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 Post subject: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:14 am
Posts: 1186
I've been looking at various counties' forums and it seems these CEM are very distressing for children and parents with children in tears after the test. Is it really that gruelling??? Should we be preparing ourselves for such tribulations next year? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:03 pm
Posts: 1380
I can't speak for the other test centres, but at the one we attended it was all very relaxed, no tears or hysteria. DPs are able to accompany their DCs into the exam room and settle them. My DS told my DH to leave as he was happy with his friends from school! And a pick up, there were a few 'shocked' faces but no catastrophies.

The key is to prepare our DCs in advance - make sure they know that time will be tight and its not a disaster if they run out of time and don't finish; most don't.

I've been reading the other fora too, and can only think its because CEM is new in these areas. We are old hands here in Warks and there's a lot of useful advice for DPs both here and on the Bham forum as well.

Good luck, Bob - my DS has enjoyed his (short) 11+ journey, and will be happy whatever the outcome next month :)

JD


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
No tears in the test centre, a lot of relief at the end. Everyone knows it is difficult and stressful.


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
ginx wrote:
No tears in the test centre, a lot of relief at the end. Everyone knows it is difficult and stressful.


I think in these other areas the upset (if it is higher than previous years - how can one tell?) is because a) they are not superselective areas so people are not expecting such a tough test as in your area b) the official blurb sent to parents about the new test makes it sound as though there is no need to prepare and is easily construed as meaning preparation is a bad thing to do.


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:03 pm
Posts: 1380
mystery wrote:
... is because a) they are not superselective areas so people are not expecting such a tough test as in your area ...


I keep reading this term superselective and have no idea what it means? And, if indeed, Warks is???

JD


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1706
Location: Warwickshire
Warks is - sort of!

It means that the schools take those with the highest scores, rather than all those who exceed a certain mark (or in some areas a fixed percentage of all children). So in Buckinghamshire for example there is a "pass mark". In Warwickshire there isn't. Some counties though, like Kent, have a bit of both - some "superselective" schools which take only those with the highest scores, and some which take anyone who has achieved the pass mark.

Typically these superselectives will be taking a relatively smaller proportion of the ability range - maybe the top 5-10%, as opposed to the top 25-30% for the other grammars.

East Warwickshire, although there's no fixed pass mark, is a bit closer to taking these sort of percentages than South Warwickshire is (there are proportionately more grammr places in the East, compared to the population of the priority area), so in a national context the term "superselective" isn't quite so appropriate there.


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1706
Location: Warwickshire
mystery wrote:
I think in these other areas the upset (if it is higher than previous years - how can one tell?) is because a) they are not superselective areas so people are not expecting such a tough test as in your area b) the official blurb sent to parents about the new test makes it sound as though there is no need to prepare and is easily construed as meaning preparation is a bad thing to do.
And also people were probably used to high achievers being able to get virtually full marks, so CEM style tests where that doesn't happen, perhaps came as a shock to them. Once the results come out and it is seen that it in this style of test it isn't necessary to get every question right in order to pass, then the panic may subside a bit.

We must be made of sterner stuff up here in Warwickshire - I've not seen or heard of any tears here :)


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
I know that it is easier to get into grammar schools in east Warwickshire than south Warwickshire, (the qualifying mark is higher there than East Warwickshire). Which probably explains the "no tears". Our grammar schools are not "superselective" so no offence meant to dp's who have more competition to get a place at a gs.

No offence intended to those facing stiff competition to get into superselectives.


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:27 pm
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I saw no tears either...some smiles (of relief?) :D


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 Post subject: Re: CEM tears and fears
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:41 pm
Posts: 1008
My daughter sat the Latymer CEM test this month, and they have introduced it this year for the first time. It's a North London grammar (there are four in total for half of London) and had 2000+ applicants for 186 places, a typical ratio in our area. There were some shocked faces and watery eyes, and odd child who vomited, but when dd1 sat their old test three years ago (NVR taking down numbers to 500, then maths and English) it was the same. I think the response varies by region and reason. Bexley forum posters were generally unhappy because they didn't prepare, not because they felt they'd scored less than the 90% required in London. I know that Buckinghamshire only tested VR before, so it was quite a shift to be required abiility in multiple subjects. I expect the marks will be lower this year before climbing again as people get used to it.


Last edited by 2Girlsmum on Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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