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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 923
The best prep I found was Mock exams- especially real ones for schools we didn't want, complete with shouty teachers, collapsing tables and loud kerfuffles due to accusations of cheating (not her thank heavens). Failing one of those by two points when she thought it easy really helped her focus too! Lol. Dd2 was bombproof by the time the real one came around.


Being surrounded by crying, sighing, fidgety fellow test takers in strange environments is worth 20 mum-mocks at home, IME.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
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Quote:
The best prep I found was Mock exams- especially real ones for schools we didn't want,


Aghhhhh....don't promote that...we don't want people sitting the bucks test as a mock ta very much, it pushes the pass mark up above that of the cohort who actually want a place at the schools. Using other real tests as a mock is detrimental to the real sitters in the room too, increased numbers, more admin, bigger queues for the loo. Please consider the children who really want a place at the school, as well as your own children. I know it is very tempting, but not really ideal.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:40 pm 
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Well if she had passed it would have gone on the CAF.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:54 pm
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SouthBucks3, don't be silly. Any parent with common sense would use other tests as free mocks. You owe it to your child to give this experience. Last year the Walsall test had record applicants - a free mock. This year it may have even more. Every child taking the test in Birmingham should take the Walsall test as a mock or even backup.

I don't think it would make much difference if out of area took the Bucks tests, there are only a few schools that would accept them as they have primitive catchment areas and is not a modern progressive area such as Birmingham and Walsall who want the best and do not have catchment areas. They understand parents can and do move in this mobile world. They avoid the argument of moving in to areas of high property prices to get a place. All children are treated equally. Bucks should wake up and start playing fair and not let parents play the property game.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Don't forget that there isn't really a standard CEM style or level of difficulty - they are bespoke tests and these can vary dramatically. When Warwickshire first introduced CEM 11+ they were initially quite different to the B/Ham exam due to the fact that they Warwickshire wanted the exam to be seen as equivalent in difficulty to the old Moray House exams.

Some of those that took both the Warwickshire and B/Ham KE exam that year (with Warks first as a "mock") found it not very helpful.

I believe that Bucks is significantly different to B/Ham


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:54 pm
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You are correct in that the format is different. But the content is very similar.

Comprehension is the same, antonyms and synonyms are the same, jumbled sentences is the same, NVR is the same and maths is very similar. The main difference is the format - Bucks is multiple choice on a different sheet. Many Bucks children scored almost 0% in NVR as they marked answers in the wrong places as they were confused. It happened to my nephew - but he still passed. He also took Walsall and Warks and said it was invaluable. He learnt how to manage time.

A key issue is timing issues in these tests (as well as nerves - experience the process). This is why free mocks are invaluable. I would still say every Birmingham child taking the 11+ would be foolish not to take the Walsall as a free mock!

Think... why do schools hold mocks for GCSEs and "A" levels?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:21 am 
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I agree it's not just about content. Sitting Walsall/Bucks as a mock is invaluable for the coping techniques needed for sitting in a strange environment, with unfamiliar staff and children, under time restricted conditions, where you can't ask for help. My eldest two never sat these mocks but I can certainly understand why some children do.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:26 pm
Posts: 263
As a Bucks parent the attitude of DP’s on this post concerns me.

Bucks is different to other areas with super selective schools, we do not have any super selective schools. We have a system which is meant to select the top 30% of DC to go to GS.

If DC who have been prepared for the super selective schools take the Bucks test they will almost certainly pass. The tests are moderated so only a certain similar number of children pass each year. This means their pass/ticket will give them the right to apply to go to a Bucks GS but they may not get in due to distance or may not want to apply as have no intention of going to a Bucks GS. They have however taken a pass/ticket from a Bucks child who would want to go to a Bucks GS.

As has been seen this year 600 children as per the post below passed the Bucks test but did not apply to attend a Bucks school. Then no surprise at all that more children got through on appeal than normal to take the places that these children did not want.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=36309&start=20

We all have different opinions and I hope I am allowed to share mine. Local schools for local children. Children traveling miles to schools is wrong in my opinion. Education is part of growing up it is not everything.

I would not travel miles to take my child to a mock paper, say 2 hours each way for the nearest free mock, I think this is wrong and really do not understand why any DP does this. There are local mocks available on this site and others.

The Bucks system is not working if 600 children win a place at a Bucks school but decide not to take it.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:42 pm
Posts: 989
Location: Birmingham
Jabba7, I really don't think people from Brum would contemplate going all the way to Bucks to sit their test. I suspect you have people in nearer counties doing that. It does seem unfair if it prolongs the agony of those who would otherwise have got in. That is a problem within the Bucks system though. Many here have, however, sat the Walsall exam in July as a practice for the Consortium exam in September. Apart from those who travel from Warks, quite a few of those people would consider the school if it is within reasonable travel distance. Some just do it for practice. I don't think there is any way round that.

There are quite a few commercial mocks here too - cheaper than the petrol to drive to Bucks and back! We paid for our children to sit mocks. I think they are useful but one is sufficient. They can be counter-productive if they undermine confidence or make them overly-confident due to a different level of difficulty - although I know of a few who sat Walsall and it gave them a good kick to get into gear over the summer!

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Last edited by UmSusu on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Posts: 865
jabba7 wrote:
I would not travel miles to take my child to a mock paper, say 2 hours each way for the nearest free mock, I think this is wrong and really do not understand why any DP does this.


I suspect there are going to be lots of Berkshire hopefuls sitting Bucks test as a mock this year


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