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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:18 pm
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Hello all,

I have been wondering for a few days now, the grammar schools exams are practically all done and the Independant one's kick in after the xmas hols so does anyone have an opinion on whether one set is more challenging then the other. I am particularly interested on those who have gone throught the process for both types of schools if they are still around!!!

Thanks and Regards


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:18 pm 
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I don't know, but I'd be interested to find out.

My dd will be sitting two entrance exams consisting of English, Maths and non-verbal.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:42 am
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Location: South Warwickshire
Hi Coolmum123,

What do you mean by challenging? Do you mean hard to get a high proportion of questions correct or hard to get a successful outcome in terms of being accepted for the school? Sometimes exams which are "easy" in the sense that children tend to get most of the answers right are the most challenging in terms of being accepted by the school, because you can't afford many slips and you need a very high raw score to pass. Children are competing against each other, not really against the paper.

My impression is that independent schools quite often do have tougher papers but state grammars are much harder to get a successful outcome, but I am not an expert.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:35 pm 
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Hi, I live in Edinburgh where there are no Grammar schoools My son is taking Entrance Exams for four Independent Schools in January. The problem I have, is that none of the schools have past papers so it is difficult to know what to expect.
One school has just written, saying that the English, Maths and Reasoniing will be an on-line assessment.
I can't wait for all this to be over!, we will get our results on 19th Feb.

K


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:35 pm 
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Hi Bad Dad,

Sorry!! I meant which type of exam would it be harder to pass in terms of which papers are hardest (if that makes sense) But I undersatand what you are saying that there are 2 differnet answers. My DS has done some Grammar School exams which were multiple choice and consisted of only Vr and NVR, in January the Indies papers will be Maths, English Comprehension and compostion and a VR paper so I guess I'm asking is it easier to answer Grammar school questions coreectly or Indpenddent ones?

Regards


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:48 pm 
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It depends very much on where your grammar schools and independent school exams are. From friends whose children have gone through this in the last 3 years, it appears that if you are in areas, like Bucks or Gloucestershire, where you know the format is 21 types or 15 types, the grammar schools exams are much easier, relatively, to prepare for and take.

Many independent schools do not have full past papers and send only a sample test sheet for each subject and in the real tests, there is every possibility that anything can come up. I also think many of the Independent exams are manually marked and the English essays, especially, scrutinised extensively for signs of a good grasp of English.

Which is why, my plan for the next couple years is to prepare my children well in the basics for Maths , English and vocabulary. Having the confidence to take the exams will render the more difficult or differently styled exams more do-able.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire.
From my son's experience, it's quite a tricky question to answer.

Ed sat the 11+ for a grammar school and two entrance exams. In his/our experience, it would depend upon the strengths/weaknesses of the child(ren)as to which is harder and would also depend upon the type of test!

Ed sat the entrance exam for Warwick and that had english and maths papers. The exam for Rugby was a computerised test and was obviously better for anyone who is less keen on writing. At the time, the 11+ exam in Warks was just verbal reasoning.

So, three very different tests!!

Some children who passed the test for Rugby has not secured a grammar school place and, allegedly, vice versa.


Presumably, the more different the test, the less likely they would be to select in the same manner.

For Edward he found the Rugby School test challenging but enjoyable, he found the 11+ test quite easy and he found the more traditional english grammer, comprehension and maths papers the hardest.

I would not necessarily expect all children to give the same viewpoint. My daughter will, I think, prefer comprehension etc rather than computerised test!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Location: South Wilts
It would depend if the schools you are looking at are 'insurance' against not passing the 11+. I believe one of our local independents takes quite a few children who have had a go at the 11+ and not passed but are awarded academic scholarships.

I would suggest that the more 'prestigious' the school, the harder the exam is to pass. One way of gauging this would be to find out how many applications there are compared to the number of places available.

I hope this makes sense! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:59 pm 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Hi Coolmum,
I think it depends on the school. As you know my DS sat Grammar and Independent exams. The QE Boys exams were difficult as were the Habs Boys - the others were ok. I think seeing the sheer volume of boys taking the exams is very off- putting as well. well over 1000 for QE and Habs.
I think the exams where you have to progress to a 2nd round are also very stressful for the children rather than the ones where you do everything on one day.
Personally we found the independent interviews more stressful than the exams because it's an unknown quantity and you don't really know how to prepare for them.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:01 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire.
Yes, interviews stressful but Ed's experience was that they only wanted to get to know him in the interview - there were no trick questions and nothing was asked that made him clam up.


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