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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:39 am
Posts: 90
Sounds similar to my experience. My 3 DCs all took mocks leading up to the actual exam, and gradually did better in each one as they got used to the set up, listening to the CD giving instructions etc. We found mocks invaluable, and don't be discouraged by the first mock's results. You still have plenty of time, and in our experience, timing was the biggest issue to work on. We found the 10 min CGP books really helpful with this aspect of the process. Especially over the summer holidays when you really need to keep practice up, and that was our hardest time!

One thing we impressed on all of ours, was to never leave any spaces on the answer sheet - but if you haven't answered the last (say 5) questions, pick a letter and put that same letter for all of the blank answers (ie C). Probability wise they are more likely to get an extra point or two if they chose 1 letter, and put it for all questions, rather than random letters each time. If that makes sense! They may pick up one or two marks that might make the difference. But only if they haven't managed to complete all the questions.

All the best :)


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:07 pm
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In the one mock our DD took last year, she got 56% and was 48 of 75 children, so was bottom half. I wasn't too concerned as, like you, I wanted her to have the experience of a practice exam before the real thing. It was also helpful to know which areas she aced and which ones she struggled with.

She qualified for Denmark Road in October, although we didn't get an offer in March. We've happily accepted her second choice school of a local comp :) We chose not to share with Ribston or Stroud due to distance, but she would have been offered places at both of those based on scores here.

It sounds like you and DD have the right attitude, which I think is more important than anything. I do agree that the mocks will probably be harder to induce a 'panic' for more tutoring.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:50 am
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Does the mock centre also 'sell' tutoring?
Maybe I'm cynical but I believe a lot of the large tutoring setups purposely provide difficult mock exams so parents panic buy into their services.


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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+1 Phoenix-Mum - in the same way that tutors hype up parents telling them their child is a) either very bright and will be assured of a place (because they want the parents to recommend them to others before the test results come out...or b) that they really need to work harder as everyone else in the cohort they know is doing better than them, some mock centres are attached to tutors and want to panic parents into needing MORE tutoring....! (Sadly, this seems to be the more usual approach taken by tutors....)

Not all are like this, however, your cohort size was tiny and not statistically relevant in the wider cohort at all - so what if 52 people did better than her on this test? They may be the top 52 candidates in the country and she may be 53rd....it's all relative!

My boys did not do mock exams as I did not see the point unless they were competing against the exact cohort on real test day...which they never are as mock exams are stuffed with self selecting - usually well tutored children, whose parents can afford them. Use them as a nerve guide for your child - explain the results are just to show how she can improve and that she has time to do that but it really was more about the process than the results. This process, you can explain, will help her wherever she ends up as, inevitably, she will be taking exams in large halls with lots of children, and she will now have a head start on her exams nerves and controlling them, wherever she ends up!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:52 pm
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Does anyone know if the mocks scores are standardised by age? DS is one of the older children so standardisation could make quite a big difference to his position in the real exam - according to the 11+ mocks website, the oldest child (1 Sept) could have to get a score 10% higher than the youngest (31 Aug) in order to get the same standardised score so if the mock isn't standardised we will think his position in the cohort is higher than it really is.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:45 pm
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No, the mocks aren't standardised in any way, you just get their scores for each section and overall, and how they did compared to others who took the same test. Please don't get too hung up on mock results though; see my comment further up this thread. If a child is bright enough they will pass the eleven plus. The CEM tests are designed to test that natural ability. Lots of kids comment that the real thing is quite different from what they've seen before. It's really not worth over-prepping and over-worrying about it all. At the end of the day you want them to go to a school where they'll thrive: for some that's a grammar; others do way better at a comprehensive than if they'd scraped into a selective school.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:20 am
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Unfortunately, I have to disagree with all your comments RedRoseDay! My child failed 11+, but was very fortunate to be offered a place at a selective school. Having achieved all level 9/A*'s at GCSE, is now predicted 4xA* at A-level, and has an offer of a place at Cambridge Uni. Not all children who are bright pass the 11+, but it does not mean the are not Grammar School worthy. Finding the school that is right for your children, be that Grammar or Comprehensive, is the key for their happiness and success.
As has been said before, mocks are good for familiarising a child for what will happen on the day. Results for mocks could indicate what area a child needs a little help in. Over-prepping just to get into a Grammar can backfire - I know a number of pupils who sailed through the 11+ but have been asked to leave Grammar Schools as they did not have the natural ability to succeed in every subject.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:41 pm 
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Hi cazien, I think we're actually agreeing on many points! Your child obtained a place at a grammar school so clearly had academic ability despite not passing the 11+ (and yes, there are kids who have a bad day, make silly mistakes or whatever so don't do as well as they should, just as some super bright kids choose to go to a comprehensive school). And as I said, like you I don't believe in over prepping: I went to gs (elsewhere in the country) and saw kids who had passed through lots of prep really struggle. Like you and I both say, children need to be at the school that's right for them. My DS found the mock helpful for two reasons: he realised that he had to work quicker, and he also realised that he shouldn't have a big drink of squash during the break as he had to go out of the test to use the loo! I don't think it's worth worrying too much about the marks in themselves as an indicator of the outcome of the 11+ though. As I said in my other posts on this thread my DS didn't do great in the mock but did well in the real thing, and conversely some I know who did really well in the mocks failed to qualify for any of the grammars. So the process itself is useful rather than the result, as others have said too. Good luck to your DC in their A levels, sounds very exciting!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:45 pm
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Should also have reiterated, the reason that the gs switched to CEM tests was to get round that excessive prep. So I think there did used to be more kids not passing the 11+ not because they weren't capable, but because so many more had been prepped for the test. One kid I was at school with had seen half of the questions on the paper in the work their tutor had set, so knew what the answers were. By changing the format each year and not publishing past papers or much by way of official materials, the CEM tests should better capture natural ability.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:00 pm
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Agree about the CEM. My kids sat in Bucks where they switched from CEM back to GL last year. CEM was definitely a lot less susceptible to tuition.


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