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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:13 am
Posts: 34
We are new, have only just begun our preparation!

We had been rather relaxed as DS (Y5) is the top 2 boys in his year. He reads a lot, we have an app with 11+ questions and some logic puzzles but that was it. Recently he told me that his best friend (the other top boy) wants to go to St Olave's, and that this boy has a tutor. Once I started researching about the competition of the exam we started to panic a bit and bought some books for him. The first time we did the 10 minutes tests, he did ok (70-75%) in Maths and NVR but only got about 50% for VR. We then did a CGP CEM practise paper combining Maths VR NVR he scored just over 80%. He is quite a perfectionist and was upset that he didn't get everything right - so we don't really want to push him too hard but am a bit worried about not prepping him enough!

We are planning to do some mock tests in Spring and the one by St Olave's PTA, combined with daily 10 minutes tests and 1-2 practise papers each week. I can normally go through the answers and explain them to him. Would that be sufficient or shall we top it up with some holiday courses?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 629
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
OK so so I have a DD and not DS and already feel nervous for you. But all will work out for the right path.
St Olaves is without a doubt a monster of a test. I know DSs who have sat it and often the maths is the undoing as they haven't seen some of the types of questions posed. Some of the St Olaves maths questions are more along the independent school 11plus exams from what I hear from others - but as I say that is secondhand. Whilst Letts 10 minute tests were helpful for DD for St Olaves the maths element was something the books couldn't help too much with.

Top of a cohort is good but it depends on the strengths of that cohort. DD is top or second to top in her maths class in a selective independent and she got an amazing score in Bexley (a few points off top 180) and also did well in Newstead but given the greater competitive nature of St Olaves I think it would have been less clear cut. She has friends who were top of their class in their school but it looks unlikely she will be attending Newstead with them. Some will be traveling to Kent or Bexley grammars, some going to independents.

Ok so apart from me sounding doom and gloom - I can offer hope. You know best how your DS is headed and what he is capable of so no harm in trying unless their attitude to negative results is a poor one.

Our prep consisted of one hour a weeks from y5 and then in summer holidays half an hour a day. No tutor. We got away with that, I think St Olaves would have potentially required the right tutor, or like many of our friends, just focused in Kent and Bexley and left St Olaves to the maelstrom.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:22 am
Posts: 23
I have had two DSs sit the St Olave's test(s). My elder son is at St O's and we are waiting to find out about the 2nd - he got through the SET and sat the 2nd test. Both also sat the Kent test and scored highly enough to go to the super selectives. They did not sit Bexley, so no experience of that.

From our experience, the St O's maths test is harder than most, with longer questions and requiring more of an understanding of concepts. We did not have a tutor for Maths, but did a range of papers (bond, cgp etc) for practice, along with private school sample papers (often you have to work out the answers yourself as they don't supply them though - I often felt quite "tested" myself!). I have heard that DSs should be scoring over 90% because of the bias towards Maths in the St Olave's test generally (the score on the maths paper determines the outcome for DSs with the same score and there are more Maths questions in the SET than the other sections), but I can't verify that as you don't get the scores. Both my DSs were regularly getting over 90% in practice papers.

For English, we had a tutor for 1 hour a week in year 5, excluding holidays, but did a lot of practice essays and comprehensions ourselves as well over the summer. Luckily both enjoy reading. Because boys tend to have more issues with English, we thought that strengthening their performance in English may give them an edge, whilst also giving them a strong base to work from for whichever school they ended up at. After all, all subjects later on require a good grasp of essay writing and comprehension, so those skills would never be wasted!

For the new SET, we also practiced VR and NVR papers at home from a range of providers - no tutor, but both seemed to have a flair for VR / NVR, so that helped. Being quick is the key with those, so practice and familiarity does help a lot. Practice on these is also needed for Kent and Bexley of course.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:10 pm
Posts: 25
nervousnelly wrote:
I have had two DSs sit the St Olave's test(s). My elder son is at St O's and we are waiting to find out about the 2nd - he got through the SET and sat the 2nd test. Both also sat the Kent test and scored highly enough to go to the super selectives. They did not sit Bexley, so no experience of that.

From our experience, the St O's maths test is harder than most, with longer questions and requiring more of an understanding of concepts. We did not have a tutor for Maths, but did a range of papers (bond, cgp etc) for practice, along with private school sample papers (often you have to work out the answers yourself as they don't supply them though - I often felt quite "tested" myself!). I have heard that DSs should be scoring over 90% because of the bias towards Maths in the St Olave's test generally (the score on the maths paper determines the outcome for DSs with the same score and there are more Maths questions in the SET than the other sections), but I can't verify that as you don't get the scores. Both my DSs were regularly getting over 90% in practice papers.

For English, we had a tutor for 1 hour a week in year 5, excluding holidays, but did a lot of practice essays and comprehensions ourselves as well over the summer. Luckily both enjoy reading. Because boys tend to have more issues with English, we thought that strengthening their performance in English may give them an edge, whilst also giving them a strong base to work from for whichever school they ended up at. After all, all subjects later on require a good grasp of essay writing and comprehension, so those skills would never be wasted!

For the new SET, we also practiced VR and NVR papers at home from a range of providers - no tutor, but both seemed to have a flair for VR / NVR, so that helped. Being quick is the key with those, so practice and familiarity does help a lot. Practice on these is also needed for Kent and Bexley of course.


Hello,
Could you share your tutor contact please? I'm looking for an English tutor for my daughter to prepare her for Bexley test.
Also, I have a question about your essay practice - do they need to write an essay for the test?

Thank you,
Elena


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