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 Post subject: Difficulty of mock exam
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am 
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My DD took a mock exam on Saturday morning and came out afterwards saying that it was "very difficult". I hoped that she would have done better than expected but when I received her results she'd ranked 53rd out of 60 children :-(

On looking at the question papers and the results of the other children (obviously all anonymous), her statement that it was "very difficult" seems pretty spot on - for example, on one maths section where she only scored one out of twelve (she missed the last three questions, showing an issue with timing), only eleven out of the sixty children scored 50% or above; 33 children only scored 0, 1, 2 or 3 out of twelve!

My DD is generally quite bright, and certainly scores higher in tests that her tutor sets, easily 60%+. The average score for this mock was around 55% Does anyone else have experience of mocks, and know if mock exams are usually set at the level of a real 11+ exam, or typically more difficult?

Thanks :-)


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 12:23 pm 
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Choccy74 wrote:
My DD took a mock exam on Saturday morning and came out afterwards saying that it was "very difficult". I hoped that she would have done better than expected but when I received her results she'd ranked 53rd out of 60 children :-(

On looking at the question papers and the results of the other children (obviously all anonymous), her statement that it was "very difficult" seems pretty spot on - for example, on one maths section where she only scored one out of twelve (she missed the last three questions, showing an issue with timing), only eleven out of the sixty children scored 50% or above; 33 children only scored 0, 1, 2 or 3 out of twelve!

My DD is generally quite bright, and certainly scores higher in tests that her tutor sets, easily 60%+. The average score for this mock was around 55% Does anyone else have experience of mocks, and know if mock exams are usually set at the level of a real 11+ exam, or typically more difficult?

Thanks :-)


One thing I (and probably many others :!: ) would advise is to use mocks as a trial-run only, an experience of what will actually happen on the day. The cohort in your exam is miniscule compared to the actual test.
My DD had a very low rank in hers (29/34 and scored 50% with the highest scoring 85%) - she went on to pass the 11+ easily :D .
Use the test to determine where your DD needs help or is lacking in confidence.
Mocks are usually run by companies who tutor for the 11+ - a low result may induce and panic you into booking tutor sessions with them.
Keep working with her to build her confidence and don't let her results in the mock influence you/her.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 12:27 pm 
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Location: Reading
Also remember that mocks will not necessarily represent the cohort that will take the real thing.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 1:24 pm 
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Hi there - 'difficulty' is irrelevant, as it's the same for all those taking part. Don't worry, my son was ranked in the bottom third of the two Mocks he did, and he's got a place at Crypt.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 2:21 pm 
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My advice to parents of this year is take the mock result with a pinch of salt.

DS was also another one who scored really low (depressing) in the mocks, but at the end cleared all the exams quite easily.
His own words.. "The mocks were way too difficult than the actual exam".
Though he did mention that the he felt quite confident in the actual exams, because he knew what to expect (not questions, but procedures)

Like others, I would suggest using the mock as a trial run.
Also it gives a reality check for the kids about the actual exam.

Try to work on the timings, and if you are lucky to get the question paper back, focus on areas that needs revision.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Location: Herts
The mock has done its job.

It has shown you things that you did not know, that you needed to know:

1. That the work your tutor has been giving you is too easy and is giving you false confidence. You needed to know that so you can ask your tutor for more challenging material.

2. That you need to put more focus on timing. You needed to know ,that as running out of time when she could have actually done the missing questions, shows lack of proper preparation.

3. That there were 52 students out of the 60 who scored higher than her and will probably do so in the exam unless you change your preparation. That was really worth knowing.

Another poster said recently that none of the mocks they did told them anything they did not already know.

So that was a waste of time for them but you learned three very important things that you can build on so it sounds like your mock really was worthwhile. DG


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 6:19 pm 
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I think it depends what provider you go to. We've found some much harder than others. Although I think 50% or above is generally considered quite good, both for mocks and for actual test I believe.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 6:37 pm 
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Hi

My DD took 2 mocks with her tutor in late July / early August. Her tutor told us that she had deliberately set a harder set of papers & a more normal one (though we did a timed papers every couple of weeks from May / June too)

We learnt:

How to cope with unfamiliar surroundings, lots of other people, doing 2 papers back to back, to fill in the answer sheet properly, to move on if she didn't know. Her results told us about her timing & gaps in her knowledge to brush up on.

Doing a mock at this time is still quite early - there is still 3/ 4 months left. You will have a different cohort doing a mock now v later on in late July / August. Bear in mind there will be some who do little / no prep as well ...

I don't think I'd worry too much about the result at this stage & I might not fully share with my DC in order not to dent their confidence / enthusiasm for study!

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:40 pm 
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Hi, like others have said don't worry about the mock result. Our son sat a mock and scored less than 50 percent. His big problem was running out of time. When it came to the real thing however he did well, qualifying for Tommies, Marling and Crypt. Conversely we know several children who did well in their mocks - some who scored very highly - but didn't do so well in the real thing. We didn't have a tutor; we just used some CGP books. The 10 minute tests are really useful for practising timing. DS said that the real thing was quite different from the mock and the practice materials. Remember CEM deliberately change their tests each year to try to make them less tutorable, so the mock tests won't necessarily resemble the real thing.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:01 pm 
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Thank you for all the replies :-)

My main reason for booking in this mock (which I keep reminding myself of) was to give my DD the experience of doing an exam in unfamiliar surroundings, with kids she didn't know, and in full exam conditions. In that respect she did amazingly because she's not the most confident person and although she was a bit nervous, she actually handled the whole thing really well.

She was disappointed when I talked to her about her results but overall it had a good effect and a few hours afterwards she declared "I want to go to xxxxx school!", and has been happily picking up her books, she even took them to Costa when we went for a treat after school today!

Daogroupie wrote:
1. That the work your tutor has been giving you is too easy and is giving you false confidence. DG


Thanks for your reply, but I don't believe that the work my DD does with her tutor is "too easy"; in comparison with the 10-11 books she's working through at home, along with the 10-minute tests, she's scoring lower with the tutor. He's already started focusing on timed sessions, but other than the 10-minute tests at home I'm currently placing more importance on accuracy...there's no point in her being able to answer questions quickly but incorrectly :wink:

Cazien - you make a good point about people panicking and booking more tuition, this mock WAS arranged by a 11+ tuition centre!

It's reassuring to hear that others have experienced low rankings in mocks and found them more difficult or different to the actual exam. Thank you again for your replies, it's really useful to hear other people's experiences :-)


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