What test papers/publishers do you find the closest to the test or most useful for preparation in Maths for the CSSE exam? So far I have been unable to find papers in the same format as the exam. After covering the theory with DS, I started giving him Schofield & Simms exercise books and now he is going through some papers from independent schools but they are not in the same format as the Essex test (different length, time, difficulty). I have some exam past papers and DS will do these closer to the exam but they would not be enough so I would really appreciate some advice on this. I have looked in the shop section of the website which suggests mainly Bond. Parents whose DCs have done the exam already, what is your experience and advice on this please?
The Louise Staples papers available as downloads on this site, are very close in format.
There's nothing wrong in doing GL, Bond (exam papers as opposed to books), IPS, Alpha, Athey etc as they provide a variety of formats in terms of questions. We did these with no ill-effects whatsoever on DD2's preparation. The different lengths of exams/tests shouldn't really present an issue because it's the timing aspect of exam technique that most candidates will be focussing on perfecting from here-on in, regardless of whether it follows the CSSE format. DD2 adjusted her timings as appropriate ie 1/4, 1/2 way, 3/4 way and then 10 minutes to go. I firmly believe that this approach, ie a variety of question formats and exam duration, really finely-honed her exam technique skills.
Everyone's different but it worked for us. Of course it's good to get them used to the CSSE format but familiarity can very easily breed contempt and for some children who have a tendency to go into meltdown when presented with something unfamiliar in an exam situation, getting them out of their comfort zone during preparation can really help on the day.
There's another site that offers a format similar to CSSE Maths but forum rules mean I can't mention it.