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 Post subject: NFER NVR Timings
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:44 pm 
I can't believe how underused this section is - NVR is my biggest worry! In Bexley we are advised to use NFER practice papers and I just don't understand how it's possible to answer 12 questions in 6 minutes!! We've practiced, and my son's time has improved - but not to that extent. It's odd because all the other NFER papers seem to allow enough time to answer all the questions. My son is very able but very nervous about tests and I'm worried the time pressure will throw him. It's too late to do much about it now (tests start in 2 days time!) but i was curious to know if anyone else felt the same.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:58 pm 
I am not sure the NFER commercially-available non-verbal practice tests mimic the real situation.
I use NFER for Sutton Coldfield Girls/Bishop Vesey's--and yes, all but a small minority find some sections impossible on time (the biggest problem is usually the most like or unlike ones). In the real test, however, they have to do 20 in 12minutes which is significantly more generous in time allocated. I have also seen a real non-verbal NFER paper and it was definitely easier to answer than all the practice papers in the set.
It seems to be depend on your region.
Possibly you might want to practice limiting him to trying to get 10 right or altering the time to 7 instead of 6 minutes. You'd be surprised how that improves their performance and sometimes they end up doing them in 4 minutes if the pressure is off!


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 Post subject: NFER NVR
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:39 pm 
Thanks fm, that's very reassuring. I gave up trying to time him when we were practising because he would just panic. I found that he improved his speed and understanding if we just worked through the practice papers together. I don't want to start timing him now as we've more or less finished practice and we're relaxing before the big days (here in Bexley we have Maths and VR this week and English and NVR next - talk about dragging out the agony!). He did well in his practice NVR at school today and answered all the questions. I've tried to explain gently that he may have less time and the questions will probably be harder in the real thing. So, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed now!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:20 pm 
Hi Bexley mum 2 we're also in the Bexley area and find finishing nvr difficult in the time. She manages it in a couple of sections but obviously those few she misses in the other sections will bring the percentage down. She found the familiarisation paper still quite hard although found the vr paper easier than the nfer practice papers that we've done at home. Does your school keep everything as normal around the tests or does the school close? I've been told daughter should be doing swimming tommorow morning before the test. I've asked that she be excused from this as it leaves her feeling quite tired and uncomfortably wet all afternoon(V.long hair). Teacher didn't seem too impressed. Roll on Thursday week!


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 Post subject: NVR Times
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:31 pm 
Our school used to close for the 11 plus but our new head decided that was too disruptive for the rest of the school so it stays open now - I hope everyone keeps quiet! Yes, the school carries on very much as normal. i try not to get too angry with how disinterested teachers are about the 11 plus but we only ever get a few children pass (one last year! and 5 the year before). It's enough to make me start making loud noises about booking our family holiday for during SATS week! I suppose there is an argument for keeping to normal routines so as not to unsettle children. We're trying to do that at home as son number 2 is very able, but VERY prone to panicking if he doesn't immediately understand something.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:45 pm 
Our school also gets very few passes 2 out of about 50 last year. Do you think this lack of interest by the teachers has a bearing on it. I do feel the children could be helped along a bit more without breaking the strict guidelines, by perhaps maths booster lessons for instance so that the many subjects not covered by the National Curriculum could be taught. I know some schools manage to help more than others, how fair is that? I am desperately trying to stop my daughter from the major panic she goes into when she doesn't understand something, I can only hope that maybe some of the panicky behaviour is for me and wont come out in the test.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:17 pm 
I have a son in year 8 and when he did the 11+ his teacher said that she knows other schools do practice. Whether that's true or not I don't know. Practice aside, I just wish they'd take a more proactive approach and encourage those disinterested parents with kids who could pass, to give them a little bit of home-tuition, which would make all the difference.

As for panics - I'm living on a knife edge and am having to put on a cool, calm, relaxed air in front of my son. He's really capable - gets better grades at school than his brother who passed two years ago - but i just think he could panic and blow it. I remember two years ago my eldest son came out of the VR test and said it was nothing like the practice papers we'd done. That would just throw my second son. AND, I just found out yesterday that our first choice non-selective school has been put into special measures :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:02 pm 
I agree that schools could definately boost the childrens morale by offering support during the 11+. My sons head teacher wants nothing to do with the 11+ and wouldn't even allow the Bucks tests to be taken at their school!! We had to take to separate days off and take them to Great Missenden to have their VR tests.
Once the children have confirmed a place the the head's tone changes.

NVR is a grey area for us too. All we as parents can do is go through the corrections in detail. I find asking my son to explain why they make that choice often helps. We are now working at 60 questions in 30 minutes with accuracy of 87% - 92%.

Good luck to everyone sitting the Slough test on Saturday. :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:09 am 
A school close to us provides 2hrs per week of out of school 11+ tuition, designated as 'Maths Club'. They also provide pupils with 11+ papers to do at home, and all of this this is strictly against LEA policy.
Unfortunately for us, our own headteacher sticks rigidly to that policy and no extra help is provided for us. Children sink or swim by their parents' efforts and children of disinterested parents don't get a fair chance.
Really, this policy should be enforced or preferably scrapped to provide a more level playing field for all children (pupils with disinterested parents will still be disadvantaged, but at least would get some preparation and encouragement to take the test.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:26 pm 
My son's school does not provide any support. They do not do any VR or NVR and certainly do not provide any 11+ papers. He has being doing some Year 7 maths but that is because he is the top of top set maths, not because he is sitting the 11+. His school are aware that he is sitting and don't discourage it, but do not do anything to help either!


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