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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:59 am
Posts: 3
Hi there

This is my first post, so forgive me for asking what I am sure are old questions, and I do accept each child reacts differently.We have returned to the UK after leaving before my son was of school age, so this (year 5 ) was his first taste of UK schooling, and my first introduction to the 11 plus at all, as I am originally from elsewhere. Suffice to say, I have slipped into the role of Obsessive 11 plus parent quite nicely, and he has had tutoring for the entire year, I have lost oodles of sleep and hair, but was receiving feedback that his schoolwork was above average, his work in the Bond books was up to scratch, and that tests at school were achieving around the 125 mark.

So I looked forward to easing him into the mood over the summer, culminating in a last burst of Gl practice papers.

However, I decided to find out where I was ( or rather, he was) over the last week, and bought 2 of the GL multi-packs. He has since done the Verbal reasoning and the Maths ones, both of which were total disasters with him leaving out so much due to time that he only answered about 70% of the questions, achieiving excellent results for those he finished, around 90-95%but averaging out to 60% score, obviously not enough.

So finally, the questions.

Am I wrong to panic and run around the house screaming "we're all doomed" , or accept the feedback from his teacher (who is also his tutor) that this is normal, and that they never seem to do as well at home than at school, and that we have over 2 months to go? Did any members have the same experience but find it panned out in the end. Please tell me its OK, I have so little hair left, and its ALL grey now !!

How much is too much ,or too little over the summer? We have planned to go away early for the first 2 weeks so he has a good break, and then for the last few weeks have a couple of hours 3 times a week to keep him alert to the concepts, finishing in the last 2 weeks with lots of practice papers.Is it too much, or would you consider that a reasonable preparation?

His vocabulary is somewhat limited occasionally, as he lived his early years in countries where English was not the first language, so while English was spoken at home, and by most of his school friends, there are gaps. Are there any aids specifically aimed at added vocabulary rather that the obvious route of reading which he does by choice every day?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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I don't know which part of the country you are in, but where we are we only have VR. Two years ago my DS1 was taking the 11 plus in early October and at the beginning of July I though it was tiome for him to do his first paper. He only completed just over half the questions in the time allowed and was heartbroken. We tried not to panic (openly :)) and he did practice papers once a week over the summer (not while we were on holiday though). It was only just before the first test that it all suddenly clicked and he was able to finish the papers with time to spare. H scored very well in the real thing. I'm trying to keep myself calm and remember all this with DS2 who is going through it this year. Somewhere else in this part of the forum there is a posting about hints and tips for speeding up, but I'm sure the main thing is practice. I'm sure others will have more useful things to say about vocaulary etc but I just wanted to tell you that all is not lost!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 298
Yes, you are wrong. Try not to let you DC sense that you are stressed, even if you are. I was stressed too, and I know if it is not easy but I would strongly advise that you try to keep your feelings to yourselves. The last thing you want to do is to get your child stressed. (I know it is not easy - been there, got the t-shirt)

We used those GL papers. Although I can not remember how many questions there were in the test, I believe the actual test had 5 fewer questions! Also the practice papers will often contain higher level questions. The real test is a mixture of very challenging questions and easier ones. My DD managed to finish the practice papers within the time allowed by the end of the summer hols., However she finished the real test with a lot of time to spare. I'm not a tutor, but in my experience I would suggest that you try to cover all the question types and practice exam technique.
I/e don't get stuck on a question, if you don't know or think it will take long to work out the answer move on to the next questions.
You may not have time to go back so tick a box. But do go back if you have time left!!! Often during the test some examiners will tell a child they must not write on the questions paper. Ignore this advice, they can not penalize you for this. Make notes on the question papers at to which questions he needs to revisit, if there is any spare time left.

Good luck, and leave the hair alone!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
I think it's pretty normal to have problems with the timing to begin with as it's often the first experience children have of having to complete a piece of work under pressure...sometimes it makes them panic slightly so take longer understanding what the question is asking. If your son is scoring so high in the questions he is completing then that's a good sign, isn't it ? and he will speed up with more practice. Only start running around shouting we're doomed ( with your remaining strand of grey hair ) if he finishes the paper and only scores 20 % !

The vocab list somewhere on here ( can't remember which part of this site I downloaded it from ..someone will though ) is really useful .


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
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Just found the vocab list.....under 11 plus advice at the top...click on the English bit on the side and it will bring up vocabulary for the 11 plus which you click on to get the lists.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:45 pm
Posts: 390
Please don't worry. I remember exactly the same thing happening last year at this time with my 2 who I was DIY tutoring. Having reached a point where they were scoring highly without time pressure I introduced the time element. What a disaster! Ds went completely bonkers, rushed through like a maniac, finished with ages to spare and got loads wrong. Dd went very slowly to make sure she was getting them right, didn't finish, also scored badly. I felt terrible. i was really stressed, felt that there wasn't enough time left to work through the problems..... but we stuck at it, working on tricks to save time and yet emphasising accuracy and both got into their first choice grammar :)

We also had 2 weeks holiday at the start of the summer. I remember that the first practice papers they did after we got back they scored higher than any before so I feel the break did them a lot of good. I have younger Dc as well so doing work over the summer was quite difficult but I think I tried to do about an hour a day. (It's actually quite difficult to remember now!) But, as I'm sure other posters will tell you, what is right for one may not be right for another. You know your Dc and will be able to judge where his limits lie.

Anyway, I sympathise - it's a stressful trime. Just don't let the stress show, get the hair dye on the grey and good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Am I wrong to panic and run around the house screaming "we're all doomed" , [/quote]

lol I thought I was the only one who did this :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
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Where are you? Do you know what scores he needs to get?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:36 pm
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We are in the same cruse ship as you! My ds is in top in school and impressing his tutors but when it comes to doing past papers at home....total disaster :shock: . Everyone says this is normal, kids don't take tests at home seriously. Frankly who's to know. Que sea, sera..... I am going to permanetly damage my heart and brain during the 11+journey. :? Back to the subject of scores; your son should be getting 75%-90%. Try easier papers like IPS and Alfa papers first. Try the same GL assessments tests in the summer hols and you will see a marked difference.

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Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
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"Back to the subject of scores; your son should be getting 75%-90%."


That depends on where you live - this is not the case in the non-super selective areas of Kent, for example.


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