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 Post subject: Speed vs Accuracy?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:26 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:43 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Bucks
Hi - advice please!
DD is in Year 5, sitting in October. 2010. Been given advice for her to concentrate on accuracy at this stage rather than speed but am a little nervous that she is taking too much time. Accuracy is OK at the mo so when should we start looking at timings?!?!? Thanks!

 Post subject: Re: speed vs accuracy
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:39 pm
Posts: 7
In my limited experience of the 11+ I would say yes, accuracy is more important than speed at this point in time.

My DD took the Bucks 11+ in October 2009 and was successful. I kept a record of the papers she did for reference as my DS will be taking the 11+ in 2012.

So here is an account of my approach for any Y5 parent going through the stress of this process right now. I pretty much followed the excellent advice given on this site regarding which papers to use and the order in which to do them.

I started with the IPS papers in December. I photocopied the first few IPS papers and cut them into sections (blocks of a particular type). I gave her a section at a time to complete, untimed and without the MC answer sheet (not possible for some types). I did not give her much guidance as to how to answer them as I thought it was best that she developed her own techniques. The approach at this stage was very casual. Some of the question types did seem to take her longer than I would have liked, whilst others she completed very quickly. She made quite a few careless mistakes at first but soon got the hang of things. The last couple of IPS papers were done in single sittings but were not 'officially' timed. I did keep an eye on the time myself and started to get a feel for which sections were taking the longest.

We moved on to the tutors papers in March and began timing.
March - paper 1 - 7 uncompleted in 50 minutes.
April - paper 2 - 4 uncompleted in 50 minutes.

Before presenting the next papers I 'sat' a number of them myself with a stop watch to hand. I noted down the time at the end of each section. I then got my DD to sit the papers doing the same and compared our times. This allowed me to determine her 'weaknesses' and offer tips on speeding up her techniques. There wasn't much work to be done but I did feel her mental arithmetic and ability to spot number patterns was not as fast as it needed to be, so I concentrated on that.

By June, she was on to Tutors paper 7 and was finishing with at least 5 minutes to spare, sometimes as much as 10. This is not as fast as some reports I have seen on this forum, but she had become deadly accurate with her answers.

We moved on to the Bright Sparks papers in the summer holiday with pretty much the same timings and accuracy. What started out as fun had now become very boring for her and I did notice some careless mistakes creeping in (probably trying to speed up). I did begin to worry that she had peaked too early so we tried the harder Walsh papers and then wound down the preparation. We never got as far as the NFER papers.

TBH, on the occasions where she did finish with 10 minutes to spare, she didn't really know what to do with the extra time. After checking through any questions she had ringed I advised her to start the paper again at question 1 which she took on board.

When she returned to school in September we did no more papers and left it to the council's familiarisation process. In the real tests, she finished test 1 with 5 minutes to spare, and test 2 with more than 10 minutes to spare.

I hope this is of help to you and I wish all Y5 parents the very best for the months ahead.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4662
Yes, definitely go for accuracy.

As you get nearer (say from June/July onwards) you can make her aware that she's up against the clock by doing timed tests.

You will find she naturally speeds up over the course of time anyhow.


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