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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:29 pm 
At last night's open evening at the grammar school the headteacher advised that the tests would comprise the following:-

English Essay (35 minutes)
English Comprehension (45 minutes) multiple choice
Verbal Reasoning (50 minutes) mulitple choice
Mathematics (50 minutes) mulitple choice.

Multiple Choice tests are set by the NFER. Practice papers are available to purchase from book shops
VR ISBN 0 7087 03860
Maths ISBN 0 7087 03887
English ISBN 0 7087 03895

Rather a shock to discover English Essay - hadn't got this advice when I rang the school months ago. Anyone any advice on how to practice, or do you assume your child has enough practice at this at school?

The 45 minutes comprehension. Do you think this means Comprehension only - that section in the NFER English Multiple Choice that we have already been practising? Do I assume the rest of the English paper will not be set? Or does it mean the whole English paper.

No weighting between 3 elements of VR, E and Maths. Selective scores that achieved by 150th girl in each test. Borderzone candidates are those who achieve selective scores in 2 out of 3 elements and then they are considered by admissions panel.

Does this sound familiar to any of you experts out there? Anyone else from Bournemouth?

He said not to look at anything except NFER. I've already got a pack of 4 tests for each subject which I am coming to the end of. What do people do then - have to buy other sets or do they pay to download?

The head teacher said that we should not be employing any tutors or bribing girls to pass the test. He said the maths and English were all covered by the schools work already. He implied that we should just turn up and take the test - so laid back! Has anyone else had advice like this from grammar school headteachers?

There is no catchment to this school therefore no advantage to living in the town. He named 4 education authorities which girls come from - about 50 different schools. He said that schools usually only send about 1 or 2 girls. That really struck home. Is it the same for all you out there?

Dorset Parent (no longer feeling alone!)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:31 pm 
Hello Dorset Parent

This post would be better in the regional sections below. You're more likely to get someone who knows specific details about Bournmouth.

Jed


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:09 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:36 am
Posts: 141
Hallo Dorset Parent
You sound a little more cheered up now and seem to know what you are aiming for - good! You do need more than Nfer - for your own peace of mind as well as anything else. I also think a lot on here will agree also, that they do need to know more than a primary school can offer them, at least by November. So, where to start? The Bond Papers are good for Maths and English - they will keep you both busy for a bit and you can buy their practice papers too. The writing - well that can be anyones guess. I cannot remember just how much is covered these days in class - best to cover that too. Sorry I am not much help. You certainly have enought subjects there to keep you busy. Have you started up a plan yet as to how much to do per week - I think it does help you.
Good luck and keep on going!
USA


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Hello Dorset Parent

You do need to find out more details about your exam, so posting again in the Dorset forum is a definetely good idea.

May be you could also call a few tutors, even if you don't intend to use them, and ask as many questions as possible.

I don't know the level of preparation/tutoring that goes on in your area, but in doubt, I would do as much as possible (within reason!!) until the exam. Better safe than sorry...

About english revision, I came across this guide in the past :
'11+ English, a Parent's Toolkit', published by the 'Good School Guide'. I don't know what the book is worth but the 'Good school Guide' site is a good source of info.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:59 am 
Hi Dorset Parent,

Our grammar school said exactly the same thing, don't practice just do the one practice paper to familiarise the child and then thats it, just turn up for the test.

Ours were also Nfer but Standard and they had to do VR(50mins), NVR(35mins), a short maths test(35mins) and an essay(35mins). They sat the exams over 2 weekends VR and maths 9.9.06 and VR & Essay 16.9.06.

Our grammar school said that they only use the english and maths papers if the child is a borderline case or on the reserves list.

Be aware that all of our NFER standard practice papers for NVR were 5 sections, 12 questions in each section and 6 mins for each section as was the practice paper sent to the school. However when it came to the actual exam there were 4 sections with 16 questions in 3 sections and 17 in another and they had 8 minutes to complete each section, so just be aware that the practice papers may be slightly different to the actual exam. This may not be the case for Multiple choice, but I thought I would just make you aware that it wasn't something that we were aware of.

Good Luck
SJ


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:08 pm 
Just my thoughts as I don't know anything about the tests in your area, but if two children score identical scores and one lives 15 miles away and the other lives 100 metres away - I am sure the school would take the closest first. I have always felt that this would be the case despite the school saying that they don't take distance into account. Although I am sure that they don't use it as the main criteria, it could be crucial if your child is borderline.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:55 pm 
KE Mum wrote:
Just my thoughts as I don't know anything about the tests in your area, but if two children score identical scores and one lives 15 miles away and the other lives 100 metres away - I am sure the school would take the closest first. I have always felt that this would be the case despite the school saying that they don't take distance into account. Although I am sure that they don't use it as the main criteria, it could be crucial if your child is borderline.


Our grammar school does stipulate that the one that lived closer would be taken first


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:42 pm 
Dear All

Thanks for your replies. I posted my questions on the Dorset site yesterday but have had no replies. There is only one other posting on that site - back in March 06 - about the boys' grammar. Nothing about the girls' grammar. If I get no responses I will try other avenues - asking around, phoning up the school, phoning a tutor (although I feel guilty as I do not intend to employ one)
But I really appreciate all your advice and I have plenty to be getting on with, as you say. The last 2 postings are correct - there is a distance criteria to be applied, but only in the event that 2 or more eligible girls are of equal placing for the last place. It may help me, it may not!
Thanks everyone - I am going to go through and consolidate the info from all your replies to both my postings and plan what to do. But first I am going to do a posting on an issue which has been on my mind on secondary schools in general. This has been a learning exercise for me on the subject of education in general.


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