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 Post subject: any tips on speeding up?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:35 am 

My daughter is due to take her VR test this October and I've been helping her with some practise tests for the last few weeks. She can get reasonable marks (85% on average) if she doesn't have a time limit. Now that we've started working to time limits she doesn't get to complete the paper (normally leaves about 10 - 20 questions unattempted) before her time is up (although the ones she has done are again about 85% correct). I think she uses up more time on the 'code' type questions and on the 'grid' type questions.

If anyone has any tips on how she can speed up her work we would really appreciate it.


 Post subject: Verbal Reasoning Help!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:52 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:31 pm
Posts: 1170
Hello there,

When it comes to timed conditions, the best thing to do is 'practice, practice, practice!' But it is appreciated that it's not always the easiest thing to do.

However, as you know where your child is having difficulty, it makes it easier to kill two birds with one stone because now you can test her on the one part she is finding hard over and over again.

We have a range of verbal reasoning tests within our revision papers section which are divided into subjects so your child can practice those over and over. The aim of the game here is to hopefully get the penny to drop and hopefully increase her accuracy within the time given.

If you manage to get through all the papers on the site but still need help, IPS do a 'Starter Series' book (ISBN 0954285360) where all the different types of questions are identified, explained, shown how they should be solved and then you're given a question sheet to work through yourself.

They also do a 'Daily Practice Book' (ISBN 0954285352) which is a series of short tests lasting 5-6 minutes each. These would help by breaking down the timed element into much shorter chunks and so making them so much less daunting and far easier to build up confidence with. Both Books are available from our website.

Hope that helped!

 Post subject: Is this worth pursuing?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:50 pm
Posts: 7
My son did a Nfer paper yesterday, no prep or practice, purely out of curiousity. and achieved 73 per cent correct answers within the time limit. He didn't complete the paper, but almost every question he answered was correct. I am now wondering whether to consider preparing him for grammar school entry, but have NO IDEA if this first result is good, bad or indifferent!? Please advise!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:08 am 
Take a look at the questions in collaboration with the answer sheet. There are some questions which only require the child to solve the first part of the answer in order to work out which is right.

The code questions are a prime example. If they work out the first three letters there's usually only one that fits the given answers. I have advised my son to work out the first two letters and refer to the answer sheet, if there's still an option of two or more, to do another letter. These questions do take up a huge amount of time when worked out fully, so it does save precious time. There are a few other questions where this is also possible.

Good luck tomorrow!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:25 am 
Identify the type of questions that take most time and tell the child to leave them until the end of the paper.

If a child is struggling to complete a paper tell them to miss out the last question in each section, unless they feel confident they can complete it quickly. This allows the child to get to the last questions where they may score more points.

Do not attempt 100% accuracy in papers. Identify what the pass mark is and work towards that. However, on evaluating the child's performance always look at all the questions that are wrong and explain how the correct answer was obtained.

We do not put time pressure on children in the early stages of 11+ preparation as we find that time naturally improves as a child becomes more confident and competent.

Compare the paper you are using to the NFER practice papers (if NFER are the assessing organisation in your location). You will find that NFER practice papers do not use IPS type questions H I K N O and S for verbal reasoning.

IPS are good for identifying questions by type and their list of questions of a similar type are good for additional revision of a type of question the child is struggling with.

Help the child to manage his/her time. Generally, after reading the explanation each question on average requires 30 seconds to complete. Ask the child to sit still and do nothing for 30 seconds, they will realise how long that is. When introducing the time element give the child ten minute breakdowns, encouraging them to move on if they are taking too much time on any questions.

 Post subject: speeding up tip
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:20 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Lincolnshire
I just thought I would share this technique on speeding up with you. (Although I am no expert!, but it's working for us)

My son was having difficulty finishing VR papers. So we identified 3 of his strongest question types. We then set 5 questions at a time mixed from these types and timed him. Before hand we 'rev' him up by saying things like: " Right Ben ****** attempts a new personal best, can he do it!" We keep it infomal and make it fun with loads of praise especially if he improves on his time.

The idea is hopefully to ad to his 'Speed Questions' as they have now become known, with other question types.

When he sits a test now he identifies his 'Speed questions' which gives him a boost of confidence and leaves him more time to go back and answer the other areas.

Hope this helps

 Post subject: Speeding up tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:25 pm 
A couple of tips that my children found very useful:-

There is a section in the NFER VR papers that both of my childen difficult and took a long time over. This was the section containing missing words. As an example I recall one sentence about the ----- of the dress. The answer was FOLDS which I thought was very obscure. They found the best approach was always to leave this section till the end - we found this improved their scores by several percentage points.

In multiple choice questions they made sure they put a line below any option that they had worked out was NOT the answer. If they still couldn't work out the answer they would then leave that question till the end of the test. They then made sure that they always left 1 minute or so at the end of the test to go back and if necessary make a statistically more accurate guess.

Hope this helps


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Surrey
Tell them just to do the paper not under timed conditions, but discreetly time them. They will begin to improve, most of the time. (Well, this worked for my daughter.)


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3826
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Leave the wordy logic problem until the end. Guess and move on. As above only work out a couple of letters and use the answer sheet. The answer sheet can often provide the answer for word-number codes. So much less working out.

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