my son really enjoyed the work - bit bored with slow pace at school and he liked (well, generally, let's not pretend he's a saint!) getting his teeth stuck into it all.
He did do Bond with his tutor (group tutor, will PM if that appeals? a good and nice woman but strict, which is fine by me) - I think it makes them think. They have to work the answer out rather than relying on multiple choice, so it grounds their initial understanding of the question types. Later on, there is a knack to using the answers to help - some can be discounted - but at the beginning don't rule out Bond. Our tutor used it. She also did lots of comprehension work since vocab is key. My boy is a voracious reader - a book a day - and I'm sure it was that which helped him secure a very nice high mark. Times tables needs to be at their finger tips - and I went up to 5 x everything up to 20. Not that I needed to since luckily my DS2 is very quick on his mental maths. His bro, DS1 is pretty poor at maths (although instant on his tables) and hates reading (though a good vocab) so don't go thinking you need to be a genius. Or, er
that your child needs to be a genius (so easy to think of this as self rather than them
) I'm just hoping, too, that these things he finds easy now translate to life in Big School
Best, too, to do different types. I think the rigidity of "only 15 types" is the wrong approach - you never know what's going to be thrown at them in the test (the papers are a closely guarded secret and each year there's the fear that something new might be chucked in). Best to be prepared at confronting all sorts.
Remember that the long questions (Flo sat on the right of the child with a kitten, Gordon hates cats but likes hamsters, where did Susan and her puppy sit... etc) only attract the same points as all the other questions. So Leave Til Last. My child is a bit OCD and wouldn't leave anything til last (maddening) but the advice to a more flexible child is not to get bogged down on either very long ones or ones which don't appeal to them. Again, DS2 hated one or 2 types but would battle through them and we had to rely on his great speed in the "easy" ones, the ones he "liked", to make up time.
Susan D, yes; walsh yes; learning lab, yes. There's also AE but we didn't know about them then.
It's hard. I didn't know about this site first time round and was rather hands off - I thought my boy was clever (top tables throughout at high achieving school) and that would be that. He got into Tommy's easily enough, but not with a huge margin by any means. Then I found this site and used it for my second boy, I don't want to sound boastful, but his score ended up being about 40 points higher (he did score highly) - was it this site or him? Bit of both? He's def happiest immersed in learning so I don't want to imply he wouldn't have got it or that his place is not valid - he worked out all his own systems for attributing number values to letters, for instance, and can do 3 figure multiplication in his head quickly and saw mirror codes long before I did but I felt so much better prepared this time round thanks to all this lot.
Good luck. It's stressful - but keep that side of it to yourself!! And, amazingly, it doesn't go on forever. Phew.