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 Post subject: Comparing test papers
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:41 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:32 pm
Posts: 410
Hello everyone

ON another thread some of us have been discussing the level of difficulty on the test papers around.

I thought it would be interesting to hear how your children cope and what they think.

I am using The Tutors at the moment and will then move on to Bright Sparks and then NFER. Having completed the first two Tutors 80 question papers my dd found the first easier so finished quicker, this she said was mainly because the codes in the second paper were more tricky. Given she scored one mark more on the second paper but went over by 4 minutes I can see this to be accurate.

I believe as Mike has said it is a good idea to be able to handle various papers at different levels. However would it be better to have them all at the harder level so that there is no false illusion about how easy the real thing may be?

Also although making the first paper easier is good for the childs confidence does it make it harder for them to take when they find the second harder.

On the other hand if the child feels good having done well on an easier test does that make them more keen to do the second.

By all accopunts the NFER papers are more difficult(as nearer to the real thing) so should we give them to our children earlier in our tuition rather then wait to near the real thing as then if they do struggle will it be too late to help

I am not sure of what is best so thought I would put it out there.

Any thoughts welcome.

Mel x

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 2135
Hi Mel,

Glad to hear work is progressing well in your part of the world! We are still working through the IPS half-hour tests but with lots of consolidation and practice in between, using Tutors software and short practice papers. Accuracy very good but timing still a problem!

By "Tutors papers" do you mean these downloadable e-papers found here:

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/epapers/index.php ?

I think it would be good for my DD to try some 50-minute tests soon. We've got the NFER ones but I'm a bit worried about the missing HIKNOS question types (so is she - although there are some she won't miss, there are one or two "favourites" in there! :) ) I think the NFER tests have the advantage of providing the look and feel of the real thing, whilst the Tutors tests replicate the actual number and type of questions more closely. I haven't even thought about Bright Sparks yet!

Good luck for continued progress!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
I pm'd Patricia about this topic just before my son sat the 12+ - we obviously used a selection of practice exam papers, but not to the same intensity as for the 11+ because we sort of knew his strong and weak points.

Other than the Walsh books which he found very tough (and others have commented on) he flew through all the other papers including the NFER tests and additional HIKNOS questions from various sources but, struggled on Susan Daughtrey, Bright Sparks.

I know her questions aren't set out in the same format as the Bucks 11+ so that might have had something to do with it but for my daughter, who takes the test in October, I am definitely keeping Daughtrey until the end (along with the 4 NFER tests).

Interesting topic -

Ambridge x

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 7:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2668
Dear All

I believe that the shop bought NFER papers are in fact a tad easier than the familiarisation papers issued by Bucks and of course the 'real' thing.' [mainly the vocab]

Bright Sparks format and content is very similar to the actual tests/Bucks familiarisation. I tend to use Bright Sparks towards the very end just before NFER.

I like NFER at the end so the children practice the same format. Although NFER are slightly easier, it really doesn't matter by this stage as I/you have just about covered every eventuality.

Do not forget HIKNOS , whilst completing those NFER tests though!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:57 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi Mel X

It is important that coverage of all 21 question types occurs across two papers.

It is not unusual for a child to score higher in paper 1 than paper 2 and vice versa depending on the skills of the child. However, this does not mean that one paper is easier or harder than another.

As with many tests that contain a range of difficulty levels it is important to cover all levels, not just the most difficult ones. This is because of time management issues when a child can work quickly and accurately through the easier levels given them more time to work on the more difficult question types and levels.

As you know I keep going on about question variance within a question type. In our opinion ability to complete the full range of question variances is a key to success.



Mike Edwards is a co-author of The Tutors product range.

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