RGS Guildford entrance 2013

(246 Posts)
BleakSpouse Wed 16-Jan-13 12:05:35

Anybody know if any rejection / second interview letters have yet been received?

racingheart Thu 31-Jan-13 17:59:54

Never too late to suggest they start rowing then. I just presumed there was nowhere nearby when I didn't see it on their details, but if there's a local club... DS would love to row.

Amber2 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:05:46

Thanks Harrison, that is good to hear ...I am not one who hangs around the school gate anyway - occasional coffee meet up or lunch or Xmas dinner is fine...reassured by all this, now he just has to get in there!

Racingheart. my DS would love to row too...I think he has to be 11 to join the local rowing club and there is a wait list (Olympics effect) ...p'raps if he makes it to RGS, we can lobby for it !

Amber2 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:07:47

Sailing is good though as DS already does RYA courses (dinghy only) ...all that will motivate him ...


Just re-reading your threads. If it's any consolation, my DS2 had Dickens in the comprehension at 11+. He had NEVER read any before apart from a trial comprehension I gave him at home (taken off another schools' past paper - scout around for these; Manchester Grammar School and others of that ilk publish them on their websites and are a change from the Bond genre). He came out of the exam saying it was hard as he hadn't really 'got' the Dickens, but he got called back for the scholarship paper....I think they like to see that you can tackle a question, even if you don't fully understand it.

Amber2 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:18:42


thanks ...that is also encouraging ...I remember Hard Times from schooldays...but i was in my late teens then ...if you can get Dickens you can probably get any English prose..it's the sort of prose though I imagine that's very difficult for a non native English language learner...have a few papers from school sites but will look at the one you suggested also

Amber2 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:24:00

Harrison...just looked at the MGS site - that's great as they give the answers to their maths papers ...wish all the others did the same!

IvySquirrel Thu 31-Jan-13 21:36:38

Well done to all who are in!
For those interested in levels...my DS2 was called back for scholarship and sat it yesterday morning. In the evening we went to his parents' evening and were told he is working at level 6 for maths, 5A for reading & 5B for writing. He too had never read any Dickens until the entrance exam. Prep was Bond VR, Maths & English, 3/4 times a week.
As for social aspects...my DS1 has become increasingly independent, goes to friend's houses by train etc. I don't do too much taxi-ing.... .For the parents depends how much you want to get involved. Though there are definitely more social opportunities than my friends with kids at state secondaries have had.

Amber2 Thu 31-Jan-13 22:29:05

yes well done to those who made it ..well done Ivy to your DS...curious if you did just Bond or other resources too...I have no idea what levels DS is at .. (i.e. 5 or 6) as prep school does not state these but he is pretty advanced at maths (finished 11-12 bond maths and is now a bit bored of Bond I suspect...tried 12+ bond, but a few areas in there not covered yet)...wondered when you started your 11+ prep - will start some some DIY prep proper for over half term (so far it's been a bit random and haphazard) - with a couple of papers a week during term time and ramp up to 3/4 a week nearer the time of actual exam.

Amber2 Thu 31-Jan-13 22:33:53

"pretty advanced in maths" for my DS is about a year ahead of syllabus and does not equate of course to those truly advanced prodigies that sit GSCE at 5 ...!

JoanByers Thu 31-Jan-13 23:37:23

I would say my son would be:

Maths NC Level 7+
English Level 4 (his creative writing is only passable, while his comprehension is weaker, but his spelling, punctuation, etc. is pretty much 100%)
VR around the 135 range (definitely not up to the 140 level)

Also his EP report provided a LOT of info, and showed that his maths ability is in fact exceptional rather than merely very good.

In terms of prep, for me the EP report was well worth the money, since he obviously has an uneven spread of abilities, which was fully explored in the report. Apart from that, VR practice: get this book www.galorepark.co.uk/product/parents/704/how-to-do-verbal-reasoning-a-step-by-step-guide.html and go through each type of questions in turn, talking about strategies for solving (e.g., eliminating answers that could not be correct, to make a guess more likely to succeed), and then practice VR papers (Bond or similar) until he is getting 90%+.

The VR stuff is very easy to coach and make big improvements, so definitely worth doing.

There is always a 1/2 hour comprehension and 1/2 hour creative writing session, and I did lots of practice with past papers from other independent schools (Manchester Grammar has lots on their website, and should be of a similar level). I didn't seem to make much impact on the comprehension, it was still awful, but perhaps we did. The creative writing seemed to be easier to coach, because there are more rules - beginning, middle and end, make sure you practise writing within a half-an-hour time frame (no point in trying to write a massive story that would take 3 hours to complete), plan a few points before starting.

When discussing with the school SENCO she/we did wonder whether the schools would be interested in him on the basis of his exceptional abilities, or reject him on the basis of his worst areas (the lowest score in the EP report was 10 (verbal comprehension), which is exactly the 50th percentile, so he's not that bad - level 4 English is average, nationally, but obviously not usual for the intake of the most selective schools) risking the precious 90% A*/A at GCSE. The fear was that they would reject him, but it does appear not, thankfully.

surreygoldfish Fri 01-Feb-13 09:00:26

JoanBuyers - your post gives me some hope. We're waiting on a 13+ decision so could be in the try again camp. DS has similar profile to your son, although not quite so extreme - no idea re NC levels!

JoanByers, that VR book looks excellent. We also used Susan Daughtry http://www.susandaughtreyeducation.com/_shop/books/ , although we ran out of time and never got to Book 4! I think it's useful to stray from the Bond books as they get a little repetitive after a while, which is why I exposed both my boys to other schools past papers; hoping they wouldnt get too used to a 'formula'.

JoanByers Fri 01-Feb-13 11:37:05

surreygoldfish: I am not convinced that there is a 'try again camp' at this point.

surreygoldfish Fri 01-Feb-13 11:55:55

JoanByers - not sure ? Someone had suggested that if you had applied for 13+ and they remain uncertain about the DS then you are invited to resist at12+.... And these letters would come out with the others mid Feb.

Amber2 we primarily used Bond and didn't do that much on Maths, concentrated on English, comprehension and VR. I'd second that the VR scores can be improved. The English and comprehension is slower work IME if that's the weaker subject - but I figured it would help DS generally not just for the exam.

mummytime Fri 01-Feb-13 12:56:50

Guildford has a rowing club (and I'm surprised if RGS doesn't have as a local Comp does).
There is also a very good Kayak club in Guildford, which lots of youngsters from various schools belong to.

Amber2 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:06:04

Thanks for the feedback...agree that English and Comprehension are slower and less easy to assess at this stage ...Ds good at creative writing but not very structured in terms of timed exercise but will focus on comprehension and timed practice and vocab for next few months and don't mind that, since as you say, they are generally good for any all round education..finds the Vr and maths more easy to predict in terms of levels. Have started on the Daughtrey and will use Bond also for VR a suggested . Daughtrey has a lot of books though - I am just using the ones on pure VR but are there others worth getting ...eg the ones that focus more on number codes?

Jiddle Sat 02-Feb-13 07:16:33

There was a number code question in the VR exam Amber so you might want to get some practice on that type of qu but a whole book on them might be a bit overkill.

We used the Bond and DS went from around 70% to around 95% consistently in 6 months of 1 or 2 papers a week. He said he found the VR exam the easiest exam and that it was easier than the Bond practice papers (though we are of course waiting to hear if he got in or not!)

IvySquirrel Sat 02-Feb-13 15:03:03

Amber2 we only used Bond papers & started a year in advance of the Entrance exam.
I think VR was most useful as DS has never done this at state school.
Although maths is DS's strongest subject, doing timed papers was good as he tends to dawdle. The also taught him to check back for silly mistakes e.g. putting a decimal point in the wrong place.
English was a struggle and we didn't do any timed writing at home - I couldn't face the fight! Having seen examples of his writing at school I was pretty confident he could pull it out of the bag on the day. We did use the Bond comprehension as the texts are quite challenging and use a wider vocabulary than ones he had done at school. However I felt the questions were sometimes quite ambiguous, so coming up to the exam I got him to do some SATS papers which were much clearer. This boosted his confidence that he could actually do comprehension!

annach Sat 02-Feb-13 15:33:33

Amber, I agree with Ivy Squirrel. A year of Bond papers is a good idea, but go for Galore Park over Bond for the English.

IPS are also good practise papers.

Bond comprehension papers aren't well-written and can be very ambiguous. You'd be better off downloading past papers from sites like Manchester Grammar and getting him to practise these.

Good luck.

Amber2 Sun 03-Feb-13 06:47:38

Thanks all, really value the feedback. I have one more question did your DCs also do a lot of NVR practice and is that relevant for RGS 11 plus at all?

Aboleyn Sun 03-Feb-13 07:45:52

RGS only include vr in exam.

Really want to get my 11+ acceptance letter now, still feels very uncertain until then.... Does anyone know how RGS integrate the new joiners, do they get invited for an induction in the summer term ?

trinity0097 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:30:24

Not sure about rgs, but independent schools don't generally do that type of thing aboleyn.

IvySquirrel Sun 03-Feb-13 12:55:38

Amber2 no NVR at all.
Aboleyn there is an induction afternoon for boys & parents around end of June.

Amber2 Mon 04-Feb-13 13:11:20

Thanks Aboleyn and IvySquirrel, my DS seems to have no problem on NVR given the one or two tests he has tried ...may have to do some more though anyway in case it comes up in "reasoning" tests that other schools do at 11+.

Harrison - I am curious - on another thread - as you have 2 DS at RGS and well versed on this, you said it was a no brainer to join at 11 not 13 and some regret not doing so because they can have a bit more fun than staying at prep and slogging for common entrance. Other folk have told me though that doing CE is a good prep for GCSE and I also believe those last two years at prep would be good for DS get to be "senior" for 2 years and will be more mature and have more about him when he joins "big school". I also would have thought RGS has internal exams yearly and that has its own pressure given the selectivity of the boys there. I must admit having a further gating item at CE of 70% is a bit offputting, but my current inclination is to keep DS at his prep school for years 7 and 8 for the above reasons and because he also loves his non-selective prep...there is a cohort of about 50 joining RGS at 13+ - so surely they integrate just as well then, compared to those joining at 11+. But your comments have given me pause for thought on this.

Amber2 Mon 04-Feb-13 13:15:12

I should add that I asked the question of two other senior schools which take at 11 and 13 and both told me that most boys who come at 11 are either at state primary or at a prep school that goes up to 11. and they generally recommended that if a prep school goes uo to 13, then boys stay for the final two years...not sure why though.

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