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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 8:37 am
Posts: 111
A request to all those parents whose children took the 11+ for Warwickshire this month.

I know it cannot be discussed openly on this site due to the extra sitting in February, but would anyone be prepared to PM me in order to tell me what their children though of the test and which practice papers that the children did bore the greatest resemblance to the "real thing". My DD will be sitting the 11+ next year and I do not know of anyone who is or hopes to be taking the 11+ in February next year for year 7 entry in September.

Thank you


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
Did you hear from anyone Rose Petal??


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:42 am
Posts: 235
Location: South Warwickshire
Hi! My son sat the exam on 4th Oct (as if you didn't know - this section is littered with my inane posts!) My best advice is read all the fm and KenR posts again - they were completely and utterly spot on. The best way you can prepare your child for the test is to help them genuinely to get better at numeracy and literacy. This is not coaching - it is education! I have another child following hot on the heels of the last one, and if the first gets in, I can't have the second going to a different school - that would be a logistical nightmare. So I subjected my poor 1st son to a 3rd degree grilling on the afternoon he came out of the test hoping to glean everything I could that might help the 2nd one. It is surprising how much he remembered. My conclusion was that the test was absolutely brilliant. The questions were not really anything like what is available in the usual Bond, NFER, Athey, Learning Together formula - and we used them all so I know that none of them are very different from each other. I will be happy to share the detail when we get the all clear, but I am not sure how much it will help, because it will probably be different again next year. On the plus side, if your child is good enough, they will almost certainly get in and not get trumped by a less able child who has been heavily coached. Going to a good school and having supportive parents is still going to convey an advantage, but I don't think going to a school that specifically coaches for the 11 plus will help much any more. No idea how my son did, but I will certainly accept the outcome with good grace either way. My approach for my second son is to keep things as varied as possible. I will use Bond etc, but as soon as he gets comfortable I will keep trying to find something different - and maybe try to make up some material myself if I can find the time. I am not sure how much I can boost his marks anyway, but as you may have gathered, I am a bit obsessive and don't really do "unprepared". Out of everything we did, I'd say the most relevant practice were the NFER English papers (multi-choice version) and the free Cloze test web site recommended by KenR (which we only found in the last week!) All the maths practice we did probably helped a bit, but I wouldn't say any of it was directly relevant. NFER style VR just didn't feature at all. Have I said too much yet?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:57 am 
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 8:37 am
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Hi There,

Bad Dad thanks for the reply.

I will go through the FM and KenR replies again.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:05 am
Posts: 349
Great reply from Bad Dad :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
Lot of sympathy for Bad Dad's view on this. I would add that, over the last eighteen months, I have been looking into CEM and the long established independent sector and how it assesses children, particularly the age cohort that sits 11+. I have also researched into how candidates for scholarship, bursary or just plain financial assistance are assessed; if they are examined by the same or different tools. The Durham University department website (CEM) uses unhelpful jargon, typically academic language which obscures the fact that their approach conforms with general thinking about cognition, which has high currency in current business recruiting: or did before the recession kicked off! I could cite most of the top Public Schools for using similar approaches and make an argument for this being based on psychometric testing and the Yellis Baseline Assessment. But this is already too long and its formal tone will come over to many as a lecture (it is not meant to be) so I will leave anyone interested to look for themselves and suggest they look no further than Rugby School; how it examines candidates for entry to Marshall House. I do realise that the vast majority reading this forum will have little or no interest in either independent schools, or their admission processes. I draw attention to them merely to point out that the changes to recent years 11+ exam (long overdue in my view) are really based on the thinking behind this 'body of knowledge'. They commend themselves strongly on two grounds. Firstly, there is a statisticly large sample of data available from state Primary and Secondary children (wide social cross section) against which to compare. Secondly, the tests are capable of being conducted and marked by computer (Alcester GS trial some years back*) this is extremely cost effective and quick and has shown to be very accurate. So I would follow BD's mixed method, comprehensive approach but also use all the available free material on the Internet from psychometric testing and Yellis. Familiarity with the type of question and practice at working quickly being invaluable. My two bright daughters were often commented on by their teacher as working slowly, but there was no practical help forthcoming to change this. I also note that most schools I got to know did not teach memory techniques, study skills or revision. I would bring this up at 'Parent Evenings' meeting immediate hostility and be told this was not the right 'forum' ... I am talking Independents and GSs here... I blame the fact that most teachers come from the 60's and (state trained or not) missed out on these themselves.
* I think the apposite comments about this trial posted at the time were spot on: they confirmed what academic educationalists were arguing ... that traditional GS intakes had systematically excluded some children who had the potential to benefit from 'an academic approach with high expectations' precisely because the assessment was faulty and the affluent could purchase a 10%-15% performance increase through tutoring. Given it is forbidden to increase the number of GS places, the only way forward to WCC Education Department was to change the assessment process - pity they didn't also review their Priority Circle / Eligibility criteria and liaise with adjoining CC Ed Committees at the same time! Can I please point out I make no criticism of tutoring nor do I fault parents for using it. I have too .. I have also withdrawn my children from their schools several times and taught them at home. Also had to be very determined in facing LEA hostility to my independent minded and critical approach. Hope this helps others in forming a view.

http://www.psychometric-success.com/faq ... stions.htm

http://www.psychometric-success.com/apt ... -tests.htm

http://www.cemcentre.org/RenderPage.asp?LinkID=11518001


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
I have you a PM, I hope you don't mind.


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