that to make you more worried but nerves or just having a bad day can happen to anyone.
A tutors previous successes may not tell you much either.Its impossible to know what the calibre of previous years children was and also how much additional work parents did.
The thing I think to remember is no one really knows what the rest of the cohort is like. It is after all a case of having to do better than most of the others doing the test. A mark in practice at home doesn't give you much of an idea really.
Wilson's say the maths won't go beyond KS5 and I haven't heard anything to the contrary.However apparently a significant number of boys usually get 100% in the maths test. The English at Wilson's has been really tricky recently and my impression is that it is the English paper that separates out the candidates.
I would be trying to really identify the weak areas and focus hard on those over the next three months.
The Sutton grammar mock result will give you some idea of where your son sits in the cohort. I know people who got fairly low marks in the mock and still went on to get a place. A lot can be done in three months


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:30 pm
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Quote:
Wilson's has been really tricky recently and my impression is that it is the English paper that separates out the candidates


I would second that.
Their second stage Maths paper does not tend to be very changeling, not for a boy that is achieving level 5+ for Maths, now.

A tutor would beat their own drum. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:28 pm 
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Agreed on both posts. I know it's not always about what your child does - it very much depends on the cohort. Theoretically a child could score 99% and not get in because everyone ele scored 100%.
With regards to the English being the deciding factor I'm inclined to agree too. Maths concepts and theories can be taught pretty easily but English really brings out the childs imagination and flair for writing - which I think you either have or you don't.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:11 am 
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Hi kashifzs,
when I read your post it could have been me taking about my own son :D

My son also took the Wallington test. Can I ask what score your son came out with?


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