Jim's Dad wrote:
So...DS is taking his 11 plus exams on 21 September and looking to get to either Southend High or Westcliff High. He is in catchment and he has been doing past papers at a reasonable level although we've just about run out of them and these familiarisation tests now. For info so that maybe someone can answer the second question below, he's done English & Maths CSSE papers for 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 plus a VR paper and a further 4 VR papers by Letts and a further 4 each English & Maths GL assessment pack 1 multi-choice papers.
I'm feeling a bit undecided as to whether I've let him down or if we should have had more help from the school because I was blissfully unaware of a mock exam date in June and another one just this last Saturday. Were they full mocks of English, Maths and VR or just familiarisation ?
Two things really for the next 11 days:
a) Are there any more mock exam opportunities and if so are they worth doing ?
b) What other test papers can we get - for example how do you get hold of 2009, 2010, 2011 papers and proper VR papers ?
Any help gratefully received - and thoughts on the lack of help by the school.
DS didn't have a tutor because I thought he was alright (which I think he is) and resented the school suggesting it when it's surely their job !
Hi Jim's dad. Sorry to hear you are disgruntled. In answer to your questions I would say:
a) I wouldn't do any organised mocks now, exams are too close. Has your dc done any papers back to back, i.e. English paper, followed straight away by the maths paper followed by VR paper? This is the main point of the mocks aside from getting your child used to being in a room with lots of strangers. Is he likely to panic when he sees lots of people on the day? I see the main purpose of the mocks as getting them used to the timings and letting them see how really long a time the whole set of papers takes.
b) The english and maths papers are available on the csse site each year for the last few years to buy and the ones that are now available to download for free. Unfortunately if you haven't already got them, the ones in the middle years rely on you knowing someone who has them! The English changed in the last few years so really I would only work with the last few years anyway.
For VR, you cannot buy the actual papers but the closest I understand are the Susan Daughtry Bright Sparks series (it has to be the Bright Sparks pack). There are two packs available on a favourite online book seller that sells everything or via this site. I would use them if you haven't already.
Best of luck to you ds and I am sure you haven't let him down. He is probably less stressed out than my poor dd