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 Post subject: Re: Mock Exams
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 10:00 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 2:25 pm
Posts: 236
kenyancowgirl wrote:
....unless, like us and a huge swathe of families, you have a child/children who are relaxed and confident - both mine had never sat a mock test with any other children, let alone 30, 300 or 3000!!! Some children may be nervous, especially if they feel their parents are very invested in the process, others won’t be.

I think it's safe to say most parents on this forum are invested in their children's education (to say otherwise would be misleading). My son is a confident boy in his academic abilities and sports. However, he tends to become nervous in unfamiliar situations (not because I make him feel that way, but because young and old become nervous of the unknown). I believe mocks are useful to give you that feedback on where you are ranked against your cohort and if the prep work you're doing at home is effective or not.

This is all so new to most children and the time element is there too. A relaxed child that won't have the unknown to worry about is more confident overall.

Your children sound very mature and the other 'huge swathe' of families you know. Well done to them for never needing a mock!!!

 Post subject: Re: Mock Exams
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 6:36 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 5752
They just aren't a thing in our area - in the way they are in others - and genuinely in 2 school years, know one person that put their son in for one (in a group with 30 kids). Possibly my children were relaxed at the 11+ test because it wasn't seen as "a big thing" - just something to do for a couple of hours before we went for lunch?

My point is this, on here, many parents (of which this forum actually only represents a small minority of those who sit the 11+ every year), often say that mocks are imperative for all the reasons you have listed - I am saying that actually, not necessarily - and for some children I can imagine that mocks may increase the pressure and cause them to do less well in the real thing - we hear every year on here of people whose sons and daughters performed "really well" in the mocks (...in a relatively small cohort sample size) but didn't "pass" the real thing - and the parents are devastated. Mocks could give a false sense of security about results because of the sample size - but they could also increase the nerves of a child - which is the opposite intention of many parents who put their children in for mocks.

Where you are ranked in the cohort on the day of a mock only tells you where you are ranked amongst those very selective few - more selective than the cohort who then goes on to take the actual thing - and inevitably mocks are run by groups who have a vested interest in keeping clients engaged (tutor companies etc). They may have some value in assisting child understand how a test process works - ie walking in with minimum stationery, listening to instructions (an absolute key one!), and working within a time frame, but I do want to allay the fears of parents who may not be able to afford mock exams, that they are not essential at all - and it is certainly not necessary to do a few! In the same way I would always allay the fears of parents who felt that without a tutor they have no chance (untrue) and that if their child does not succeed in the 11+ they are doomed for life (also not true).

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