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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:02 pm 
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(to moderator: I am going to post this question to both Surrey and Math subboards, as I am not sure where it better belongs to)

My DS is not bad at math (at least, we consider it to be his strong side compared to English). He usually has no issues with GL Assessment papers, CGP mini-tests and variety of other independent tests we managed to find.
However, we started practicing so called 11+ Sutton Practice Tests from https://exampapersplus.co.uk/papers/eleven-plus/ and I feel shocked. For the time limit they have - 45 minutes - he barely gets half (25+- questions) of it done.

My impression is that these papers are much more complicated than, for example, classical GL Assessment - really small number of low-hanging questions and really massive tasks with complicated wording that take lots of time even to read...

So I don't know - whether we should invest more time into him getting comfortable with these complex problems or should polish basics counting on the fact that most of SET questions should be simplier..

Questions I have:
a) Anyone tried these exampapersplus papers? What's your thoughts and impressions?
b) Any insights on SET Stage 1 math? I've read it is very tough and tight on time, but is it because of big number of basic problems or because of medium number of complex problems? What's your thoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Some of the 11+ isn't just about getting the answer right, it is technique in the exam such as timing. DD found doing the ten minute tests really helped hone this skill (she sat Kent GL, Bexley CEM and Newstead GL plus and independent school test). To start with DD got them mostly right but didn't finish all, but by the end of practising she was getting them all done in about half the time and getting about 90 to 95% right, that was about 30 seconds a questions if I remember rightly, but that was about six years ago.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:35 pm 
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Two children that have sat the SET (2017 & 2020). Both said the questions were relatively straight forward. Carry on doing what you are doing that will be more than enough for the SET. My daughter said the GL papers were most similar to the SET. I did do one of the exampapersplus papers with my son - he said the real SET was somewhat similar but so were the other papers. For the cost I don't think it's worth it.
Always focus on the basics & worded questions (where the maths is simple but understanding the question isn't). Doesn't matter how bright the child is, mistakes are still made in simple questions.


Last edited by bridge on Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 1:25 pm 
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to my knowledge, the exampapersplus papers are pitched at the Westminster School/ St Paul's School level, so probably harder than what you expect for SET. It's still a good challenge to get used to the really difficult questions, but don't read too much into the score or timing of it. I have some of their papers and tend to use them at the very end of the preparation, when all the basics are already super solid. They're not the best papers to start with many months before the exam.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:51 pm 
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I agree with both no_stress and bridge that its best not to start with the exampaperplus. Also, given there are lots of freely available papers of similar level, its best to practise on those. The exampaperplus papers are at best value when used once the child is well aware of time saving technics and knows how to manage time and is doing very well in those other papers. i dont think the level is significantly about the expected SET level, but some of the questions are a notch higher. The Kingston questions are significantly much more difficult for example. It can be demoralising for the child to get such low marks, so best carry on improving the accuracy and speed before coming back to the exampaperplus ones later. Also, and I might be wrong, but i think the level required in SET is somewhat higher than GL.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:01 pm
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There are two dimensions to a good result in these papers: accuracy and speed. How much does your DS score out of the 50% he is able to attempt? If you provide him unlimited time, how much does he score overall?

I would doubt that any child would have accuracy issues at this point in their preparation (children are all inherently very intelligent and their exam knowledge is only a reflection of help they have received with preparation). The major challenge now is to start squeezing time to shorter intervals without making the accuracy suffer.

To summarise, I would not panic at all with these results, and would double down efforts with timing practice by doing more papers, systematically driving out a few time consuming issues (e.g. getting used to time required for each question, time weight of each question, mark seemingly difficult questions to attempt at the end, etc.). I have put some of these points here: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=61893&start=10#p756527


Finally, here is a more quantative reply to your question. (DS appeared for SET/Tiffin/Other exams last year)

- GL's own papers are very easy (and thus of limited value) and I would only use them at the beginning of Grammar preparation. They are also in old format (especially English Multiple choice) so they of very limited value as an initial assessment.
- Similarly, Bond papers are also very limited value if they are used later in the preparation.
- DS found the difficulty (per his marks scored) from easiest to hardest in the following order: GL => Bond => CGP => Letts => ExamPaperPlus (EPP) => Private school sample papers (Manchester Grammar, St Albans, Dilwich, etc.)
- Similar to others on this post, we were told that EPP papers were closest to SET but only a bit more difficult. We reserved all EPP papers to last for "just before SET" practice.
- DS' opinion was also the same: among the above group of providers EPP papers were the closest to both SET Sutton and Tiffin exams.

I am listing the results of DS' mocks below, along with the dates of attempt, and types of mistakes he made broadly in these papers.

Letts : 84% Maths and 86% English (done in Jan-2020, marks deducted in syllabus not yet covered, with ~ 0 minutes to spare)
GL's own papers: 89% Maths and 91% English (done in Jul -2020, only basic mistakes, with 10-15 minutes to spare)
Bond: 88% Maths and 91% English (done in May-2020, basic mistakes, with ~ 10 minutes to spare)
CGP: 92% Maths and 89% English (done in Apr-2020, with ~ 5 minutes to spare)
EPP Kingston pack (for Tiffins): 76% Maths and 85% English (done in Oct-2020, these were very hard papers, mirroring Tiffin SET papers, 0 minutes to spare)
EPP Sutton pack: 87% Maths and 91% English (done in Nov-2020, mistakes only in new types of questions, 0 minutes to spare)

Also compare these results to DS' results in the actual exams :

SET Stage 1: 95% and 89% in Maths/English
SET Stage 2: 93% / 97% in Maths/English

Tiffin Stage 1: 67% and 84% in Maths/English
Tiffin Stage 2: 82% / 88% in Maths/English

See the post regarding relative difficulty of actual tests: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=61893&start=10#p756547


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:06 am 
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This is incredible helpful dh28! Really appreciate.

Interesting thing is that my son perform better significantly better on CGP and Bond other than on GL.
On CGP we usually get around 95-98% at this point, Bond is around 90%, while GL fluctuates hard - mostly due to silly mistakes - in between of 80 and 95%..

And EPP are pure disaster like I mentioned. Probably we should first complete polishing timing on easier papers and switch to EPP then


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:00 pm
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@dh28,

In another post you mentioned about feeding 1500 words in flash card app. Could you point to such app? was it in mobile/laptop or something else.

Beside, what will you say to someone who is in year 4 (will join year 5, sept onwards) but scoring 70-77% in ExamPaperPlus Sutton papers (maths and English both)? I gave him papers to see how much he could get in first few paper sets (3 papers till now). Moreover he scored around 50-70% in maths papers ( Bancroft, Merchant Taylor, st Albans; hard level as par academy ). He is aware that these are tough papers and he is meant to solve them next year.

He is at this stage without any tutoring. Could you suggest any systematic way to go forward from here?


Thanks

S K


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