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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:39 am 
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Tinkers wrote:
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It would be very interesting to know how much difference extra time makes to pupils who dont have processing speed issues. I"m not sure if any proper research has been done at school level.


I was wondering that myself. (I’m dyslexic but didn’t have extra time in exams and tbh never needed it, I don’t have processing issues). I don’t think GCSEs and A levels are particularly time pressured, from memory and from what DD went through with GCSEs herself last year.

So apart from having extra time to maybe check your answers a second or third time, I’m not totally convinced it’s very much a benefit to those who don’t actually need it as they might think. However I have no information to go on either way.

The biggest, by far, benefit I had was to do 16+ English language. For those who don’t know, these were sort of the pre GCSEs scheme. Effectively your work was assessed by both an O level and CSE board and you got a grade from both. However for English language it was mostly coursework, with two pieces out of 12 having to be done under exam conditions, and two pieces had to be comprehensions (so our school did two comprehensions under exam consisting and satisfied both requirements).

As a result I managed to get a B at O level, (and a cse grade 1), which I don’t think I would have managed doing the normal O level style exam.

The reason that my Dd needs her extra time (and the 25%) that she gets is still not enough is because she simply cannot write fast enough. The stuff/answers are in her head and she could verbalise them but she cannot write them down at the speed required. In the mocks she has found she has needed the extra time for all of the papers and has not managed to finish the geography, history or English papers because these involve more writing. Often dyslexics will get very good results in class work or coursework because they have the time to do what they need to do. My dd gets all 7s,8s and 9s but are unable to translate this to exams because they don’t have the time to get the knowledge that they have in their heads down in the time that is offered in exams. My Dds dyslexia was picked up because her English teacher noticed that her writing was very slow and also because her results in essay based exams were much lower at the end of year 10 than expected. She had been predicted 7s for the essay based exams at the end of year 10 and got 5’s. This was not because of her capability she had shown herself to be more than capable. Since her diagnosis all of her teachers have said that certain things that she struggles with are now explained. Such as not being able to get beautifully composed musical pieces onto paper.
None of these things are a problem in real life. When she is not timed, Just in exams.
We went to the 6th form evening of another school last night and had a chat with the SENCo there. She said my Dd should be using a computer or should have a scribe. It is too late for the GCSEs but won’t be too late for A levels. There is no doubt that it is a very real problem. My Dd 141 across the board in her CATs so she is not stupid. She copes well with pictorial problems. All of her teachers right from primary school up have said she is vey bright. I have been going to class teachers right from the age of 7 and asking why what she does in class has not been translated in exams. They have all put it down to exam stress, my Dd has always said “but I am not stressed in exams” i have always been quite laid back about exam results so haven’t worried overly. My Dd found her own coping strategies but when faced with the very real time pressures in the new GCSEs because they are completely exam based it is like asking someone in a wheel chair to cook a meal in a kitchen designed for an able bodied person.
From what I can gather there are often many cross overs with neuro diversities this includes ad(h)d, dyslexia and autism. However like autism the spectrum described is more like a colour wheel. Every individual has different shades of different disabilities that affect them as an individual. You wouldn’t assume that every bodily disabled person was the same and this is the case with neuro diversities too. The new exam system is showing itself to be highly descriminatory.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:20 am 
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As this post seems to have become a dyslexia thread rather than exam stress does anyone know if there is any such thing as a dyslexia study skills or techniques tutor? My Dd doesn’t need and has never had tutors for subjects. However I think that she could really benefit from a few sessions with someone who understands the complexities of studying, revising and sitting exams with a neuro diversity who could help her to find some tactics to improve her efficacy. I am not very well off so I can’t afford an educational psychologist.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:14 am
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Eccentric wrote:
As this post seems to have become a dyslexia thread rather than exam stress does anyone know if there is any such thing as a dyslexia study skills or techniques tutor? My Dd doesn’t need and has never had tutors for subjects. However I think that she could really benefit from a few sessions with someone who understands the complexities of studying, revising and sitting exams with a neuro diversity who could help her to find some tactics to improve her efficacy. I am not very well off so I can’t afford an educational psychologist.


Have you spoken to the SENCo at your DDs school? The school should be able to provide support for this.

If the SENCo/School is unable/unwilling to help then you could try the PATOSS web site for a list of local specialists.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:01 am 
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Regarding the extra time issue, would it not make more sense for EVERYONE to get more time. i.e. just give more time for the exam, or even as much time as they need (within reason).

Those with some sort of disability would get the time they need to complete everything, while those with no disabilities could either just hand in their paper and leave early or spend time checking their answers as they wish. I'm not sure this would give the quicker students too much of an advantage. You can only check over your answers so much until you start doubting yourself and changing what was correct in the first place!

It would also prevent middle class parents trying to gain an advantage by getting perfectly able children diagnosed with some false disability.

I've never understood why exams should be time pressured for anyone anyway. Surely its WHAT pupils know that should be most important, not how fast they are at reading and writing?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:39 am 
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Not a bad suggestion actually!! Except for the possibility of needing rolling exam invigilators working through the night and a very flexible exam timetable!!

I think the problems with any system set up to help - is immediately some people try and break it to gain an unfair advantage - to the point that one set up to equal out any perceived disadvantage is now in danger of running full circle to disadvantaging everyone else again - completely not helpful to those with genuine learning disabilities (children with lds) - but it is the result of a competitive education system, which begins with the 11+ (and SATs previously etc) - taking ld children out of the equation for a minute, it is not accepted nowadays that someone may actually be less bright, there has to be a reason for it and, parents with money can keep pressing until someone gives them a reason that they are happy with. It's an observation over 10 years of working in exams - and an observation shared by many staff related to exams.

Anyway, this has gone completely off topic, although has probably increased everyone's stress and anxiety!

My advice to coping with Y11 stress and anxiety? Keep your head down, bite your tongue, be prepared to be a punch bag and make lots of delicious food. Basically normal parenting in our house.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:01 pm 
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I have learnt that keeping delicious food in the house during mocks or exams is a must. I came home yesterday to find dd making fudge because there wasn’t any delicious food in the house and plain yoghurt didn’t quite hit the spot :] the fudge was nice but she said it left her unable to sleep properly last night.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:13 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
Not a bad suggestion actually!! Except for the possibility of needing rolling exam invigilators working through the night and a very flexible exam timetable!!


I did suggest more or unlimited time within reason.

Maybe just increase by 50% or so the time the examiners currently allocate. i.e. if the standard time for an exam is 2 hours, just allow 3 hours for everyone. That should be more than enough for everyone and means invigilators will be able to go home at night. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:44 pm 
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:lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:10 pm 
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DD bakes for herself, so I didn’t even have to keep delicious food. It works twice as a stress relief, once while baking and again while eating.

There has defintely been times over the years where I can see her getting wound up, and if she doesn’t think of going off to bake herself, I tell her to.

(That reminds me, she promised me Parkin and I still haven’t had it yet.)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:45 pm 
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Parkin is yummy :D

I think the old saying "when the going gets tough, the tough eat cake" is always true and equally applies to chocolate


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