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57% with 4 months to go

Eleven Plus (11+) in Buckinghamshire (Bucks)

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Onebelow
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 11, 2024 3:50 pm

57% with 4 months to go

Post by Onebelow »

My stepson is turning 10 this month and has been doing three hours of 11+ tutoring per week since November last year. This recently increased to four hours per week.

He sat a couple of mock exams today and got 70% in English, and 57% in maths. The English score has come down from the low 80s since he last did a mock exam about three months ago, and his maths has remained exactly the same. We’ve been told the pass mark is 80%.

He’s very bright and does well at school in English, but not so much in maths.

We can’t get a clear answer from his tutors, who say he’ll be fine and he’s just not covered these things in school (which is why we’re getting him tutoring…) but I’m a bit concerned about his chances- obviously no one can say for sure, but does anyone have any experience or advice?
scary mum
Posts: 8942
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:45 pm

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by scary mum »

Did you mean to put this in the maths section. If you would like it moved somewhere please let us know?
It really depends on what area you are in - super selective or just requiring a pass?
Many years ago mine were getting about 35% in July on their first papers (at home) & not finishing them in the time allowed, but 2/3 were fine by September.
However, we are in Bucks where the top 30% get through & it was some years ago when there was less tuition.
4 hours a week sounds like quite a lot, is your stepson OK with that?
scary mum
Onebelow
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 11, 2024 3:50 pm

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by Onebelow »

I did put it in the maths section intentionally, as the mock exam/ 57% today was in maths. If it would fit better elsewhere I’m happy for you to move it.

We’re also in bucks.

It is a lot and it’s certainly not his his favourite thing, but he’s happy to go, likes the tutors and understands it’s not forever.
scary mum
Posts: 8942
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:45 pm

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by scary mum »

I think it might be better off in the Bucks section.
My personal.opinion (other opinions are available!) is that 4 hours a week in Bucks is way over the top & risks making him stale, but you know what works for your child.
Remember that maths is only 25% of the marks.
I would say doing a few practice papers will help as long as he has the maths basics - tables, number bonds etc.
Edited to add: no-one knows what the passmark is, it depends entirely on the cohort of children born in the same month as your stepson & how difficult the paper is. The results are standardised to give a pass rate of about 25% for each month of birth, then more pass on review or appeal
scary mum
PettswoodFiona
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:24 pm
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by PettswoodFiona »

Different area but went through this with my daughter. We tried a tutor for about a month (1 hour a week so only four sessions). She just didn’t click and couldn’t tell what our daughter’s strengths or weak areas were, just went through test paper after test paper. We then took over and worked smart, not longer, did ten minute tests and looked at what type of questions she was struggling with and broke those down, also worked on technique like timing. Typically did no more than an hour a week.

Your tutor may be ok but if they can’t answer basic questions I would press a bit more about what types of questions they’ve identified he needs to work on and how they plan to tackle it.
Aethel
Posts: 1273
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by Aethel »

Bucks specifically undervalues the Maths score: my DS is a bit of a maths whizz and dyslexic: his Bucks English scores were worth 50% of the marks, NVR 25% and Maths only 25%. He passed (just) but would have been home and dry were the subjects equally weighted. Your DC’s English will to a degree compensate for a relative weakness in Maths scores.

So try not to be too concerned about absolute numbers if his tutor says he’s doing okay : the scores in practice do not necessarily reflect real “pass marks”: he just needs practice, encouragement to work on weak areas and technique, and speed+accuracy, then see how he does on the day.

It’s far more of a problem for those DC who are weaker in English/VR as their dropped marks have twice the effect on their overall composite score due to the weighting, which isn’t the case for your stepson.

As a parent/supporter? keeping him feeling optimistic is important, and working out why he drops marks in those secions is something the tutor will/ should be working on with him. Good luck.
Onebelow
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 11, 2024 3:50 pm

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by Onebelow »

That’s very interesting, thank you. His tutors told us he needed to get 80% in everything to pass, but it sounds like that’s not true.
hermanmunster
Posts: 13043
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:51 am
Location: The Seaside

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by hermanmunster »

Onebelow wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 7:47 am That’s very interesting, thank you. His tutors told us he needed to get 80% in everything to pass, but it sounds like that’s not true.

@Onebelow just have to think about tutors - am sure there are some very genuine, very very honest ones around

BUT think - how do they make their money? and how do you know what they are saying is right?

You have several people on the thread here saying "4 hours a week is too much" - possibly a scenario here where the tutor says to the parents

"oh they aren't quite getting the scores, they really need an extra hour .. or two a week to give them a better chance. we need to get nearer that 80%"

So you pay up for the extra time - who wouldn't? But this may be the case of "less is more" and maybe it all needs to be more concentrated.

can't blame tutors - would be a brave one who said "oh they don't need that much time" for one thing they are doing themselves out of business and also how to explain themselves when the result isn't as hoped?

having said that, half a century ago I had the most honest tutor ever - one session for assessment and he told my parents that there was no need to bring me back :lol:
Aethel
Posts: 1273
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: 57% with 4 months to go

Post by Aethel »

hmm.. are the tutors aware of how the Bucks exam works? It’s been a cohort examination where the top 30% of transfer test combined scores pass for years and years….

and the combination of English 50% Maths 25% NVR 25% has been the way to combine the raw scores for years too…


And the scores have been stratified by birth month for years too (no month gets “bonus” or “penalty” scoring, but the 30% pass rate is worked out seperatelt for each month of birth cohort, so 30% of the August babies “pass” and 30% of the September babies “pass”, so the test isn’t skewed to favour the older children in that school year.

(this isn’t a South Bucks/Slough tutoring company initialled with two early-in-the-alphabet letters is it? )
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