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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:37 pm 
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We are looking at a few schools for entry at 11 plus. Independent, selective, girls.

As we are not a Prep I can't get a head's up on the pre-test aspect.

I am told by the schools that you can't prepare, nobody does, it's inadvisable to do so etc. For some schools what's tested remains a mystery but from what I can tell most contain aspects of VR, NVR, Maths and English.

So is it wise to work through Bond books with this in mind? Will the playing field be level if we do as advised? (In other words very little in this regard).

I am not too worried about the January exam and my daughter doing well enough to get in but I am worried about not making the cut in the first place.

Any advice? Thanks. How do others prepare in this scenario?


Last edited by Cranleigh on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:05 am 
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Hi Cranleigh,

We have a DS who is currently going through entrance exams for four independent schools this month. Our ds’s primary school is a state school which has no record of sending children to independent schools, so had to do allot of research ourselves. From what we have seen so far, all independent school make children sit exams in Maths and English, with some schools requesting either or both VR and NVR.

Bonds is a great start for NVR and VR, after buying many books we opted for their online module which my husband bought and seemed to be the most effective on reviewing our ds’s progress. So far the VR and NVR material covered by bonds has come up in NVR and VR exams his done and he has mentioned that the Bonds revision has helped him.

With regards to Maths and English, we
1. Tested our ds to find his strengths and weakness
2. Identified what the independent schools were looking for via their sample papers online, talking to the schools and looking at their syllabus
3. Created a revision diary to go over his weak points - this can be done via a tutor
4. And much to his disapproval made him do ample amount of sample papers

Obviously, we are waiting to see the success of the above method, as we are awaiting entrance exam outcomes.

Hope that helps and all the best in your search.
Anbar


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:34 am 
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Many thanks for the detailed reply.

Did you son do a pre-test, an initial first NVR/VR type screening before getting to the entrance exam stage? They say these pre-tests are designed to test raw cognitive ability. Not sure if they also test working memory, processing speed etc? Perhaps this is all built in these days especially if a computerised test? I am trying to work out whether children going to selective independents generally practise specifically for pre-tests?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:21 am 
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Location: Herts
Whatever the test is, students will be revising for it and companies will be running courses and mock exams for it.

I know in your neck of the wood the prevailing wind is that you are either bright or you are not and there is nothing you can do about it. But in my neck of the woods students are going up an entire sats level in one term by putting their head down and working through past papers. So if you believe your crew there are going to be a whole pile of my crew way beyond where you are.

None of the North London private schools are using pre tests for eleven plus. North London Consortium, Habs, Queenswood, Haileybury,and for boys Merchant Taylors, Habs and St Albans. You go in on one day and sit papers in VR, NVR, Maths and English and then return for an interview if you do well enough. Habs girls is today and Merchant Taylor was yesterday and City boys the day before and North London Consortium is on Friday and St Albans Saturday.

None of these schools are using CEM. They are all using the same style of Maths and English papers and so it is easy to prepare for the whole lot in one go.

Many students sitting this week prepared for DAO, QE, HBS and Latymer in September and then have carried on preparing until this week.

So when you sit you will be up against students who have been preparing since Year Four.

No prizes for guessing who I would put my money on to secure a place!

All the material you need is on the websites so I would be getting on with it if I were you.

I knew a boy who was considered breathtakingly bright by all the teachers and parents at his primary school. I discovered that his father was spending the whole of the summer holidays going through the material for the new school year on a daily basis with him. So no wonder he looked amazing, he had already done the work that was new to everyone else. He did not get into any selective school because unfortunately his parents started to believe the "your son is naturally bright" mantra and "forgot" that actually it was only because of the preparation they had done with him.

Do the work but don't rely on Bond. It is too basic to make the cut for the North London Schools. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Thanks DG. Helpful.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:53 pm 
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hi Cranleigh
You were not clear whether your DS was/is sitting pre test for 13+.. as I am not aware of a pre test for the 11+. A website that I found helpful is the Galorepark website which is useful if you are sitting independent school exam with regard to test materials and pass papers... Also All the schools that DAO referred to have pass papers that you can access. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:24 pm 
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Location: Herts
This is true for all except Habs girls who do not publish any information at all about their exam. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:21 pm 
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Girls' boarding schools often pre-test at 11 (although that might include screening for suitability for boarding too). We are looking at these amongst others.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Cranleigh,

If you are talking about girls' boarding schools pre-test, I don't think you need to prepare as much as for London 11+ hysteria. Our prep sends predominantly to boarding schools and knows a lot about it. It sends tons of girls to Benenden, St Mary's Ascot (which I don't think pre-tests), a decent trickle to Wycombe Abbey, etc. Both at 11+ and 13+. Majority of these schools use CEM computer test, plus full day of activities. To prepare for these, there is not point doing VR/NVR in traditional style - it's a waste of time to do GL Assessment for CEM computer adaptive test!

It is very heavy on vocab (synonyms, antonyms, cloze, analogies, comprehension) but no codes at all. So expanding vocab is good preparation, doing Bond/GL papers - a waste of time. That said, on NVR, they do test matrices, so some practice is needed.

For maths, it's problems solving - so lots of word problems, etc. The point I am trying to make is that it's different kind of preparation, less like "tutoring for the test." Some schools do papers in addition to computer test so it's a good idea to do a couple, but it's mostly about suitability to boarding life and participation in school life, given a basic academic standard is there, it's not nearly as competitive as London day schools.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:30 pm 
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Thanks so much.


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