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 Post subject: Please help!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:20 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Lincolnshire
This is directed at any of the old hands at taking the 11+.

Children in Lincolnshire are taking the tests earlier this year, with a VR on Sept 9th and a NVR on Sept 16th. This means we have just 10 days to go, until the VR.

My son has had only the benefit of my teachings and has done very well. He works in the top groups at his school and always gets top grades. In his 11+ work however, his grades reflect whether or not he is working under timed conditions. With no time limit, he is achieving around 95%, however within the allocated 50 mins, it is around 80%, but sometimes if he panics, it can be 70-75%

We have tried all sorts of things to speed up but I have pulled back a little, as he is starting to panic and I don't want this to have a negative effect.

Does anyone have any advice, as to whether he is in any way on target and anything we can do to help him complete the test in the time limit, which could make all the difference.

Also, I must point out that we have reassured him that not passing is not the end of the world, as the comprehensives in the area are good schools. I am sure he will achieve high standards were ever he is. The problem for me being that the grammer is excellent with a 99.35% A-C pass at GCSE compared to about 50% at the local comps. My so is also quite desperate to get in.

I must also let you know that this forum has been an amazing help, as just reading through the posts, parents no longer feel alone. It is a fantastic to be able to benefit from others experiences.

Many thanks to all who take the time to help the inexperienced parent such as me!
angelz


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 Post subject: Tip on the VR side
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:05 pm 
Dear Angelz,

I too am a new parent to 11+.

My daughter was struggling with time and hence her scores suffered.

On the VR side I can tell you that having practically bought everything in sight the best purchase that you can make from my experience is verbal reasoning cd Vol 1 for £20. This is a cd that goes through all 21 types of questions (except anagrams) that nfer use and gives you 50 practice questions in each type. Try the demo first in the cd section of this website with your son and you will see what I mean. This helped my child build up speed in each type of question and the average score shot up more than 20% as she was able to do the ‘easy’ ones quicker leaving more time for the more difficult ones.

Gaz

P.S. The cd automatically marks the questions and times them giving the child extra motivation.
P.P.S. There are two useful word lists in the free section of the website that you should print-off.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:20 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Lincolnshire
Gary
Thanks for the tips. I have the word list but I will definately look at the demo cd. Does the actual cd take long to arrive, with not much time left we might be pushing it a bit but I want to give him the best chance I can.
angelz


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:39 pm 
Dear Angelz,

About 2 minutes. We brought as a downloaded and it took 1 minute by broadband and about a minute to set up by an automatic programme that comes with the download.

Gaz


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:14 pm 
Hi Angelz,

My son is also taking the Lincs tests this time, though we are out of area and so he is highly unlikely to get a place at grammar even if he passes.

My son never managed to complete a test in the time until he sat the practice tests at the grammar school when he finished OK. So do not despair.

My advice would be to time on each section to see where she is using up too much time. The free demo of the CD is good for this. Once you have pinpointed the problem area(s) look at her technique for answering those sort of questions and see if it can be improved (ask for advice from others on this site if you can't work out how to improve it yourself).
If there is an area which she finds disproportionately difficult tell her to leave that section till last if it comes up. My son cannot manage the questions which ask you to find a word which would be close in meaning to four other given words. Practice has hardly improved this at all so now he just looks quickly through to see if any are easy, then leaves the section till the end of the test. That way they are not wasting time on something they may not manage anyway and are maximising their marks on the questions they can do more easily.

Just a little word of caution about the CDs at this stage as it is very close to the test. The CD questions are multiple choice whereas Lincs exams are not so the technique is slightly different for some sorts of questions. Try the demo and see what you think. It may however be good for her to see that she is quick at some type of questions - it may give her a bit of a confidence boost knowing that the ones she is quicker at are "buying her extra time" for the more difficult ones.

Good luck. Try and keep your and her spirits up! An anecdote from a friend whose niece took the test 2 years ago may help - she had never scored more than 75% in all the practices and her school were not very confident either but on the day she passed.

Sara


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:16 pm 
Angelz,

OOPS. sorry have referred to your son as your daughter all the way through that posting. Apologies.

Sara


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear AngelZ/Gary and Sara

AngelZ ....Which papers are you practicing with [ verbal reasoning ] Which questions are taking him a long time?

Gary...... I have to agree with Sara re the CD from the Tutors, it is multiple choice in format....The 21 types 'appear' to be exclusive to Bucks and the Wirral.....the first 15 are for other areas using NFER.[MC]

If your area uses standard form, as Sara states there are different techniques, in addition standard form will incorporate extra types eg. Lincs include at least anagrams, position codes and word grids.

I truly believe the CDs are a fantastic resource.....however as you are so close to your exams, AngelZ, its probably better to keep to the practice of standard form papers.

Patricia

PS...it has been suggested in the Lincs section that no alphabet was given for the code questions......tell your son NOT to panic....just quickly write it out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:29 am 
Angelz,

Your post made me think about the week before the exam preperation.

My two main thoughts were to focus on CONFIDENCE and exam TECHNIQUE.

Your child is scoring well, tell him he can do well by doing his best on the day, remind him if he finds the paper hard then so will everybody.

The main exam technique is to "move on" marking hard or time consuming questions to come back to at the end of the exam. It is worth practicing this as I have recently found with my own son who managed to get out of sequence between question and answer papers !

Good luck for the day.



Stevew61


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:20 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Lincolnshire
Thanks all for your tips and reassurance.

My son completed a VR NFER paper last night, within the time limit, with a score of 91% !!!!!!!!!!. I have told him, I am really proud of him. He has also just earned a place in his football team, as sub goalie, which is a major achievement for him.

The problem I have, is that the NFER practice tests are 85 questions in 50 mins, however the real test is 100 questions, so what he has been practicing ,will have to be stepped up on if he is to complete the actual test in the time allowed.

I have decided not to push any harder with my son. He is currently practicing his tecnique using the Susan Daughtry extra practice book, which will help his speed. If he has this problem, then I am sure there are others taking the test, that have this problem too. At the moment he is feeling very confident, which is new to him and the most important thing to take into the test.

As you have all pointed out, as long as he tries his best, who could ask for any more. I will be very proud of him and the commitment he has shown over the past few months, whatever the outcome.

Thanks again
angelz


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:57 am 
Dear Angelz, Sara, Patricia & Co,

My apologies. I had not realised that there were areas where verbal reasoning was not multiple choice. I would however say that the single most important thing that vrebal reasoning requires is vocabulary and the cds are useful to build vocabulary while still keeping the child thinking verbal reasoning.

Best of luck Angelz. You are in good company with these other ladies for expert advice.


Gaz


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