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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:41 am
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We aren't sure when DD should start working on timed past papers, for exams in January.

Particularly for English, iIs it too early to expect a comp in 45 mins and a story in 30 mins at this stage, wIth 5 months to go?

Would be very helpful to know other experiences.

Thanks
Sleepyhead


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:31 pm 
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Location: N London
I think you should start to introduce the times now. My DC always did the work to time and either stopped when the time was up or carried on noting where they had got to. It really focuses them knowing there is a time limit!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Thank you Fairyelephant. We aren't too far off with maths - running over by about 15mins.

More worried about English as a story is taking an hour to complete and then an hour for comp. we have 1.25 hrs for both in the real exam so I am really worried that we are so far off with timing. Thought I should start timing English in September but reading your post I will stick to timing even though we are so far off :?

Any tips on how to speed up with English?

Thanks
Sleepyhead


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:28 am 
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Hi SleepyHead! We did this prep in 2009 and early 2010, with our DD getting an offer from NLCS and Channing, our two targets. (She is now at HBS.)

Firstly, I don't know whether you are interested in NLCS. As you may know, they are setting their own papers and so will need separate, specific, additional work.

Secondly, our DD says she found the Bond comprehensions the toughest and the best preparation, both the 'How to...' book and the later age group work books.

Our approach was a bit different from Fairyelephant's. We worked through the Bond 'How to ' comprehensions book and kept doing Bond comprehensions, plus some separate 'response to literature', until we were fluent, with good responses, no waffle and good handwriting. We kept doing this until around mid-October. We then did lots of timed comprehensions, Christ's Hospital, Habs Boys, N L Consortium. We also printed some favourite poems and wrote about those; poem comprehension can be tough and can then make prose comprehension seem much easier.

For the original writing, we did mini exercises in' continue the story', ' write the ''prequel''', ' write for this character's point of view', a bit of persuasive writing. Once the planning and quality was ok, we then started timing them, again from around mid-October.

We did whole practice papers in exam conditions in the Xmas hols, English in the morning and Maths in the afternoon, that kind of thing.

I would get the quality and accuracy first, get used to feeling competent and confident filling up blank paper sensibly, getting an idea for what 150 words or 200 words feel like. Only then would I focus on timing.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:15 am 
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thank you JB for your reply. Lots of good advice. I already have the Bond Comp books but dismissed them in favour of past papers. :? Will review, and dig them out now. Thanks so much for your advice. Maybe considering all opinions I will ask DD to do a comp/story and mark off where she is after 45 mins/30 mins respectively. She can then continue to work without time constraint to improve the quality of her work.

Great - will put the plan in action today, before we bake some chocolate chip cookies!!

Sleepyhead

p.s do we need to worry about poem comprehension for North London Consortium Girls schools?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:43 am 
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Location: Herts
I disagree of course! Your competition is sitting in rooms right now doing timed papers in English , Maths and VR. It is all about being able to do it in the time, that is the most important part of it. With 31 days to go until the first DAO exams hundreds of students are doing daily preparation in timed conditions. Many of the girls will go on and sit Habs, NLCS and the North London Consortium in January. I know many girls from a range of North London prep schools who have been doing timed papers every day since they broke up second week in July. Papers should always be timed. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:26 am 
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SleepyHead wrote:
p.s do we need to worry about poem comprehension for North London Consortium Girls schools?



The answer is 'No.' You do not. The passages are prose extracts.

As others have said, NLCS is an unknown entity as this is the first year the school has not been part of the Consortium. All we have at this stage is the sample English paper on the website, but I should be very surprised if this paper differs significantly from the sample.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:50 am 
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thank you - that's a relief


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Location: N London
If you have the Bond How to Comprehension book Sleepyhead, then as I mentioned in another post it might be worth looking at their example answers to the unicorn comprehension so your DD knows what sort of answers she needs to give in the time.
On the essay front she might need some help with planning so that she has a structure in her head when she writes and can just get on with it. I had the opposite problem with DS, he rattled something off in 20 mins full of mistakes and not well planned! DD was fine but for both it was useful to have a list of "good things to include" to make sure they weren't so wrapped up in telling a yarn they failed to get any marks.... (Things like setting the scene, description, level 5 punctuation, thoughts and senses, vocabulary). Some DC need to see what is required and then they'll be fine.

Good luck! Which schools are you aiming for?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:46 pm 
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Hello,

thanks for all the replies.

We are looking at SHHS, NHEHS, City of London Girls and Habs and then some other consortium schools as back ups. At the moment our wish list seems very aspirational. :(


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