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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:24 pm 
As Orson said: verbal reasoning test paper one is straightforward, 2nd paper is more searching in nature. Does that mean 2nd paper is more difficult in words, vocabulary or certain types of questions? Which practice paper I should use to match the difficulties in 2nd paper? My daughter use nfer, afn , bright sparkles paper for her practice, she has tried 8 papers, she can get 90 to 95% right, she usually made mistakes in vocabulary. She want to try Pates' grammar. Has she got any good chance?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:50 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 22
It is difficult to say whether 90/95 gives you enough chance. Entrance is not based on percentage scores.

Last year the authority were 'rather embarrassed' when a raw score in the second paper of only 62 out of 85, 73%, equated to a VRQ of about 116 at The High School. This was because the paper was very hard. How such a score worked out at a VRQ at other schools depends on the school. At Ribston Hall it was close to a VRQ of 130!

What they do this year is anyone's guess.

My daughter found afn a little easier than nfer, 95% to 88%. It was the vocabulary section she found more tricky.

 Post subject: Paper 2 - harder?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:59 pm 
Paper 2 is made harder in a number of ways:

a) Vocabulary (the KEY to success in VR) will be more challenging, i.e. words used will be more difficult/less commonly 'encountered' by 10/11 year olds, e.g. flaw, rectify, emphasis, gamut, dralon, bigot, patriot.

b) Sequences will have more complicated patterns, e.g. AZ FY JW MT OP ? rather than A C E G I ?

c) Number sequences and other maths style questions will call for a sharper mathematical mind that can call upon a number of mental strategies, e.g. 5 5 10 15 25 40 65 105 ?

d) Codes will have more challenging patterns to work through which require advanced deduction skills and an ability to concentrate on the question without losing focus, e.g. YVVI = BEER so NROP = ?

e) Individual problems (disproportionately worth just one mark) require time consuming methods of deduction e.g. tables, charts or diagrams.

The test has to be able to sort the average from the able.

Hope this helps.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2669
Dear Orson

You have just described the Bucks NFER test!

a) I will always maintain that Vocab is the key to success in the Bucks exam...

b) All our letter sequences contain pairs of letters, sometimes alternating in pattern.

c) Yes a Fibonacci style sequence, add the last two numbers to get the next.

d) Yes, the mirror image codes, actually easier, but the child needs to quickly spot them, sometimes its the mirror image plus 1 followed by mirror image subtract 1

e) My children are under strict instructions to leave these out until all other questions have been completed. [or else!]


 Post subject: Help, Orson
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:28 pm 
Dear Orson,
Thank you for your valuable information.
I believe they will try to choose the best candidates by the paper 2nd . Could you please recommend which test papers my daughter should try to match the difficulty of paper 2nd? Welsh or Bright Sparkles? She has done several test papers, such as Nfer, AFN, she got a good result, I even started having good dream. But sometimes I still worry her vocabulary and worry these test papers can not reflect the real difficulty in the real test.
Looking forward to your early reply.

 Post subject: Help, Orson
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:42 pm 

Sorry not to have replied sooner. I'm up too eyes in preparing all my pupils for a test they've got coming up soon!

Such a difficult question to answer!
It's impossible to predict what NFER Nelson are going to put in this year's tests. I've a feeling it won't be as hard as last year's test, though. It was SO tricky that too few children reached the required standardised scores and a few schools ended up with egg on their faces.

Having said that, my personal view is that you can't go too far wrong if you get your daughter to work through Bright Sparks tests 1-8 (although they aren't overly original and don't introduce enough new vocabulary) and Walsh. Whether they are as challenging as the real test (paper 2) is anyone's guess. It's not worth worrying too much about it. Remember - if your daughter is able and finds it difficult, so will all the other girls. It's all relative.

There isn't a great deal you can do about a child's vocabulary in 4 weeks. Either she's read a lot during her childhood and developed a good vocabulary as a consequence - or she hasn't. Get your daughter to work through a few papers between now and the test and then cross your fingers. Be supportive and relax! 8) It's important not to get too stressed and neurotic. It may affect your daughter and she could underperform.

If it's meant to be, she'll be fine. Good luck.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:55 am 
Try not to panic about the test. My son did the very hard test last year and got place at Pates in the first round of offers. He came out saying it was hard and he guessed several questions and only just finished in time, madly guessing last few questions. Obviously not ideal but he did get a place! He wasn't tutored but we practised the Nfer Nelson tests (timing them) and practised writing fast and things like that. Also used some old verbal reasoning books from when my other children did the tests. I didnt know about this site and had no idea about 2nd test being harder or anything like that, other son did test few years ago and got place and I knew even less. I wouldn't say either sons are absolute genius level either or abnormally gifted and talented. They did get all level 5s at end of year 6. By the way, is enjoying Pates very much and isn't overwhelmed or anything by homework etc. Also didnt get final score from Pates because got a place but did get differing scores from Thomas Riches and The Crypt! All depends where you took the test, personally would rather not know what score he got...he's in and thats all that matters.

 Post subject: Gloucestershire scores
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:09 pm 
.....anyone know what the 'qualification' score was for pates? or Tommy R? ....all I know is 220 'standardised' score didn't make the cut for the to 160 pates places

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:12 pm 
I don't know about Tommies but Crypt is quoting a "theshold" score of 107.5. This can't be the same "standardised" score for Pates which is set at 240 surely?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:36 pm 
........it must be twice that score of 107...... that must be per paper.

Also it is not possible to compare 'standardised' results from one school with the benchmark entry level of another - the SAME raw test results are interpreted - and scored - differently by each grammar. Apparently there is some magic fairy dust involved.......

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