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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:27 pm 
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Writing this because we found this website extremely helpful when preparing our son for the exams - and wanted to pay it forward. Information about independent schools was relatively less than for the grammar schools we thought.
St. Paul's has a preliminary computerised test with maths, verbal reasoning, non verbal reasoning and English comprehension. The maths was relatively easier than the grammar school exam he sat for according to our son, the VR and the NVR harder than the Bond books. Comprehension passage was from a boook by one of the Bronte sisters he says and from his description it seems to be from the first chapter of Wuthering Heights. (and no- he had not read the Bronte sisters books, though he's a voracious reader, I thought the Brontes can wait till early teens at least - obviously I was wrong :-) )
Once you passed this - they sent the results within 10 days or so, there was a second examination end of January with 150-200 or so boys. Mathematics - three sections of 10 questions each - first section quite basic questions - second one slightly harder with multiple sub-questions but still arithmetic based. The third section was harder - more maths olympiad type questions - one question he mentioned was "Marie-Claude's library has between 500-550 books. A ninth of them are novels, 20% are poetry and the rest non-fiction. How many books does Marie-Claude have?" 30-seconds question if you had encountered this type of question before - but we didn't see this type of question in any of the Bond books etc. English test included comprehension and composition. Comprehension passage was from 'Three men in a boat (to say nothing of a dog)' by Jerome K Jerome. Questions required detailed answers. Composition topic was: "You are a small animal (insect, rodent etc) in a kitchen. Suddenly, the lights are switched on and someone comes in. What happens next?" So more of a creative writing bent - this was the case in both top independent school exams he sat for.
When you pass the second exam - it's the time for interviews - one ten-minute one with the head mistress of the junior school and one longer interview with a form master. (The university interview process and the process to get an investment banking job were less complicated than this eleven plus admission process!!!) The head mistress had a general interview plus puzzles – he was given a number of puzzles, asked to solve them and explain the process of arriving at the answer. The form master’s interview was mostly academic – a comprehension passage with questions on vocabulary and grammar (alliterations – figure of speech etc in his case). He was then given a sheet of mathematics questions – some he had to answer, others already had answers and he had to prove why the answers were right or wrong. He was also asked more general questions, hobbies - what's the book you are currently reading etc. He mentioned a book about a rather obscure twentieth century figure - fortunately he had just been reading it because he was asked many in-depth questions about it - in the lines of 'Give me examples of situations when the hero displayed this specific characteristic.'
The parents also have an interview with the head-teacher. It’s termed as an opportunity for the parents to ask questions but FWIW, we felt it was more of an opportunity for the school to assess the family.
Here’s hoping this will help someone else in the process of independent school examinations. Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:50 pm 
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What a helpful post thank you. Wow your DS must have an incredible memory to have told you all that, my DC never wanted/were able to provide such detail about the tests, although to be fair I never dared ask!

Well done to your DS :) .

WRT the Brontes, I imagine some (girls?) will have read these already (a shame IMO as they are much better appreciated when one is more mature). It is preferable for any school to use a text with which DC are unfamiliar, as it helps eliminate bias. One way of doing this is to use texts that are generally considered in advance of the age group, so I imagine that is why they did this. Sadly I fear it might lead to a rush of tutors/parents forcing wonderful literature down primary kids throats as if reading is a task not a pleasure, but I guess in some quarters it was ever thus :roll: .

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:12 pm 
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[quote="mad?"] Wow your DS must have an incredible memory to have told you all that[quote]
Painstakingly pried out - one piece of info at a time - was harder than pulling teeth!! :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:39 pm 
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OP, was there a bonus question in the math paper this year?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:02 pm 
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ElgarPlayer wrote:
OP, was there a bonus question in the math paper this year?


No specific bonus question but the last 3 questions were pretty hard apparently. One of the questions was 1,2,4,7,11,16,21 - what is the 2018th term of this sequence.

But my thinking is the last few questions were intended for scholarship winners, bursary awards, and didn't matter much for regular admissions.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:26 pm 
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ellefdo wrote:
One of the questions was 1,2,4,7,11,16,21 - what is the 2018th term of this sequence.
Gulp. For a ten year old? I feel very stupid...respect to the kids that can do that in 15 seconds, or even at all. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:36 pm 
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Amber wrote:
ellefdo wrote:
One of the questions was 1,2,4,7,11,16,21 - what is the 2018th term of this sequence.
Gulp. For a ten year old? I feel very stupid...respect to the kids that can do that in 15 seconds, or even at all. :shock:


I was patting myself on the back for getting the library question right, and I'm 45 with a Cambridge science degree.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:37 am 
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:!:


Last edited by ElgarPlayer on Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:38 am 
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Rhinoo wrote:
Amber wrote:
ellefdo wrote:
One of the questions was 1,2,4,7,11,16,21 - what is the 2018th term of this sequence.
Gulp. For a ten year old? I feel very stupid...respect to the kids that can do that in 15 seconds, or even at all. :shock:
There a number n. n ends in a 9. When the 9 is moved to the front of the number, the new number is exactly 9 times greater than n. What is the value of n?


So did I - my son said he kept the question in his mind to ask his math teacher at school (he knew I wouldn't know the answer!) because he couldn't do it. He had figured out the relationship but to find the 2018th term means that there must be an equation to do it. His math teacher had said that it is not a question he ever thought to see in a question paper for 10 year olds.

I saw the number ending in 9 question in a past paper of one of the independent schools - may be Habs or Perse. It took me ages to do it and I told my son to not worry about these type of questions - because it is just simply too much for a 10 year old - like reading Bronte too early - what are they going to be doing for the next five years if they learn GCSE level maths at year 5. Already he is complaining of year 6 being boring - not learning anything new since it was all covered at the end of year 5 - early year 6.

The sad thing is that one needs to work to this level not only if you would like the kudos of a scholarship - but if you need a bursary (St.Paul's does not give scholarships of monetary worth).


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Isn't St Paul's supposed to be "needs blind" in its application process; such that provided a boy has met their selection criteria for admission they will offer a bursary if needed? A boy would not necessarily need to be of scholarship standard to be offered a bursary place.

OP I hope you don't mind me asking - was your son offered a place at St Paul's after, and if so will you be accepting the offer? I noticed from the North London/Herts board that you also had a QE offer, will you be taking this instead?


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