Go to navigation
It is currently Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:05 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:05 pm
Posts: 2
new to this,,girls have started yr5,,cant afford private tutor for both so planning on tutoring them myself. there is so much out there that its given me a headache,,can someone advice or point me to the right direction to which books are the best to prepare for birmingham 11+ 2019 please.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:19 pm
Posts: 126
Twinsmom some people recommend the CEM books + some the Bond. If you look on the various sites there are some free resources to have a go at, also if you have any teacher friends they will have a Twinkl account with free 11+ resources that they can share with you. Also ask your school, as they may have resources or help, we left it too late to ask.
I would recommend booking them a mock test, so that they see the reality of how much they have to answer in the time and get them used to answering questions using the 11+ score sheet as children often lose marks by putting their answer in the wrong place.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:05 pm
Posts: 2
Thank you for your help halsea..i didn't quite prepare myself for the vast amount of info on the web..u just dont know where to start.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:19 pm
Posts: 126
It can feel quite overwhelming as its such an important issue, but time is on your side. I only realised in June that it was an option, I thought it happened at some point in yr6, so we only had 6 weeks really. People are really friendly and helpful on here, ask lots of questions and just start with small things like a few minutes of non verbal puzzles, some extra vocab words, reading different genres/formats etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:26 pm
Posts: 10
My DD just took the Birmingham grammar test on 8th Sept. and is now anxiously awaiting the results. Below are the books we bought for her preparation. Hope this helps.

Practice Books:
1. CGP Practice Books for Maths, Non Verbal, English and Verbal Reasoning (All with Assessment Tests included)
2. CGP 10 Minutes for Maths, Maths Word Problems, English, VR Cloze and VR Comprehension
3. Complete Maths Packs (6 Books) from a company operating in Shirley, Birmingham
4. Maths Speed Test and English Comprehension (2 Books) from the same company as no. 3
5. Bond 11+ Stretch English Tests and Papers (focused more on child's comprehension abilities)
6. Synonyms and Antonyms by Christine R. Draper (small yet very useful)

Mock Test Books:
1. CGP 11+ Practice Tests (4 Packs - each pack contains 2 mock tests, each test has two papers and each paper requires 45 mins test time)
2. Children's Educational Material 11+ Mock Tests (3 Packs - each pack has 1 mock test, each test has two papers, each paper requires 50 mins test time)
3. How2become.com 11+ CEM Style Style Practice Papers (1 Pack with 3 mock tests, each test has two papers, each paper requires 45 mins test time)

We also got her into Bond online. To simulate the actual test, she took several physical mock tests conducted by the same company based in Shirley.

There are many to choose from online, these were the ones we chose from the lot, not necessarily the best. Whether they helped her remains to be seen.

Good luck on your 11+ journey.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm
Posts: 374
Hi Twinsmom:

Gracemum's list is very comprehensive, but if I'm honest we didn't follow all of that (we also just did DIY tutoring at home).

Year 5: Started with 10 minute bond books in Maths, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and English. I began with aged 9 - 10 (to build confidence & acquaint them with this type of testing). If in general my DDs were getting >90% correct test after test I then moved up to 10 - 11 (aim to be moving there anyway around FEB. After Easter (because time is starting to get short - I'd move to 11-12 (this really does reflect the level of the exam). We didn't start practice papers until July of Year 5 and then only did one or two a week (by which I mean one topic paper - so just the english practice exam paper & then maybe a Verbal reasoning paper one week - roughly 1 hour time each) over the summer (we used hand me downs from friends - so it's worth asking people you know if you can borrow what they have - just don't mark up the papers, so someone else can use them after you).

We took the view that summer has to happen - there has to be rest and play & a bit of a holiday with the kids for us oldies. But we used the opportunity of trips to museums or historic houses to encourage our DDs to read the guidebooks, discuss words they didn't understand and try to learn new things. We also had a healthy dose of Documentary viewing: historical and science especially (Sky at Night/ Inside the Factory/ Coast/ etc... all great vocab - just try and chose something that interests your child). This may seem silly but the Cloze passage the year little fish took her exam was on the Olympic movement, which coincidentally she had learned about watching a documentary on tv she wanted to watch with us. It didn't mean she got every answer correct - but it helped.

I cannot stress enough - your job is to go through their work (fairly swiftly after they complete it - so I used to correct the previous day's 10 minute bond whilst my girls were working through the next day's test. As soon as they were done, I'd go through the previous test's wrong answers - really ensuring they understand what the answer should have been and why. This is not 'a wasted activity' - this really does help them.

I also kept a record (there are the shaded bars at the back of the book) about how they are doing. What I did notice is that there would be an improvement, a plateau, and then Bond would raise the level and suddenly back down they'd go. I think your job is to be positive when suddenly they score badly - but you should be really looking for 70%+ correct - that is generally 'safe territory' in terms of results. Don't panic about a bad result - but be aware that test caught some problem with understanding and work on those areas.

The other thing I did - was if there was an area that was weak - say Non-Verbal Reasoning - I spent more time with my DDs discussing how to think about the questions, how to tackle them. Toward summer we spent more time on it - because by then we knew NVR was 'the tricky area' for small fry, for example. I will stress that so far the Birmingham Grammars have never asked a question about the laid out cube (nets) images and which cube is wrong or correct. So don't sweat it if your child struggles with those.

The other book that is well worth the investment is Cloze books - there are a huge range available on Amazon - and it has been a few years so I don't want to advise because many more books are available now, than they were.

I know some kids memorise huge lists of vocabulary - I'm not completely convinced that is worthwhile - but I would advise 2 things (which I actually picked up from reading advice on this forum):

1. Encourage your child to look up any word in their reading they do not understand - invest in a dictionary and encourage them to write out the word & definition and discuss 'cool new words' with you or your DH/ partner.

2. play word games: scrabble/ banangrams/ synonym games (i.e. on a car journey ask your child (include others if there too!) to think of another word for a colour or an emotion: e.g. happy? angry? red? blue? - this really will get their juices flowing and hearing other people's answers helps. also we played it as a quick fire game and when someone couldn't think of it they lost - DH and I used to kind of give up early - which gave our girls a huge boost of confidence. Eventually they were beating us.

Finally - READ. READ. READ. I strongly advise you to encourage use of school library, get down to your local library or trade books with friends - but encourage your child to read some of those childhood classics: Charlotte's Web, any Newberry Prize books (e.g. A Wrinkle in Time, Bridge to Terebrithia), some of your favourites. Read with your child - discuss character, plot and use of language. The Christmas before Small fry's 11+ - we read A Christmas Carol - I read a chapter a night in the run-up to Christmas - and we discussed the story, the difficult words, the role of the ghosts, regret over choices in life, etc... It was hugely enjoyable time which I look back on fondly - and we capped it off with a viewing of the Muppet christmas Carol - which just happened to be on TV that year. I think they enjoyed it more for having read the book.

Now I'm not perfect. I only succeeded with one of two children: Small fry (now Y9 Camp Hill) and little fish (now Y11 at a state comp, but flying high on track for L8s in all GCSE subjects she's taking and teachers are talking about pushing for that 9/ A**). However, what I will say for you and anyone doing all this at home (or with tutors) is that all of this work is worth it regardless of outcome. This is an investment in your child's education - at this early age - when it is still fun/ cool to work hard/ to enjoy reading/ to want to try - and it does truly set them up to achieve in secondary regardless of whether they go on to a grammar school or not.

Hope that helps and all best wishes to you and your DCs

OT

PS - two words of advice for your DC

1. Make sure they understand that some sections of the exam will be tricky. Make sure they understand that if it is difficult for them it will be for everybody else. There is no problem with guessing a wrong answer - you only get points for correct answers - so encourage them to make educated guesses - help them work on that: teaching them to rule out obviously wrong answers - to narrow the choices and increase their odds of guessing correctly.

2. Make sure they understand that the test is tightly timed and that some sections, even if working as fast as possible, are nearly impossible to finish. It is not a problem if they didn't finish a section - really important they keep calm and remember if they had trouble finishing a section other kids will too.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:10 am
Posts: 381
I'd agree with Old Trout's approach. Reading is really important. With our son, he also read quite a challenging book together with his dad and they discussed it along the way, wrote down difficult words etc. This helped in getting him to deal with comprehension questions in the right way and learning new vocab.

We did try to get both our children learning lists of words, but I'm not convinced any went in really. Strangely, our son seemed to pick up some quite useful advance vocabulary from the games he played on the xbox. They were probably slightly age-inappropriate games though (12 maybe?)!

We really liked the CGP 10 minute test books for comprehension, verbal reasoning and non-verbal. The level seems about right and they don't take long! For Maths, we used Schofield & Sims mental maths book 5, which was also in short chunks - each test takes about 10 mins.

Over the summer we introduced full practice tests, to help with exam technique. We mixed up Letts and CGP I think. Based on a post on here where people found out their children's actual raw scores, I'd worked out that for HGS he needed to score at least 55%, rising to probably 70% plus for FW. Ds never got more than 70% in a test at home; he usually scored in the late 50s/early 60s. He got a comfortable score for HGS in the end but not enough for FW, so I think the practice papers were fairly representative.

Our daughter scored similarly - enough for KEHSG and Sutton - but this was two years earlier and we hadn't prepared her as thoroughly. We didn't do full practice papers or think about exam technique. I think that would have made a difference to her as she was more of an all rounder than our son and a much quicker worker.

When our son came out of the exam he was very relaxed and he said it was just like the practice work he'd done - the same level etc. He felt well prepared so that was reassuring.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 8792
Location: Herts
Great posts Oldtrout and crazycrofter.

Oldtrout, what year did your dd sit? Did she have a comprehension? Is the English VR 50% of the score?

Thanks DG


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm
Posts: 374
Daogroupie wrote:
Great posts Oldtrout and crazycrofter.

Oldtrout, what year did your dd sit? Did she have a comprehension? Is the English VR 50% of the score?

Thanks DG


Hi Dragroupie:

DD1 (little fish - currently Year 11 local comprehensive) will have sat the 11+ in 2013 for start Sept 2014.

DD2 (small fry - currently Y9 CHG) will have sat the 11+ in 2015 for start Sept 2016.

Yes, both DDs had comprehension questions on the Birmingham grammar schools exam (King Edward VI schools & Bishop Vesey). You can find out more about the exact exam content here: https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=14423

The fabulous Ken R - puts all this information together for parents once offers have been made - but you can e-mail him after the exam with information as your child remembers it at the time and he compiles it all (because different people focus on different things) and comes up with a summary of the entire exam. I did this after both my DDs took the exam because we benefited from previous people contacting Ken R with this kind of information.

--------------------------

I genuinely don't know how the scores are broken down for the Birmingham exam - but my impression (which may be unfair) is that the King Edward VI/ Bishop Vesey/ Sutton Coldfield Girls' exam is more heavily weighted toward children with strong verbal skills (indeed little fish is off the charts good at maths/ sciences but has always been a lot weaker with reading/ comprehension/ vocab & writing skills).

Having been there and done that - and with hindsight and some time to see the benefit of both outcomes for both children (who are very different characters) - I do feel that Little fish's 213 and small fry's 235 (which just made offer day entry) both made sense in terms of how they were doing on 10 minute bonds/ practice papers & how they were operating verbally at that time.

I also think there is a strong advantage to being a bit younger when taking the test. Small fry had no benefit because her birthday was so close to the exam date; whereas, little fish's birthday was well into the school year. I can't swear that made a difference but let's say being 10 years and 6 months at the exam benefits you 12 points (2 pts a month) - you can see that there wasn't a lot of difference in ability between small fry and little fish at the exam. A few lucky guesses, a sister helping us with practice by pointing out things like nets aren't on the exam (we spent ages over them with little fish because she found them so hard - kind of wasted time really) and the advent of cloze practice books (which weren't available for small fry) all made those little differences 2nd time around in our case, I think.

Hope that helps & makes sense.

OT

PS Hopefully somebody (Ken R? Um?) can come along and explain how the test sections are weighted. I'm afraid I don't know.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 1602
Not sure if things have changed since 2015 but VR weightage was 50% and 25% each given to Maths and NVR.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2018