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 Post subject: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:49 pm
Posts: 356
It’s very quiet on here. I remember last year I was practically glued to this site and speaking to people on here was the only thing that kept me sane(ish) :)


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
Posts: 1763
A lot of the regulars are 11+ veterans with children into their teens and adulthood, so we are often found in the GCSE, 6th form and University parts of the site at this time of year. No doubt we'll see you there in a few years. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:46 pm
Posts: 14
I'll bite!

Our eldest DD is taking the test in a few weeks. After a brief spell where we wondered about moving to south Bucks to reduce one commute to work we've decided we prefer the Aylesbury schools, you don't see that said much on here. Our upper is good too.

DD is motivated but we have struggled especially with the appropriate maths level. Presumably as the 11+ is not the same across counties (including super selectives) I guess that the books are not all at the right level for Bucks. Is this correct? We have found CGP maths hard and DD gets very annoyed. The GL assessment material recommended on the top thread is fine so we are hoping that is the right level. We have seen what I think is some algebra questions in the GL books (pack 2), we hope that sort of thing won't be in the test.

The other issue is we don't know what percentage correct we are aiming for. I understand that depends on the cohort that takes the test but presumably it is a big enough number that the level doesn't change substantially from year to year. Is anybody willing to give a target for the GL books?

After reading many threads over the last year I do have high expectations of witty comments from you another dad! I have also learnt a lot so thanks to everybody who makes sure that that facts are out in the open.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
Posts: 1763
qwerty wrote:
I'll bite!

Our eldest DD is taking the test in a few weeks. After a brief spell where we wondered about moving to south Bucks to reduce one commute to work we've decided we prefer the Aylesbury schools, you don't see that said much on here. Our upper is good too.

DD is motivated but we have struggled especially with the appropriate maths level. Presumably as the 11+ is not the same across counties (including super selectives) I guess that the books are not all at the right level for Bucks. Is this correct? We have found CGP maths hard and DD gets very annoyed. The GL assessment material recommended on the top thread is fine so we are hoping that is the right level. We have seen what I think is some algebra questions in the GL books (pack 2), we hope that sort of thing won't be in the test.

The other issue is we don't know what percentage correct we are aiming for. I understand that depends on the cohort that takes the test but presumably it is a big enough number that the level doesn't change substantially from year to year. Is anybody willing to give a target for the GL books?

After reading many threads over the last year I do have high expectations of witty comments from you another dad! I have also learnt a lot so thanks to everybody who makes sure that that facts are out in the open.

I don't think you'll find anyone able to give a qualified view on what a target mark should be. Some will take a guess but that's all it will be. I think all you can do is mark your daughter's tests and help her address any obvious areas such as carelessness or if there's difficulty with a particular type of question that emerges as a trend. Everyone is in the same boat so you're not at a disadvantage not knowing what you should be aiming for. I've advocated the use of a whiteboard in the kitchen before and it can be a useful tool for scribbling a few questions when you go to bed for your daughter to tackle at her leisure the next day, especially if you use it for those types she finds trickiest. It's a low-stress way of getting a bit of 11+ practice in whilst she's making your breakfast (if not, why not? :) )

As for witty comments, my daughter is now 18, an adult, off to university and lurks on here to see what her dad (and others) are saying, so I you will all see a more sensible, mature anotherdad from now on (honestly, dear daughter :mrgreen: ). All I'll say is that with A-levels over, I could have lent you my whiteboard but sadly Gatwick beat you to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 2:05 pm
Posts: 6886
Location: Reading
anotherdad wrote:
A lot of the regulars are 11+ veterans with children into their teens and adulthood, so we are often found in the GCSE, 6th form and University parts of the site at this time of year. No doubt we'll see you there in a few years. :D


Could be time to think about employment and retirement sections soon. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
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Tinkers wrote:
Could be time to think about employment and retirement sections soon. :lol:

I think retirement will probably be an outdated concept for much of this generation of teens. I can't see a state pension existing in 50 years' time and if it does, it won't be anywhere near enough to live on. With housing costs - buying and renting - on a continually rising trajectory, too few will be able to afford to make adequate pension provision, so I fully expect to see many working well into their old age. It's happening for many of my generation already.

I hope I'm wrong but unless there's a complete re-setting of our economic model, I can't see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:46 pm
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I did like your idea of a whiteboard and asking questions during spare moments anotherdad. That has been helpful to check DD knows things like units but I think she now never feels off 11+ duty. She does seem weary, we have done a couple of sessions most days so maybe an hour and a half to two hours altogether. I am thinking of scaling back but there are slight conflicting parental views on this.

Any views on the difficulty levels of the various mock tests provided by Bond, CGP and GL assessment?


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
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qwerty wrote:
I did like your idea of a whiteboard and asking questions during spare moments anotherdad. That has been helpful to check DD knows things like units but I think she now never feels off 11+ duty. She does seem weary, we have done a couple of sessions most days so maybe an hour and a half to two hours altogether. I am thinking of scaling back but there are slight conflicting parental views on this.

Any views on the difficulty levels of the various mock tests provided by Bond, CGP and GL assessment?

I'm in the camp that an hour and a half to two hours a day is too much and I'm not surprised she's weary. There are conflicting views on what's required/suitable/necessary but I think there are two things to consider. One, that you are the best judge of your daughter and by your own admission you are seeing an apparent weariness and two, that parents are inclined to fib about just what they are doing. Some will swear blind they're doing almost no tuition when they're doing lots, as a way of talking up their child's brilliance or to downplay their anxiety about the test, and others like to stress just how much they are doing or paying someone else to do as a badge of their parental excellence - a sort of "look what I'm doing for my child, why aren't you?" approach. Be cautious about heeding other parents' views because they have vested interests. Have the confidence in your own view of what's appropriate - it sounds like you know that it's a little excessive at the moment?

My advice? Scale things back to 15-30 minutes a day, probably split into two short sessions. If you've been doing preparation for several months the groundwork has been done and 90-120 minutes daily for another two weeks is unlikely to make any discernible difference.

I'm afraid I have no informed view on the various mock tests. I didn't use them with my daughter years ago because it was a completely different test format and I have no idea what they're like.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:10 pm
Posts: 33
I'm still lurking from time to time. I was on here quite a bit 2 years ago when DS1 was taking the test (qualified and just completed Yr 7 at BGS). Now it's DS2's turn.

It has been a very different experience second time around. DS1 put himself through a somewhat strict schedule of preparation and practice. The whole thing was hugely important to him for some reason, even though we'd never made it out to be. He's always loved questions and puzzles and is really happy to take a good test so he found it all enjoyable on the whole (his response after sitting the real thing: "It was really fun!").

DS2 is a very different character, a happy-go-lucky sort, and his prep has naturally been a lot more laid back and low key. He really wants to qualify so that he can go to school with his brother, but we're trying to manage his expectations. It could go either way for him on the day, I feel. He gets good results at school (all level 3 at KS1 and exceeding expectations in all areas for the last two years according to his reports) and he works hard there, but he is nowhere near the academic level that DS1 was at two years ago. He some weaknesses as far as the test is concerned (notably spelling and accurate retention of vocab) but I think timing will be his biggest issue. He's not a child that can be rushed and, although we've told him to just put something and move on when it comes to those questions that are just taking too long, he tends to get absorbed in the problem and loses all sense of the passing of time.

I'm not too concerned whichever way it turns out. Sure, it would be convenient for me if they were at the same school (which is in easy walking distance), but I'm quite prepared for that not to be the case. DS1 has had a good first year at BGS, but being a grammar doesn't mean it isn't without its problems, like any school. Our upper is awful (two years ago, only 1 child out of DS1's year of 60 at primary went there) but most people here tend to hop the border into the Maidenhead comprehensive system. There are two comps there that are easy to get to and I would be happy with. So far, children from our road have not had a problem getting places there on 1 March, though the distances are shrinking all the time. That's my biggest worry this year.

Good luck to anyone with a DC taking the test next month.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is everyone?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:46 pm
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Thanks for the advice anotherdad, it is tricky how much to do as one mark can make all the difference. I think I did overstate what we are doing, two hours is the maximum and that is probably only a couple of times a week. Even so, we will scale back somewhat. Good luck to your daughter at university. Do you finally feel your job is done? I've read on here that some think their job is done if their child qualifies in the 11+, I must admit I would have been like that until I read some of the comments on here - probably yours!

Burnhammum - I think there might be less emphasis on vocabulary than on the previous test and it is divided into sections that are done separately, at least that is what I've gathered from the Bucks grammar schools website and the familialisation paper. Hopefully that should help your son.


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