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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:22 pm
Posts: 9
Hi all,
First of thank you for all of the invaluable advice on this forum. It's been my reading staple for the last few weeks.

I wanted some advice regarding how to improve ds scores. We never intended to do the 11plus, but his teacher mentioned we should try him, so in April we got him do a mock with an external provider (Shirley based) and his score they mentioned was a score, which based on last year, meant that he was highly likely to get a place in a grammar school. From this we were encouraged to try for the real deal have been doing some weekly work prepping for it and have registered.

I know his weakness is vocabulary and spellings. Also, although very strong in maths, he sometimes completely misjudges or doesn't know how to approach answering a question. How we have been preparing is by using spelling workbooks, comprehension texts, vocabulary lists, and mental maths and general maths topics that I know he still hasn't covered at school eg algebra and certain types of graphs, and co-ordinates.
The only time we have is a couple of hours on Saturday and about one hour two other times a week. He is also reading alot. And I have also started reading to him before bedtime the classics that he's happy to listen to but not read himself. I feel all of this has really established a good general foundation for his education. So its not been time and effort wasted in that sense.

However, we have started to do some mocks at home (letts) and the cgp 10minute tests. And he is always averaging in the 60s percentage anywhere from 60-69%.

It hasn't budged since April and I'm worried that he is just going to be stuck in the 60s up untill September!
Only a couple of months left till the main exam, I'm thinking forget the greater good of education and focus on nailing the 11plus- if you know what I mean.

What I wanted to ask is what do you advise...i don't want to overload ds work schedule...keep it to a couple of hours sat and 30 min three weekdays.

With such little time left, is it better to use the 10min tests/ and mocks with review as they will probably cover alot of things anyway, or continue to focus on maths topic by topic, and comprehension?
If it's any help, there doesn't seem to be a clear weakness...some tests he does well in maths and weak in English, and others weak in maths and well in English. Never good in both over one test. He's consistently ok with nvr.
Really am looking for the most effective method on increasing the scores into the 70s% and 80s%.
I will continue read alouds, and he will continue reading, spelling and vocab work anyway.
Thanks in advance!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:22 pm
Posts: 9
I also wanted to add that early in autumn we started using the study guides but because of what we though were low scores (in the 60%s) we kind of halted till ds teacher mentioned she thought he was a good candidate. So we have kind of been through the whole exam technique thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:50 pm
Posts: 8
Can't give any advice on vocabularies, I'm struggling as well.
For math, go through every wrong answer with your kid and identify the reasons. Carelessness? Not covered topics? Slow method? Do not understand the question?
Then target one or two problems a time as extra work. Keep it really short and do it everyday within a week.
Hope this will help.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:40 am
Posts: 102
brum_mum wrote:
Hi all,
First of thank you for all of the invaluable advice on this forum. It's been my reading staple for the last few weeks.

I wanted some advice regarding how to improve ds scores. We never intended to do the 11plus, but his teacher mentioned we should try him, so in April we got him do a mock with an external provider (Shirley based) and his score they mentioned was a score, which based on last year, meant that he was highly likely to get a place in a grammar school. From this we were encouraged to try for the real deal have been doing some weekly work prepping for it and have registered.

I know his weakness is vocabulary and spellings. Also, although very strong in maths, he sometimes completely misjudges or doesn't know how to approach answering a question. How we have been preparing is by using spelling workbooks, comprehension texts, vocabulary lists, and mental maths and general maths topics that I know he still hasn't covered at school eg algebra and certain types of graphs, and co-ordinates.
The only time we have is a couple of hours on Saturday and about one hour two other times a week. He is also reading alot. And I have also started reading to him before bedtime the classics that he's happy to listen to but not read himself. I feel all of this has really established a good general foundation for his education. So its not been time and effort wasted in that sense.

However, we have started to do some mocks at home (letts) and the cgp 10minute tests. And he is always averaging in the 60s percentage anywhere from 60-69%.

It hasn't budged since April and I'm worried that he is just going to be stuck in the 60s up untill September!
Only a couple of months left till the main exam, I'm thinking forget the greater good of education and focus on nailing the 11plus- if you know what I mean.

What I wanted to ask is what do you advise...i don't want to overload ds work schedule...keep it to a couple of hours sat and 30 min three weekdays.

With such little time left, is it better to use the 10min tests/ and mocks with review as they will probably cover alot of things anyway, or continue to focus on maths topic by topic, and comprehension?
If it's any help, there doesn't seem to be a clear weakness...some tests he does well in maths and weak in English, and others weak in maths and well in English. Never good in both over one test. He's consistently ok with nvr.
Really am looking for the most effective method on increasing the scores into the 70s% and 80s%.
I will continue read alouds, and he will continue reading, spelling and vocab work anyway.
Thanks in advance!!



Hi I would like to try offer some help here.
My son sat in 11+ last year and would be joining KES this September '18.

I had the same predicament and was not aware of this Forum. However based on my experience I would say -

1. Your son mock scores are Not bad and reflective of strong chance of getting a GS place. My son sat in 5 mock tests and never scored more than 76% (and that was once in 5 mock tests).
His scores were always from 66% to 76% and we were quite apprehensive of his chances.

2. His weak spot was Vocabulary and Comprehension for which we had Private Tutor.
We quickly realized that this can be avoided by giving our time and simulating test within home.
I would go to an extent saying that if Parents see the course and feel they can teach this then pls do so.
Don't waste money and time on Private Tutors.

3. Keep a relaxed atmosphere by following same first. Any unwanted pressure will negate the hard work done.

4. Last but not least - more mock tests the better it is. However work on mock test findings so basically carefully space them and also not over do them.

Best of Luck!!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:22 pm
Posts: 9
Thank you- that sounds like sound advice mitumum about trying to pinpoint exactly where the problem is with the maths questions. He has covered all of the topics so it probably is a combo of carelessness and not knowing how to approach answering a question. I will definitely try and target the specific problem he has for each wrong question.

Varsha- thank you for taking the time to reassure me (and others) who may be a bit worried about the low scores. I will take your advice and concentrate on more mock tests and going over the problem areas. Congratulations on your son getting a place- must be a bit of a nervous time with him starting high school soon- wish him all the best.


Last edited by brum_mum on Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:33 pm
Posts: 74
Hi Brum mum
It sounds from what you say that your son is doing really well. We were in a similar position last year. Ds did quite well in the shirley mocks (though not brilliantly!) and would score erratically in the cgp tests especially in comprehension where he would vary from 30-90%! Like your son, he was good and quick at maths and nvr which helped but I think his speed with comprehension meant he didn't always read as closely as he should!
I was really worried about the test because although in my rational moments I knew ds was very capable, i had no idea really how that would translate in the actual test. (He ended up doing well :) )

I suppose none of us know how it's going to go on the day and how our poor children are going to react to the pressure of the real thing but from what you've said it certainly sounds like you're doing the right things and that he's a strong candidate- so hang on in there!

Come and join us in the Birmingham,W,W&W area - we have a 2018 exam thread where we can share our current preparation anxieties. I have a dd taking it this year and she's another story completely. As many people on here regularly point out - every child is different so the preparation for each will be different too!

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:22 pm
Posts: 9
Candel wrote:
Come and join us in the Birmingham,W,W&W area - we have a 2018 exam thread where we can share our current preparation anxieties. I have a dd taking it this year and she's another story completely. As many people on here regularly point out - every child is different so the preparation for each will be different too!

Good luck.


A whole thread for 2018ers! Great. I'm on my way there!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:47 am
Posts: 14
I'd recommend choosing a word from thesaurus and all the synonyms a day and incorporate these into sentences that you use on the go, we did loads of work in the car on way to clubs etc. Any radio or TV programme, I would point out words that might not be typical 10 year old vocab and discuss. Also keep working on the speed of times tables as this will speed up all maths questions. My daughter is not so great at spelling but reads loads so seems to pick up the vocab and context that way. not sure how important spelling is, it's more the context. I would also get her to read short sections of different variety of material, newspapers etc and question unusual words.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:21 pm
Posts: 160
Hi

DD sat the 11+ last year & is heading to a Glos GS in September.

For maths - the challenge is that they are still only in yr 5 so there may be topics they haven't covered. You need to ensure that you've covered them all to give them a decent chance at the maths sections.
They need to have a good level of mental maths for speed - do times tables grids and time them!
Get them to mark their work. It helps massively in identifying silly mistakes. If you mark it they don't learn.
Then do maths papers. Review them as a whole & look at the section where they didn't score well eg was it percentages or fractions etc...this will tell you where you need to go over.
Work on the combination of accuracy & speed as you head towards the exam.

For vocabulary & comprehension:
Read & more reading - wide & good quality. It doesn't have to be classics.
We did do vocabulary word lists but mixed them up synonyms & antonyms, crosswords etc to ensure understood the meaning in context. We put them into quizlet - made it a bit more game like.
Again we did a variety of comprehensions, again make them mark it. Go back over the text with them to ensure they understand where the answer was / why they were incorrect.
For us this was the more challenging area. However, it did seem to fall into place with the above.

Finally, get them into the habit of if they can't do it, circle the question and move onto ones they can. Comeback to it if they've got time.

Hope it helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:21 pm
Posts: 160
A couple of extra thoughts:

For English / verbal reasoning we also went through the grammar topics - like nouns, adjectives etc.

We did timed exercises right from the start.

We did practice papers when we had covered all the content & then practice tests.

We only did one mock - more for the unfamiliar surroundings & lots of other people.

We managed in about 2 x 1 hour sessions per week from February time.


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