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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:40 pm 
We are in the middle of moving house to an area with grammar schools from an area 200 miles away with none so this is all rather new to me. My son will take the 11+ in November so I thought I should start doing some preparation with him; I'm so pleased I found this site: you're fantastic!

Could you advise on the best/ fastest way of completing the multiple choice answer sheet?

I bought some NFER practice papers and he is doing well with the % of questions he's getting correct, but is not working anywhere near fast enough yet to finish the papers. What do you recommend?

Should he write/circle the correct answer in the question paper first and then transcribe it to the answer sheet to minimise any confusion or do your pupils manage to complete the m.c. answer sheet directly?

I don't want to waste too many practice papers trying to find out what works as we seem to have started rather late looking at some of the posts here!

Many thanks

 Post subject: Melx
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:32 pm
Posts: 410
Hello there

I mainly tutored my son myself and found that once he got to understand the question types and the techniqe he did suddenly speed up. You seem to have already identified the questions your son is well able to do so now have a look at what particular ones he is struggling with and then concentrate mopre on them.

When we first started to attempt the papers(we used NFER) I photocopied them and then I cut them into strips off 5 and 10 questions and just gave him 5 moving up to 10 to do each night. That way it wasn't too daunting for him and when I knew the ones he got easily I gave him them first to boost his confidence. It also meant we could spend proper time going through the ones that he got wrong and he didnt lose concentration. As his speed improved I gave him more to do, increasing them gradually to 20 at a time and timing him.

I have to say when I first saw the answer sheet I was worrried about him filling it in correctly but fortunately our school did spend time with the children ensuring they knew how to use the answer sheet. As my son got better at the actual questions without worrying about the speed he started to just look at the answers as the question was obvious from the answers(hope that makes sense). As an example in the compound words he would just look and mark the one the ones he knew went together.

The more regualr practise your son does the quicker he will get but I really feel that to start off with a small amount of questions helps rather then too many as when they think they are running out of time the chidren tend to panic and can make more mistakes. I can honestly say that as my son got quicker he was actually asking to do more and wanted me to time him. We didnt do the whole actual test paper unitil a couple of weeks before the test when we timed it properly but by this time he was looking forward to then and really done well.

I have put more detail in my posting under tips (i'm Mel1) that I posted some time ago

Hope this helps but feel free to ask anything else.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2668
Dear Guest from the North

There are many techniques which can be used for multilple choice, including the fact that some questions can be answered directly from the answer sheet [ saving time ]

What area have you moved to? Is NFER appropriate for your area? Is the exam Verbal Reasoninig or Non Verbal [or both]?

If Nfer Verbal reasoning is appropriate ......IPS publish a book on method and technique.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:35 am 
Thanks for the tips. Cutting up papers into bitesize pieces is a great idea.
I will need to get my son familiar with the multi-choice answer sheets myself as he won't have any practice at school: we're moving to Devon with my husband's job, and there are no grammars where we currently live so his school is not geared up for helping with the 11+. We're likely to move November-ish as our house chain is moving quite slowly at the moment.

There isn't much activity on the Devon forum and I don't know a soul down there so it's hard to get much info apart from that given by the school. The 11+ will apparently be 2 multi-choice NFER papers in mathematical reasoning and verbal reasoning and an English comprehension and creative writing paper.

Are the 11+ entrance tests set by NFER universal across the system or do the types of questions vary across education authorities? I don't feel comfortable asking the school this question, I don't think it would be forthcoming with an answer!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:19 am 
Don't assume that, just because your target primary school puts child in for the 11+ that they themselves will necessarily have done much pre-work on this. There seems to be an overwhelming view that schools play down the whole thing with only minimal assistance to pupils. Hence the popularity of this forum.
As for gaining speed in tests it's hard to feel you're making progress with this when faced with a complete practice paper at once - so the idea of cutting-up questions is good. However, we found the IPS '10-minute' books great for overal progress in speed - if you're doing the verbal element in Devon. Equally, the software here times children's progress so pupils can set their own targets. These are both available from this site.

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