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 Post subject: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:23 pm
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To all parents who have a DS or DD who has passed the 11+, what would be the best tip you can give to those of us who have a DS/DD taking the 11+ in September???


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 9:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:11 am
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Location: London
I think my top tip would be that you have to keep plugging at it during the summer holidays. We didn't make our DD work every day, but she probably did something every other day as her first exam was at the very beginning of September. She certainly went back to school firing on all cylinders!


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 11:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:45 pm
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In my opinion, half the battle is preparing them to stay calm in the face of the speed of the test and to give them the confidence to guess and move on if they don't know an answer.

We discovered through practice that DS was struggling to read a passage and answer the comprehension questions within the time limit so decided to try going straight to the questions, then referring back to the text. It was a gamble because he might drop marks that called for a deeper understanding of the passage but he would have time to answer a lot more questions. This gave him much more confidence in his weakest area; he felt he had a trick up his sleeve.

I'm not advocating this approach (there are people on here far more qualified than me that will perhaps say that this was a stupidly dangerous tactic!) but try to find something that gives DC that inner confidence.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:44 pm
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The ideas I'm giving below don't replace formal 11+ preparation, but can be useful to add a bit of variety and fun while building vocabulary and problem solving skills.

Lots of reading in a variety of styles - newspapers, adult short stories, adult nonfiction etc.
Suduko puzzles, crosswords, maths puzzles, word ladders, logic puzzles and brain training games on Nintendo ds/smartphone (ie. fun stuff that is working in the same direction as your more formal preparation).
Plenty of chances to practise exam technique and become familiar with the format of questions in each section of the exam.

Keep up the reading and puzzles during the holidays, but don't necessarily bother with trying to make it very formal unless your child likes working that way. We did no formal 11+ prep at all in the summer holiday leading up to DDs 11+, just 2 half days of past papers in the week before she went back to school.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:04 pm
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Juanita Bananas wrote:
I think my top tip would be that you have to keep plugging at it during the summer holidays. We didn't make our DD work every day, but she probably did something every other day as her first exam was at the very beginning of September. She certainly went back to school firing on all cylinders!


Agreed, all the children who I know who did well studied during the school holidays, not every day but little and often.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:23 pm
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Some really great tips, thank you, I will encourage my DS to work during the holidays. He also enjoys reading a variety of text which is good.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 9:26 pm 
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My advice would be not to turn them off by making it a chore.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
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Similarly, if child does not read naturally, then don't force child to read. A lot is made here of reading, don't succumb to peer pressure and make it the be all end all of success.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 8:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
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Not sure if I have a top tip but things that helped us in the run-up were:

1) Allowing dd to pick the things that she knew she was weakest at in the last few weeks. SHe was so fed up of papers and there were so many types of questions she could do easily that she found it frustrating to do a whole paper. It worked well to get her to look at the ones she knew she would struggle with. We only did that in the summer holidays though. Before that she did whole papers to get the timing worked out. It also depends on your dc being quite self-aware.

2) Reminding her to read read read the question. Underline any important words in the question eg first, last, second in a question about alphabetical order.

3) Reminding her that for her, writing notes is essential. Even if no other children were writing things in the exam (eg VR) then she knew that this was how she did best so just to get on with it and not worry about what others were doing.

4) Keeping on reminding her that whichever school she ended up going to she would be fine, do well, make loads of friends and have fun. That we are lucky to have choices with schools but that we (and she) would be happy with whichever school she ended up at.

Actually 4 is the most important I think!


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 Post subject: Re: Top 11+ tips
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 12:31 pm
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DD sat in Gloucestershire, which changed to CEM for last September.

For us, it was 1) practising speed on maths (her weakest area) - not necessarily full papers but just 10 minute tests - no set timetable but when she felt like doing them 2) reading anything for vocab development and 3) keeping her fed well, watered, decent sleep, happy and encouraged particularly in the period leading up to the exam.

She did end up doing quite a bit over the summer holiday mainly because she wanted to, but was ill for about a week towards the end of August so had a complete break from it then.

Like loobylou, we also kept other schools very much in the frame and said she would be happy and do well wherever she went.


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