11 Plus Exams Forum

new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)
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Author:  lastmin [ Sun May 27, 2018 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

Just wondered if anyone had any advice for us! I am very late to the party...! We moved nearly a year ago to Welwyn Garden City and thought we had only two local comprehensives as our choices for secondary, and then our school recently emailed round admissions information for Dame Alice Owen examinations in September (my son is coming to the end of Y5).
I've had a look at the website and some practice papers, and although I know time is not on our side and that the odds are not necessarily in our favour at this stage in the game, I think we will try anyway and give it our best shot! My main concern is Maths as that's my son's weak point. His English is very good but he could probably do with help on his exam technique and on writing more (e.g. not just answering the question but providing a more complete answer to comprehension questions)

I have found a maths tutor who we will see from now til the exam (over the hols, sob!) but not sure what to do for the best for verbal reasoning and English practice. I will buy the practice papers from the school after half term, but does anyone know if there are any practice books in particular that would be similar to what would be in the DAO tests?

Apologies if this is all basic stuff. I'm looking around on this site but there is so much information! And I feel we have so little time.
Any other advice would be very gratefully received :) Thanks very much.

Author:  scary mum [ Sun May 27, 2018 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

I'm not from your area, but does this help?

https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/schoo ... re-11-plus

Author:  lastmin [ Sun May 27, 2018 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

scary mum - thank you!! I'll certainly have a look and I hadn't found this page yet - thank you! :)

Author:  Daogroupie [ Sun May 27, 2018 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

You need to be in the Herts and North London section and do a search on DAO. There is lots of information there. Or do a search on my posts.

Only 28% of DC got through the first round last year which is English CEM.

This year only the top 325 will go through and a mark in the 90%s will probably be required.

The DAO exams are 71% English so a good score in Maths will help you but it is the English score that will get you through.

Speed will be the main issue as CEM is all about timing.

Take a look at the CEM in the bookshop on here and there are plenty of books that will help you get started.

First past the post CEM vocabulary books are very good

If you are not one of the top 325 in CEM your English and Maths papers will not be marked so CEM needs to be your focus not Maths until you have made progress with CEM.

It is great that your school sends around the information. Did anyone from your school get a place last year? DG

Author:  lastmin [ Sun May 27, 2018 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

thank you so much Daogroupie that is so so helpful!! I will do as you say and have a look for that group and search your posts. Do people advise on tutors to go to?

It's quite daunting to hear what you've said about the papers, but if anything I think English is his strong point so hopefully it's still worth having a go. I don't know if anyone went from his school last year as I still don't really know enough people there yet. I will try to find out.

There is a mum who is a tutor for English (I think) in his class but I don't know whether it's better to go to someone we don't know (and who isn't trying to get her son in the same year! or is that a bit cynical of me?!)

Thank you again, I am so grateful for your information. :)

Author:  Daogroupie [ Sun May 27, 2018 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

I know DC at DAO now who started their prep in July before the September exam but they were very motivated.

How does your son feel about it? Does he want to go to school with his friends?

I would not use a tutor for anything if they had a dc who would be competing against my dc. Man is essentially selfish and will put themselves first so your ds would always come second.

I suggest you also sign up for QE boys and SW Herts Consortium exams. There is a great bunch of WGC and Hatfield boys that get the 614 bus from Hatfield to QE.

I also know students at Parmiters in Garston from Hatfield and WGC. SW Herts uses the same CEM paper as DAO so you only have to sit the Maths paper which is very KS2 based.

WGC boys can also get into Richard Hale which is in Hertford and Verulam in St Albans. DG

Author:  lastmin [ Sun May 27, 2018 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

He is not reluctant but I think he lacks self confidence. His friends all seem to be going to different places, many with older siblings at private schools (not an option for us) and since he has only known them (/been at this school) since Jan, I'm not sure it would make too much difference if he went elsewhere as they are still new friendships.
He is a trier and works hard and he is bright. I think he could do it - he just needs the right support. I agree that using his friend's mum as a tutor is not a great idea. Just need to find an alternative! Having looked at some of the papers I could help him myself but I'm sure someone else might be able to get better results from him as no one wants to listen to their mum!!

I don't really know any of the other schools you suggest, but I will definitely look into them. Thank you again so much for your advice and information! It is greatly appreciated. :)

Author:  Daogroupie [ Sun May 27, 2018 7:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

A sibling at a private school does not help you. You have to pass the exam to get in. I am surprised to hear that there is many with siblings at private school. The local schools are good and very few bother with the private schools. DG

Author:  traveltea [ Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

I know this is a very old post but.. lastmin did your son go to Templewood or Applecroft? How did he get on with secondary schools? We are in the catchment for DAO but my sons school in Welwyn isn’t so his friends won’t be applying. We aren’t applying yet but just doing some research and was interested to see that a Welwyn school would email about the exams. I’m sure ours don’t.

Author:  Daogroupie [ Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: new to this! DAO exam preparation advice please :)

This poster has not signed on for 3 years so I don't think you will receive a reply.

I know your school well and there are plenty of families who have gone to DAO from the school and there are existing siblings in the school.

WGC and Hatfield are in catchment but Welwyn is not but there are a number of families who are in catchment at the school.

DAO used to be very proactive and run an advert in the Welwyn Times encouraging local DC to apply.

When my dd1 started in 2009 the school was very dominated by DC from the London catchment as the schools were bad and so great incentive to work for DAO exams. Now the London catchment schools are a lot better and it is harder to secure a place at DAO so many parents go local. The number of Herts students has increased which means most WGC/HATFIELD schools have DC going to DAO.

You would be surprised at some of the schools that have DC there. It really is not the school you go to but the work that you do outside school that gets you in. DG
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