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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:39 pm 
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My son is preparing to take the grammar school entrance test for Bournemouth School in September.

He has been doing practice papers pretty much every week since the start of the year.

In May they did practice sats at school and I've just had his report card and he is:

Match 5c
Reading 5c
English 4b

(If it makes a difference, his birthday is 29th May so he's one of the younger ones)

He gets around the 80% mark on all the papers. Maths, VR and English.

BUT - here's the thing...he gets those marks with me sitting on his shoulder nagging him to concentrate. If I don't, his mind wanders and he loses focus and his marks drop. AND... he is way over time. He goes far too slowly. It's not just in this, he doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency about anything. Getting ready in the morning takes an ages because he just... faffs. He's the same with everything really, just a strong lack of focus.

I'm just wondering if it's worth him taking the test. His teacher has said the ability is there and he is a bright kid just...distracted lol

Any and all advice gratefully received!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:05 pm 
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Bless him, he just sounds like a boy to me. He is probably stupefyingly bored of doing tests too.
You could try sitting him with a big countdown screen in front of him and leave the room, start by ten minute tests and move up until he is doing full test in time. We found one that had a bomb exploding at the end, ds1 loved it, but ds3 was worried by it, there are lots in app stores for free.


Last edited by southbucks3 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Location: Herts
I am surprised that he is not improving after almost 30 papers.

Timing is the most important feature. All papers must be strictly timed and pen down when the time is up. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:18 pm 
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He's bored and who can blame him!

Cut down the tests and see what happens .. give him an incentive like no test next week if you finish this one in time on your own.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:36 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
I am surprised that he is not improving after almost 30 papers.

Timing is the most important feature. All papers must be strictly timed and pen down when the time is up. DG


His results are improving, he's just not getting any faster.

But I've been concentrating on him getting them right rather than rushing. Maybe I did that wrong?

Should I be pushing for speed at this point?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:06 pm 
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Some of the papers can be very long IMO. How about splitting them into chunks and giving a certain number of minutes for each chunk? I don't know which papers you are doing but when we were sure our DD could do the technical stuff and it was "just" speed, we gave our DD a couple of questions and 10 minutes to complete, then the next 2 questions 8 minutes, then 6 minutes and so on. Meant that we were talking to her between questions which seemed to focus her mind but didn't mean that we were having to "nag" (much!). Good luck to your DS!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:28 am 
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With the test in a few months, I would start to time the papers and mark them accordingly so he can see the results of his lack of urgency. Sorry if that's a bit harsh.

I also agree that he should have a break from them or some kind of incentive to encourage him to work faster. IMHO you should definitely step away and not watch over him whilst he's doing any 11+ prep any more.

Does he want to go to this school? Is he happy with doing the level of prep so far?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:15 pm 
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The exam is a test of what you can do in the time. Everything needs to be timed or the exam will be a shock and he will get discouraged. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:11 am 
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Thank you all for your answers, they are a great help!

Yes this is a school that he wants to go to, despite me trying to talk him out of it :roll:

I've had a talk with him and we're going to start timing the tests going forward. I notice in some areas they have mock tests they can take but I can't see that we have anything similar down here. it's a shame because I think that could be really useful.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Sounds exactly like the younger sister of one of DDs friends. Very bright but does everything at her own slow pace. She is one of the oldest in The class as an October birthday. It's just how she is in everything apparently, getting dressed, eating, school work etc. not sure if they have managed to speed her up yet.
DD was a bit like that in years 3 and below, but improved.

I'd suggest short, quick fire tests, and slowly increase the length. Maybe he has a very, very short concentration span and just needs to work on that.

As for a mock, we didn't do an official one. I'd kept two tests back and we did that at home. I had her visualise what would be going on around her and what she would do if others were distracting her. We moved around the room while she was doing practice tests etc so she got used to blocking out what was going on around her. Seemed to work as she scored well. Of course it's depends on individual children on whether this approach works.


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