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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:33 am 
As my daughter's exam date gets closer (Herts 24 Nov) I am getting more & more tense!

Although a bright kid, my daughter is incredibly sloppy. People said this would improve with practice but it hasn't really. She can lose up to half a dozen marks on each paper by making silly mistakes - & I mean silly. She can do a complicated sum then put something like 7+4=12 at the end, obviously making the whole answer wrong. Her average score on both maths & VR is about 88% - apparently not good enough in this area.

I feel guilty that we didn't start practicing earlier and think perhaps I should have got her tutored.

I'm trying not to let my feelings show but it's hard! If I'm honest, I'm getting cross thinking about what a difference the marks from those silly mistakes could make!

Not really expecting any answers, just wanted to get it off my chest & wondered if anyone else has felt the same?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:41 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6940
Location: East Kent
I do sympathise!

My son was exactly the same (still is), but on the day he shone through!!

She's a bright girl, can you explain to her how many marks she is throwing away?

Good luck

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:09 am 
Is it multiple choice? I hope so because this will make your daughter think as (hopefully) her 'wrong answer' won't be one of the options and she will need to go back over her calculations and pick the right answer!

If it's Standard then, Yes, she may make some silly mistakes on the day but so will many many others! Laugh silly mistakes off when you're practising at home - It'll make her feel at ease. You know she should know better - she knows she should know better - there's no point in upsetting your daughter (or yourself). If she's going to come up with 7+4=12 on the day there's little you can do about it.
This close to the exam I would focus on her self-esteem and confidence. Boost her up and you may notice fewer silly errors.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:23 am 
My stepson used to do the same thing. If you think that improvement in accuracy is the best thing to concentrate on in the remaining couple of weeks then you still have time.

When you mark her work, don't point out the silly errors. Just say to her, you got this one wrong, I can see from your working you know how to do it, please work it through again. When she is pleased with getting it right the second time, ask her if she spotted what her error was first time.

Then show her the mark she got with accidental mistakes, and the mark she could have got without them. Tell her she is really good at maths and there is no reason why she can't get that higher mark without mistakes.

Also, give her shorter tests with time to spare, things you know she can get 100% on. Teach her some checking techniques. Tell her to check all her answers again. If she does not get 100% ask her to repeat the ones she gets wrong until they are right.

Be positive. Explain that there may be some questions she cannot do in the real 11+ paper, so if she is more accurate on the ones she can do she will get a really good mark.

My stepson's accuracy improved really fast. He had not had anyone at school tell him that he could (and should) get 100% on things that he could do in maths. He was chuffed to have that expected of him.

Good luck.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:40 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:18 am
Posts: 4083
one sma11 thing... my kiddos just don't like the word 'Wrong' as they feel they never make any mistakes :roll: .

You only have to say, 'wrong' and they get very defensive, it deflates their egos as it points out their sloppine55 and makes clear they are not perfect. :lol:

Please do these again.

The working is incorrect in line 4.

Can you recheck this sum?

A11 said in a non confrontational or non critical tone wi11 get me a better response and attitude. :wink:

How can you get this easy sum wrong and Why did you forget to subtract 687? - only undermines their confidence for some reason.

As we would not say, "Why did you hit your brother for?" and say, " Apologise to your brother for hurting him." ( not that they squabble :roll: )

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:14 am 
Thanks - yes I would not normally say "you got this one wrong" - so I'm not sure why I put that in my post above!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:45 pm 
Thank you all for your wise words and advice. I will definitely try your tips (& stop nagging!) and aim to build her confidence with a lot of positive praise instead.

Debs - the tests are standard :roll: !!!

Her teacher did tell me this week that my daughter does well in tests at school, so hopefully she will rise to the challenge on the day!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:52 pm 
Tense. My very laid back eldest son sat and passed the 11 plus two years ago. His marks in practice papers would range from 49% to 96% - depending entirely on his mood and how much effort he felt like putting in. Of the four NFER English practice papers he got less than 60% on three of them (not surprising as he could rattle one off in 15-20 mins...). Maths, his best subject, was very up and down and I think he got something like 45% on one of the NVR practice papers. I used to get really stressed with him because his levels at school were very good and I knew he could do better. His response was invariably, "but I know it's only a practice mum, when it comes to the real thing I'll try harder" - and he did, passing by 37 marks (even though he was quite poorly in the run up to the tests). His marks were evenly spread, despite his dreadful performance when practising for the English test. With hindsight it's easy for me to see that I should have had more confidence in his abilities - easier said than done when you've got the dreaded tests looming!

My second son, however, can't bear not to put 110% effort into everything and his marks in practice tests reflect his real ability. So much easier!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:12 pm
Posts: 151
If it's any consolation, the "silly-mistakes" complaint seems to be the bane of every parent I have come across whose child is sitting the 11+. I have just put it down to age, tried to remind her to double check her sums and will cross my fingers that she doesn't make too many on the day.

 Post subject: Careless mistakes
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:03 pm 
I have exactly the same problem, and it's difficult not to let my frustration show. Thanks for the advice above, which is really helpful - and it's good to know there are so many in the same boat.

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