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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Rugby
How are you preparing for the 11 plus exam this year? I thought it would be useful to start a thread on this years prep to give a place for everyone to find help.

When I took my DD through it, we did it 100% DIY. The information on this forum was invaluable and it worked! In hindsight, I think DIY was the best route, but we would have found it useful (less stressful) to have had a few sessions with a tutor and may be a mock exam or two to back up the DIY process. What are you doing this year? What is the trickiest part of 11 plus preparation for you?

From my experience, the NVR download material from this site was spot on. Backed up with NFER papers. The most informative Maths and English information came from the threads on the Birmingham section. What are you using this year? Are there any new resources out there that you have found?

Does anyone have useful insights to share?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:04 pm
Posts: 376
My DD is in year 4 so I am not preparing for 2012, I am showing a healthy interest in how to prepare for the exam, I find I have a bit of information overload from this site about what materials to use, I bought an age appropiate bond Non-verbal book but have not done much else, I have follwed advise from this site and my DD knows her times tables and has quite good mental maths


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:42 pm
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As the conveyor belt of exams churns over to the next set of 'willing applicants', and the scary notion that it's our turn next, I thought I'd put down what we've been doing in the hope that it can help others out there:

We have been (sort of) DIY'ing our DS since Year 4. He loves academic work so we are very lucky, and he also thrives on seeing the results and competing against himself to get a better result next time.

We do an online set of questions every day (this may not necessarily be DIY but we use it to build on). We make sure he goes over any questions that he gets wrong, and if it's obvious that there is a big gap in his knowledge we go over it very carefully.

Additionally we use the Bond books (generally one or two tests from these a week), make up our own proof reading/cloze questions and give him a set of words every week for him to look up the definitions.

He has just done a mock exam and did well so it looks like it is working so far. :)

Good luck to everyone out there.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
(please excuse my awful typing)
DS took the 11+ at the late sitting in Warwick and after I collected him from the exam I drove straight to a lay-by around the corner and debriefed him!

First section
This lasted for approx 35 mins and began with maths - angles/parallel lines bisected at an angle
Then a menu list where you had to work out the costs of "meal deals" and whether such deals constituted a saving or not (all those lazy visits to P**za H*t paid off!!!)
Then general maths questions including cake ingredients list. Also a question about Andy having 2kg of fruit to make 3.6l of apple juice and how much fruit you would need to make 10l of juice plus scaling up the ingredients for large scale production.

Second section
A series of pictures where you had to describe what was happening. A lot like NVR but actually had to be explained. Lots of these - about 20 and had to be done very fast

BREAK

English test
First section - comprehension - "Happy Hippo"
Then another fast section with lots of questions - 7 or 8 word sentences with one word left over

Then a long section themed around chess words - end of word given but first 3 letters missing

Another long section themed around ballet words same type of questions e.g. choreographer

DS said he had to be super quick for these sections - 51 questions in 6 minutes(?)

Many apologies if any of this is not totally accurate but it was his immediate recollection and ought to be largely correct.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Thanks magwich, nice to finally see someone post a bit about the Warks exam content, we seem to rely on the Birmingham forum for our exam content information


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:37 am
Posts: 408
magwich2 wrote:
(please excuse my awful typing)
DS took the 11+ at the late sitting in Warwick and after I collected him from the exam I drove straight to a lay-by around the corner and debriefed him!

First section
This lasted for approx 35 mins and began with maths - angles/parallel lines bisected at an angle
Then a menu list where you had to work out the costs of "meal deals" and whether such deals constituted a saving or not (all those lazy visits to P**za H*t paid off!!!)
Then general maths questions including cake ingredients list. Also a question about Andy having 2kg of fruit to make 3.6l of apple juice and how much fruit you would need to make 10l of juice plus scaling up the ingredients for large scale production.

Second section
A series of pictures where you had to describe what was happening. A lot like NVR but actually had to be explained. Lots of these - about 20 and had to be done very fast

BREAK

English test
First section - comprehension - "Happy Hippo"
Then another fast section with lots of questions - 7 or 8 word sentences with one word left over

Then a long section themed around chess words - end of word given but first 3 letters missing

Another long section themed around ballet words same type of questions e.g. choreographer

DS said he had to be super quick for these sections - 51 questions in 6 minutes(?)

Many apologies if any of this is not totally accurate but it was his immediate recollection and ought to be largely correct.


Note to Ed's Mum.........could you move this to the test information sticky, please?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1706
Location: Warwickshire
magwich2 wrote:
Another long section themed around ballet words same type of questions e.g. choreographer

Useful information thanks. A bit worried about the gender bias of having ballet words though - on top of the more places for girls than boys situation for 2013. Vocabulary is probably ds's weakest area - and it looks like whatever we do to work on general vocab we could get thrown a curveball with words relating to an area that girls are more likely to be aware of. Same for all the boys (unless they're dancers) I suppose though. Perhaps we just have to hope that they'll balance it up with football words next year!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:23 pm
Posts: 352
I have a son currently in year 7 at kes and another in year 5 so sitting the test in September. Also have two daughters but that is by the by.

Anyway, we did nothing with the son who is in year 7 really apart from buying a pack of four papers off eBay, one non vr, one vr, one Maths and one English. But he said the test was nothing like them anyway. I would say speed is of the essence, being able to read quickly, knowing tables and having a reasonable vocab. My son finished every section in his year but said people were crying afterwards because they didn't. I also think it is important to tell them to try to put an answer to all questions. A blank is no mark whereas an answer gives you a chance at least of picking up points.

Just to add too, I do think the right child can get in without tutoring and much support, my son is proof of that. My eldest child missed by just a small margin and is at the local high school and doing really well too so do keep in perspective that many of the non selective schools are doing great jobs too and there is always the opportunity to move for sixth form which comes round frighteningly quickly!

In terms of what we are doing for prep for younger son's exam in sept I am not sure. He has had a try of the papers I had left from older son and we did not intend any tutoring as we are personally anti that. The only concern for me is that the test comes so soon after the long summer holiday and I am worried he will have forgotten things or be a bit rusty and that will surely give the tutored children an advantage? But more places available this year, even for boys when you consider Alcester grammar is mixed and we intend to put both on our list as in my elder son's year, the pass rate for Alcester was slightly lower.

Happy to answer any questions by the way if anyone reading this has a son starting at kes this yer.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:58 pm
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magwich2, thanks for this info.

Are you saying the "describe what is happening" was the NVR section, and children had to write down a description of what was happening - no multiple choice?

Was there a short maths section followed by a long one, or just 35 minutes in one go?
This seems different to what Warwickshire stated on their website.
What was the Data processing section?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1706
Location: Warwickshire
serendippyty wrote:
But more places available this year, even for boys when you consider Alcester grammar is mixed and we intend to put both on our list as in my elder son's year, the pass rate for Alcester was slightly lower.
Lower again this year, and will almost definitely be a fair bit lower next year given that AGS is significantly increasing places but KES is not. Unfortunately Alcester is logistically not an option for us - it's KES or nothing. Which looks like being the toughest to get into by a fair margin next year.

It would be really useful to know what the qualifying scores would have been this year given next year's PAN changes - I don't suppose that's information which will be published though.

Does anyone know the eventual lowest scores for admission in past years after some places had been rejected and those on the waiting list moved up?

Tried ds with some ballet related words last night - as suspected he didn't know many of them (he guessed at choreographer being a job, but didn't know what it was). He's actually quite a good reader, but isn't particularly keen on fiction and I suspect this probably doesn't help him with the type of vocab which is likely to turn up. From a recent random vocabulary exercise he'd know momentum, inertia and fusion for example, but not morose, demean or gregarious.


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