DIY 11+ tutoring - recommendations for best NVR materials?

(20 Posts)
Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 12:53:36

My DD, who is at school in France, will, in 14 months' time, take a secondary school entrance exam very similar to some of the tests used for some 11+ examinations in the UK. This sort of examination is extremely rare in France and there is no 11+ tutoring industry here, nor are there materials available to DIY.

Based on the information I have available I am planning to "home tutor" my DD myself in NVR. I haven't yet invested much in the way of materials. Would anyone be kind enough share with me what they think (and have preferably found to be) the best materials for home preparation of NVR?

stressedofstreatham Wed 13-Nov-13 13:06:55

Start with the 'how to do' from bond and also the GL Assessment 11 Plus Explained. There should be plenty about on ebay and amazon at this time!

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 13:08:48

Thank you!

Amber2 Wed 13-Nov-13 13:10:12

Bond (practice and how to do) , CGP 11+ (tests and how to do books) , GL Assessment, the First Past the Post eleven plus peer compare books (where you can compare ranked scores online) were good for us Bonsoir..and then lots and lots of practice papers and some online stuff too...my DS vastly improved on his timing in particular as it got more familiar to him...we only did DIY and it worked just fine for him provided you put in lots of practice -he did one or two a week of NVR over several weeks and you have time on your side. In fact we bought too many resources..he ended up using less than half of them, so I would recommend you start with three or four publishers only, then once mastered vary from those if you wants.

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 13:16:17

Thank you!

DD did some Bond NVR books a couple of years ago during the February half-term and loved it, so I'm not too worried about getting her to practice. Realistically, however, she has very busy weeks during the school term so we need to focus on the holidays. I am very keen on trying some on-line practice as she can still be persuaded that anything on line is a game and a "treat". I did see that there were some Apps for the iPhone - has anyone tried them?

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 13:17:26

Amber2 - which school did your DS get into (if you don't mind sharing - no problem if you don't want to)?

changejustforyou Wed 13-Nov-13 13:54:26

Because of busy school time and busy holidays (being the Xmas holidays), we (well, dc) did the Bond "10 minutes" test

callingearth Wed 13-Nov-13 14:01:55

You've got good recommendations here. I wish I could remember everything we used but we made a bonfire after accepting the school and burned it all grin

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 14:10:19

One day I too will have a bonfire.

<eyes bookcase already heaving with unsightly brightly coloured revision books>

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 14:18:29

10 minutes sounds like a good idea, especially in the run-up when it will be term time. I need to make a plan of action between now and the test and work out which materials to use when.

hottiebottie Thu 14-Nov-13 08:44:53

CGP books are good - The 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Study Book and Parent's Guide explains in detail how to do the various NVR question types, and the 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 10-11) also includes explanations and practice tests. Eleven Plus Exams supplies some good software packages for practising and building up speed (change from pencil and paper) and also a great little app for practising on an Ipod or Android device available here.

Look here for online discussion/advice relating to NVR.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Nov-13 08:54:42

Thank you! I think I am beginning to realise that my first priority is to get to grips with all the possible question types and how to approach them.

hottiebottie Thu 14-Nov-13 12:20:12

There are also some handy little online tutorials available if you do a search for Non Verbal Reasoning on YouTube.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Nov-13 12:38:14

Thanks! On line definitely always interesting!

castlesintheair Thu 14-Nov-13 12:48:48

I thought the GLA Assessment papers were the best as they were the ones closest to the test used by our super selective grammar school. You get 8 x 80 question papers if you buy both sets. The papers get more difficult. Bond Papers are also good. Probably best to start with these especially the 10 minute tests and work your way up to the GLA ones. Other good ones are Daughtrey graded test papers, Athey and the Letts ones. We bought these as we were told they were closest to such and such a school that DS was sitting for. In the end he only did the 8x GLA Assessment papers and a few 10 minute Bond tests as there was never enough time.

Bonsoir, yes it's "learning" the different types of question and then learning the techniques to answer them. This is what the tutors in UK teach. We never used a tutor and managed. Then it's practice.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Nov-13 14:41:59

Thanks, castles. All recommendations most gratefully received!

I had to get to grips with phonics a few years ago to ensure DD learned to read and write in English and last year I coached DSS1 for IELTS. NVR is clearly going to be my next home ed challenge!

Ladymuck Thu 14-Nov-13 16:50:27

As I'm fairly sure you know, it is also worth trying to work out who writes the paper for the school. There are relatively few exam writers, which can help you with prep, as GLA seem to use 9 or so question types. With my kids I've found that they only get stuck on one question type (just not the same one!).

It is also worth knowing what the format of the NVR test as some tests are for short bursts of time so 6 minutes to do 12 questions, then a 2 minute break followed by 6 minutes to do the next set etc. A few independent schools now do online tests, and here it is important to know whether you can go back to a previous question or not, and also whether the questions "run out" or go on for as long as the exam does.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Nov-13 17:43:13

I know who administers the exam and I know the two main providers they use - sadly I can only access one of the two catalogues!

Bonsoir Thu 14-Nov-13 17:44:03

They are not online as far as I know - we are given little info so I have to exchange favours with the parents of previous test takers.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Thu 14-Nov-13 20:23:23

Bond are okay, but a bit easy. Our DD1 saw a very experienced tutor who had her working through the GLA ones instead. More challenging, and closer to the real thing.

Timing a hugely important consideration. Only 30 seconds per question, as a general rule. If you're going over the 30 seconds, then move on to the next question...you can always go back.

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