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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:20 am
Posts: 2
Hi,
Hoping to get some advice from here...

I am tutoring dd myself for the Bexley and private school tests. So, we have done a range of Bond papers etc.
Progress is slow but steady I suppose. Still lots of gaps in knowledge, but we do try to get in lots of practice. Have done a couple of mock tests at home, and score was quite low in some areas.

Is it worth getting her assessed at this stage, using a tutorial centre? I have looked at a local place, not sure if I can mention companies on here, but I did not know what to make of the cost. It seemed expensive, although I understand it could be of benefit if it highlighted weaknesses and where I should be concentrating.
Also, is it worth doing the more intense summer courses, doing lots of practice papers?

Thanks in advance for any advice


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 629
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
We home tutored and our DD did Bexley, Kent, Sevenoaks and Newstead. She did well in all of them. Of help to us was doing some mock tests with a commercial provider in a big local hall. These highlighted weak areas and the paperwork they sent back was really helpful as it picked out the styles of questions DD was getting wrong so we could concentrate on those areas. It also ranked DD compared to all the others who sat. For the indie do they have sample papers? I know Sevenoaks did. We ended up having all the choices possible but went with our closest grammar in the end. If your child is at a current prep the standard of maths will probably be fine for the Indies - if following national curriculum and still on KS2 you may need to look closely at what is expected for the maths at the indies as DD found that her Y7 work just about covered most of the Sevenoaks test but there were still some formulae and concepts she hasn't covered.

I can't advise on the benefit of a formal assessment - those who I know who went this route was prior to signing up with a group or tutor. It was more a 'are they grammar level' and then a hard sell or for the tutors who claim 100% pass rates a filtering system to weed out those who they don't want to ruin their track record (the 11 plus journey is fraught with these sorts of scenarios).

Careful of not putting your DD off the study. We did half an hour a day for five days of the week during the summer and when DD went back to school in early September didn't do any more practice even for the Sevenoaks exam in the January.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 923
Not just my impression, but dd2 said that the paid mocks (and MHCHS which we took as a mock) were the best thing we did to make her feel confident and that she knew what to expect and how to do the tests on the day.

Money well sent imo.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:20 am
Posts: 2
Many thanks for the replies.
I may instead look at the mock exams and learn from that. The cost of the assessment is what put me off...... So money may be better spent on the mocks.

I understand what you are saying about the pressure from intensive courses - it would mean being really consistent with the work which can be difficult with another child around!

Thanks for your advice


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:17 pm
Posts: 142
We did some cheaper mock tests at our lical tuition (20 pounds) every month. Once we got 70% we then did the more expensive national ones for 50 pounds. This forum does mock test but they get filled up pretty quickly....so you must register early


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:21 am
Posts: 224
If I really wanted to test I would buy test papers and put the cash I saved towards a nice pair of shoes.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6691
Location: Herts
Doing test papers in the comfort of your own home is really not the same. Every year students tell me about the other students they see breaking down in the test hall or classroom because they are overwhelmed by it. Doing mocks helps to alleviate some of these issues.

Of the many students I know of who did mocks before the real thing not one of them has had any problem in the real exam. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:17 pm
Posts: 142
Mock exams were very intimidating for us....luckily we them once a month and 3 or 4 under our belt; we got used to them

I have older child who is doing GCSEs - guess what ; every school do mocks for GCSEs? Why ?

1) Benchmarking
2) Nerves
3) Stop making mistakes

Trust me it is money worth spent


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:13 am
Posts: 452
Home teaching is good and save ££ but you will not know if your plan and teaching style is good enough. Students generally do well at home but not in the exam hall. You may do if you are happy to risk your child failing the exam.

Doing 1-1 tuition would help you consolidate weak areas, learn clever ways of doing questions

Doing group tuition would help you consolidate weak areas, learn clever ways of doing questions + help you to gauge against other students

Taking mocks is money well spent to get over nerves. However, don't rely too much on scores as the paper may not be of the same difficulty level/relevance as the real exam.


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