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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:52 am 
We only have weeks to go now before the test. My daughter's tutor has suggested she now does 2 practice papers back to back with a short break. In the first test we tried last night she got 83 out of 85. But in the second she ground to a halt towards the end and admitted to guessing rather than working out the answers. As a result she got 20 wrong. I am really worried that if she does that in the real thing she will blow her chances. She is bright but once she decided to "down tools" that's it! Any advice or tips? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Worried Parent

Is she going to have to do two papers back to back, with a short break for the real thing? How long will the break be in that case?

Unless she is, I don't see any reason for this marathon practice session. It amounts to 80 - 90 minutes of intensive concentration and application, which is an awful lot for a 10/11 year old.

I would be inclined to say to her that you realise that she gets tired towards the end, but in the real tests she must simply keep going! I am sure that she realises that, but she is probably wondering why she has to practice quite this intensively, just as I am.

In the meantime I would give her a longer break in between the papers. Once the real test comes along I am sure that adrenalin will help to drive her on. She is clearly very capable of passing, having achieved 83/85 on the first paper. Does she have to pass both papers in your area or just one?

Good luck
Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:23 am 
Thanks Sally Anne. The practice sessions are to mimic the real thing. That's how the test is done here in Gloucestershire. The score is averaged out between the two papers with the second paper having a reputation as a real killer. When my son did his he only just made it to the end and he was always really speedy! (ps he passed!). I hope adrenalin will carry her through but she is in danger of getting cheesed off with the whole thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
What a foul system! I think she has every right to be cheesed off.

Even thinking of the dedicated and hard-working girls I know (and completely glossing over my two boys :lol: ) I really can't imagine that any of them would be able to keep their concentration together for that long at this age.

If all else fails here Worried Parent I would go for bribery. :D She really deserves something special if she can survive the practice regime and the tests back-to-back.

Good luck to her - let us know how she is getting on.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
[/quote]The practice sessions are to mimic the real thing. That's how the test is done here in Gloucestershire.[/quote]

Hi,

Had a similar dilemma last year had planned to do a "mock" day for Reading three papers and an essay, in the end thought it might do more damage than good so did not. Some friends used a local independent as a mock, it exhausted their boy and put them off. :cry:

If you are getting good scores then you just have to hope your child does it on the day, everybody is in the same boat, good luck. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:04 pm 
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I also agree. Some well meaning friends have passed on their tutor's advice to conduct "a couple" of mock exam days before the real test. This would mean a 40min English followed by a 35min maths then 20min break followed by 50min VR. I will not be following their advice! I thought back to my own exam days and decided this would do my child more harm than good. I am hoping adrenalin will carry her through on the day.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:46 pm 
In Warwickshire our new system is two 50 minute papers back to back! I didn't practise this at home with my child as I felt that this would send him into the exam with a feeling of dread (if he could feel any worse than he did!) Anyway, the day arrived (last Saturday) and he went into it knowing that he could comfortably do a 50 minute paper and as you've quite rightly said, adrenelin carried him through to complete both with plenty of time to spare.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi

At the very late stages of preparation the child should be familiar with the layout of all the different question types.

A technique that is effective in saving time is to answer the questions without reading the questions.

With NFER there are only two question types that are identical in layout these are; similar meaning and opposite meaning so care only need to be applied to these two question types.

This method was also used effectively with a student who has dyslexia, he was able to identify the question types without having to read the questions and passed the test.

Regards

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:10 pm 
Worried parent wrote:
We only have weeks to go now before the test. My daughter's tutor has suggested she now does 2 practice papers back to back with a short break. In the first test we tried last night she got 83 out of 85. But in the second she ground to a halt towards the end and admitted to guessing rather than working out the answers. As a result she got 20 wrong. I am really worried that if she does that in the real thing she will blow her chances. She is bright but once she decided to "down tools" that's it! Any advice or tips? Thanks.


Hope this is helpful.

suggest you stick to what has been your daughters normal routine for now. Repeated heavy testing may be too much. The positive thing is how well she did in the first test. I think adrenaline carries the children through on the day and sometimes long practise tests tire them.

When my son was preparing for his exams his tutor did mock tests for all her students on one occassion in a local hall. None of the children did particularly well in the test but they had an idea of what to expect. (three girls did get places at the school of their choice in the real test).

The tutor also suggested that the children should be allowed to relax in the few days before the test, with only a little final polishing of skills for the big day. Also a watch should be worn incase no clock is in the test room. Dont wate time on answers you dont know, try to finish all the questions and go back to the unanswered ones at the end. Finally check through once if you have time.

Remember that children are tested so regularly at school ,that when the big day arrives most take it all in their stride. My son had eight lessons with a tutor, he started his home lessons in August on and off.

The main part to do well in is the verbal reasoning, worth 50% of the mark, a good mark in one of the other two means that the pressure will be off for the third test.

Then the scores are weighted, based on overall standard that year and then for age, ie; a younger child can afford to get a few more incorrect answers than an older child.
My son got a great verbal reasoning mark, great maths but his english result was less good. He is one of the older boys in his year so needed more correct answers to get a good final weighted score. He wasnt aware of that though and he did get a place at his first choice of school and loves it.

I think most of the boys and girls that I know who got places at grammers did have tutoring but some had these for 2 years, some 6 months, it varied considerably. But if your girl has always been a top performer in her class at school, she stands a good chance on the day.
With all that in mind, good luck to your girl am sure she will enjoy grammer school. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:02 am 
Thanks for all the tips and advice; we decided to attempt one more set of back to back tests, agreeing that if it wasn't helpful we would stop. 2nd time around she was a lot more positive and kept going with the second paper which has boosted her confidence. We will have a complete break the week before the real thing and have booked a treat for afterwards. Boy, does she deserve it!


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