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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:22 pm 
I have purchased the four NFER Nelson practice maths papers as they are suggested on the Kent LEA website, and because NFER sets the Kent test.

I am helping a friend's child with his 11+ maths. I am puzzled as his tutor says they are too difficult and contain topics that he will not need in the real 11+. But she will not say which topics. She says that just practising the Bond assessment papers age 9-10 should be enough.

1. What do you think of the above advice?

She says that she gets to see the real 11+ papers from time to time so I had hoped she would be a bit more specific.

2. Does anyone know which topics are covered in the real Kent 11+ maths papers? I know there is a list of 11+ maths topics on this website but I don't know if all the topics are relevant to Kent.

The tutor also says that he should do no more than 15 minutes work per day, take a full week off at half-term, do no work in the first week of the Christmas holiday, and then do a paper a day (not clear what paper) in the second week of the Christmas holiday, and the first week of the Spring Term (the exams are on the 8th January 2006 in Kent).

I struggle to see that this is sound advice but hesitate to contradict it.

3.What do you think? How does it compare with the sort of time input you thiink is necessary for 11+ preparation?

He got 115 in some kind of school maths test at the end of Year 5 which was adjusted for age, and was I think some kind of NFER test to predict 11+ ability. This was after a term of tutoring.

In the Bond age 9-10 assessment papers he gets between 74% and 100% - an erratic performance! I only know this by breaking the 15 minute rule and allowing him the 40 minutes under test conditions to do the bond papers.

4. Anyone any idea what this might all indicate for his final mark? In Kent there are grammar schools which require very high entry grades and others which "just" require one to be in the top 25% of the population ( approx 120 in each of the three tests given here).

With thanks.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:30 am 

Can't help replying that the tutor sounds like a nut! Things can't be THAT much easier in Kent than here.
My advice, 10-15 mins every day (sometimes life doesn't permit this, I know) and then more at weekends. Has to have a go at the 45/50 minute tests some time!

Knowing how your kid is doing in class compared with the others is the best predictor I know. Otherwise aim for around 80% in the NFERs, I think.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:53 pm 
If the child is going to a tutor, then you need to count in his time there that is probably one hour.

Then count in preparation provided by his primary school, if any.

After this fifteen minutes per day focussing on areas that the child finds difficult would seem okay.

Approximately ten weeks before the test it would be advised that he completes a test that is as close to the real thing. It is at this point that time should be considered a factor, not before. This is because time naturally improves as he becomes more familiar with the type of questions he is being exposed to.

After this and in the run up to the test he should be completing one test paper per week, with feedback from his tutor identifying specific areas in the test in which he is still struggling.

It is important that each question that is answered incorrectly is completed with the assistance of the tutor or parent so that their is 100% accuracy. Some tutors do not give this feedback.

It should be explained to the child that 80% accuracy is the target mark, therefore there is no problem if he makes just a few mistakes.

I would consider that the social life of a child is an important part of their lives and would not consider putting it on hold just for 11+ preparation. A child needs time to relax, unwind and enjoy life. So work around his social life, family life, holidays, television, playstation and don't make his life a misery by forcing him to work when he would rather not.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:29 am 
I agree with the second guest - don't over do the practice as it doesn't do to over work children it just makes them stressed. Try to be low key about it and stress that the child just needs to do their best.

My child didn't do a full paper until a week before she sat the test - she didn't do any practice tests at any schools or centres except the one she wanted to go to. We were very laid back about the whole thing and she looked forward to going to do the test. We rewarded her hardwork with a box of chocs, so she was excited about that.

She got in.

 Post subject: Kent 11+
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:41 pm 
I've been given the same advice by my daughter's tutor - that the Bond 9-10 papers are sufficient and that some of the Nfer Nelson questions are too difficult (usually the ones from 40 onwards on the practice papers). How do we find out? Can anyone be more specific about this, please? Grateful for any answers.

 Post subject: kent 11+ maths
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:12 pm 
Yes the tutor I mentioned in my original post to this forum said that one should "cross out the last few questions" on the NFER Nelson maths practice papers. But she could not say which topics to ignore. The whole thing is rather puzzling as when I worked through the NFER Nelson maths practice papers the more difficult questions and topics were not all concentrated in the last 10, they were dotted around, and there were some straightforward questions in the last 10.

I wish some other people would reply as I don't know whether the tutor is just misleading, or there is some truth in it.

Can you ask your tutor to be more specific about the types of question in the practice papers versus the real thing? I can't speak to this one directly as it is my friend's son's tutor and it is a little awkward.

Wonder if it is the same tutor?!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:12 am 
My tutor was slightly more specific about the type of questions - complicated percentage pie charts, complicated algebra, conversion of inches/feet to metric and generally any question that seemed particularly difficult. I do know that she was definitely wrong about the algebra as this site mentions that that was what caught a lot of children out last year in the Kent area.

After speaking to my daughter's school (who said that ALL Nfer Nelson questions should be learnt) I did raise the question again with the tutor and her reply was that okay she would include those questions in her lesson. Will this be another great mystery of the 11+ (to join perhaps the standardised scores mystery?). We will probably never know the answer. To be on the safe side I am ignoring the tutor's advice on this particular issue - revising Bond 10-11 (as 9-10 really did seem a little too easy) and practising ALL Nfer questions.

Good luck.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:03 pm 
I had an opportuinity to sit with my friend's kid to prepare him for the 11 plus exam in maths. To be on the safe side we went through Algebra questions. It was amazing how he responded to the session. To my surprise he showed much interest and wanted to discuss more about it. He was showing no stop and want to try problems which I considered too much for that age. This proves Algebra is not the hardest subject for the 10 year olds and it is not a bad idea to learn anything if they show interest and can understand.
PS: He was not sitting for Kent exams.

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