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 Post subject: adviice for next year ..
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:01 pm 
Lovely reading all the posts from those whose children got into their chosen school this year. My daughter is planning to take the 11plus in plymouth next year . I feel daunted by all the rumours and bits of information I hear about how tough and secretive it all is.
Anyone offer any advice on how long the exams are and what content etc?
Thank you. Thought it would all be fresh in your minds now.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:11 pm 
Hi Span,
My daughter took Plymouth 11+ this year. It consisted of NFER Multiple Choice Maths (50 questions), Verbal Reasoning (80 questions) and an English essay to be used in case of a tie breaker. These were taken over two Saturdays in January. (VR/English 2 hours),(Maths 1 hour).
There is a mock 11+ that can be taken at DHSB in September which cost £30 and is applied for through the school PTA and is very well organised. You need to look into this about July time as it gets oversubscribed very quickly. It helped my daughter's confidence to have a 'run through' in test conditions, she only just passed the 'mock' but with her hard work and the tutor's faith she did very well in passing the real thing and will be going to DHSG in September.
I chose to have a tutor as I found it too stressful trying to do it myself as we used to end up throwing the towel in! The tutor started very slowly, every other week from April until August then weekly for 1 hour up until Christmas. My daughter peaked at just the right time as she had just about had enough of it all come December (the test was in January this year). When she first started out I wanted her to have more lessons as I naively thought the more she did the better she would become but my tutor advised against it and she was so right. Less is more sometimes!
Obviously what we did suited US and doesn't necessarily suit other people. I understand what you mean about the secrecy though as most people keep it to themselves for whatever reason it's a bit like the freemasons you can only tell 11+ parents by the grey hair and furtive fumbling in Waterstones buying as much NFER stuff as you can (although you only need the two packs!).
My daughter's teachers are vehemently against 'selective education' (unless it's their own children but that's another story!) so there was absolutely no support from her school, in fact, I could feel the daggers in my back everytime I went near the place! So in times of am I doing the right thing? this forum was fantastic although the Devon site is pretty quiet. I wish you and your daughter all the best. :wink: [/b]

 Post subject: Advice for next year
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 2:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:49 am
Posts: 5
Location: Plymouth
I would really suggest that your daughter tries the mock exam at DHSB. My son took the 11+ this year and he found the mock very reassuring as he was worried how he would cope in exam conditions. If your daughter takes her 11+ at PHS they tend to put them in smaller groups than the boys (Who were in huge hall all together). My daughter (11+ two years ago) found this much less duanting. I had a tutor for my daughter as she was more resistant to working with me, but I tutored my son myself. I would recommend the cd tests offered on this site. They are great for keeping up the enthusiasm as it's much more 'fun' doing the tests on the computer :) (apparently). I used the NFER packs that are available from bookshops and some of the Bond books as they seem a lot harder and are good for extending your small one when they become over confident :)
Be prepared for no help whatsoever from Plymouth Education Department
or support from your primary school unless you are very lucky.
This forum is an excellent source of support and info although you may have to look on other county forums as well as this one is very quiet. :)

 Post subject: next year
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:24 pm 
Thank you Lowen and guest for your replies - i have read and re-read them and learnt more fromyou than with all contact with plymouth lea! We are on the road with practice and thought we were doing ok until i saw a Bond 11plus paper which looks much harder than the work we have been doing with the Bond fifth series books.(maths) Thanks for the mock test advice too.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:06 am
Posts: 36
Location: Plymouth
Just thought I'd add in my two-penneth worth! Yes it can seem very daunting when reading some of the posts on this forum - I was really unaware of the immense competition for places until I came onto the site and it did panic me rather alot. All I would say is that its good to be aware of the possible pitfalls aswell as the handy tips and hints you will find on the site. With regards to the standard of the Bond papers you have looked at, just remember that that paper is the end result of many weeks/months of practice and learning ahead of you and your child. If there's one thing I took on board from my daughter's tutor its that you have to build up to the exam gradually. If you put too much pressure on them in the early stages they are likely to burn out and been totally turned off the whole thing. I was sometimes alarmed at the lower scores she was achieving on her weekly homework but in hindsight I can see that her tutor was building up gradually until she was at her optimum peak performance for the actual exam. She wasn't burned out, she wasn't fed up with all the practise (well not much!) and all the info she had learned was still fresh as she hadn't had time to forget it all!

She did pass this year with a good score (better than we had hoped) and as I have 2 more daughters shall probably be going through the whole thing again in a few years time. I shall definately take the same approach as her tutor did this year.

Good luck and hope this helps a bit!

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