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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:56 am
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Hi,

My DD took the Bucks 11 plus couple of weeks ago. Finding the wait for the results agonising! My question is regarding maths and NVR skills and ability to pass the test. My DD is very average at maths , fluctuates between middle and occasionally top maths tables. Mock results showed weakness in maths and NVR. School Reports however, and mocks pre the 11 plus, showed significant strength in verbal and English. Am I being unrealistic thinking she may pass? Tutor was extremely positive about her outcome and school have said they will support a possible review. I just can’t help but think her maths and NVR will let her down despite being so strong on verbal.

Thanks in advance and good luck to any other families waiting for results.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:57 pm 
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I would try to put it out of your mind until the results come. No-one can tell you if your child will pass, but some anxiety is understandable.
Good luck to your daughter.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:24 pm 
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They need an overall score of 121 so it's perfectly possible to achieve a very high score in one and a lower score in another.
As long as any shortfall in maths or NVR is compensated for sufficiently in the VR then 121 can be achieved.
Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:21 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 7:23 am
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Angudees wrote:
Hi,

My DD took the Bucks 11 plus couple of weeks ago. Finding the wait for the results agonising! My question is regarding maths and NVR skills and ability to pass the test. My DD is very average at maths , fluctuates between middle and occasionally top maths tables. Mock results showed weakness in maths and NVR. School Reports however, and mocks pre the 11 plus, showed significant strength in verbal and English. Am I being unrealistic thinking she may pass? Tutor was extremely positive about her outcome and school have said they will support a possible review. I just can’t help but think her maths and NVR will let her down despite being so strong on verbal.

Thanks in advance and good luck to any other families waiting for results.


If that's the case then you should seriously consider whether a grammar will be the right place for your DD. She could scrape in and find the workload too much when she's there. Tutors will always be positive, it's their job at then end of the day. I say this as a teacher,tutor and parent. You see things completely different in the sessions. Children will work hard and often get it with you mentoring but it's a whole lot different in the exam and also quite different in the school.

All you can do is praise her and be proud. It's a gruelling journey anyway without the stigma of failure hanging over her.
Best of luck


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:56 am
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Thanks for your replies. I am so proud whatever the outcome. Will try and put my thoughts aside until the results are out.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:14 am
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Hi Angudees

Just to note that my eldest child had a below 121 mark for maths and an above 121 mark for Verbal skills in the CEM test a few years ago. When combined, they ended up with a score of 120.6 and got in on a selection review (because they had strong Verbal skills - they'd always been a good reader). So it is possible to pass with weaker maths skills. Just to reassure you - I would have described my child as being weaker in maths skills during Year 3 (bad teaching) and Y4, but they did well in maths for the Y6 SATs, thanks to the maths tutoring they had from myself, particularly in Y5. They are now Year 10 at a grammar school, and are predicted an 8 for Maths GCSE. I would still say that maths is one of their weaker subjects, but remember that kids study a lot more than just maths at secondary school. A weakness in maths doesn't necessarily mean that grammar school is not for them. If they pass the test, even with a mark below 121, they will probably still cope. They might be in a lower maths set, but it doesn't really matter.

From speaking to my child, it would seem that there are lots of kids at their GS who struggle slightly in maths - it doesn't mean they're not suitable for grammar school. Since Bucks grammars aren't super-selectives (they take the top 30%) and since the OOC applicants raise the bar even higher, IMHO any child who does pass is probably suitable for these schools.

There are many people on this forum who will say that if a child has to be tutored to pass the 11+, then they're not suitable for a grammar school. However, from conversations with my child (who has spoken to many kids at the GS about this subject) I've gathered that very, very few children have passed the 11+ without tutoring. And DIY tutoring from parents is still tutoring! It would definitely seem that nearly everyone at their GS has been tutored. I personally think it's nearly impossible to get in without tutoring - especially because the bar has been raised so high - it's not just a pool of Bucks kids, it's a huge pool of Bucks and OCC (self-selected and tutored) kids. Tutoring is a vicious circle - once some parents started tutoring, then the bar is raised, and other parents needed to tutor their kids to keep up with them. It's very different to when my parents (and my dh) passed the 11+ with no tutoring at all.

Anyway, just to say that your DD who is "My DD is very average at maths, fluctuates between middle and occasionally top maths tables" sounds like they are still in the top 30% for maths in their class, so if they pass, then they should be fine at GS.

The wait is very painful - I'm not sure if my youngest child will pass either. It was only in the last few weeks where I thought they might be okay (up to then I was very pessimistic) - but then hope can be a killer too!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:26 pm 
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There seems to be a lot of focus on maths and NVR skills, forgetting that lots of people are extremely strong in terms of their verbal skills and are hugely successful at university (after all, unless you are choosing a science/maths etc degree, there is an awful lot of English/writing/verbal required - probably more than maths) and beyond. In fact, I probably know more successful people (however you define that) who were weaker in maths but strong in their verbal/English than the other way around!

I sometimes wonder whether this significant focus on IQ (which is essentially what the underlying thread is with NVR/VR) is not as helpful a predictor as some might think and lots of other countries DO NOT have this system of selection but are still are ahead when it comes to research and innovation (per capita).

In fact, I would be very interested to see what the stats/correlations are between those who score highly in NVR/Maths at 11+ versus A-level results (though it will be difficult to control for lots of key parameters as setting becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy).

So, bottom line, I'm sure your DC will be fine in a grammar environment. Also, middle table at a very high achieving school (or in a strong year cohort) could be top table elsewhere.

Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:56 am
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Thank you both for your replies. Appreciate your thoughts and reassuring words. I agree that just because maths isn’t a strong point, doesn’t mean a child can’t thrive at grammar school, particularly in the arts and languages etc. Just want the results so we can move on and make plans for next year . Good luck to anyone else waiting for results!


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