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Online eleven plus training

(9 Posts)
Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo Wed 28-Sep-16 21:28:44

Ds has just done cats tests and his teacher has said that based on his scores he should try for a nearby grammar school. He got 121, 133, 139 and is weaker on the verbal side.

I don't want to send him to a tutor but also don't want to send him into an exam unprepared as it is the norm for kids living here to be tutored from y4 onwards or y5 if they want to apply to grammar schools.

I am looking at Bond online (£50 per year or £6 per month)

COAsT (Chukra Online Assessment Tool, £50 for 24 tests)

QuestionMix (£24 per year)

KSOL (£45 per month plus £15 set-up fee shock)

Planet BOFA (£6 per month)

Or I could buy a bunch of bond books or similar. Any experience gratefully received. I have looked on the eleven plus forum but it made me want to dig myself a hole and hide there forever as many of the posters seemed a bit more intense about the whole thing than I was expecting. Other parents at school are all a bit cloak and dagger about 11+ and preparation. I'm hoping MN will help out smile

Dixiechickonhols Wed 28-Sep-16 21:57:53

My DD has just sat hers (results awaited!) The 11+ varies a lot around the country. The 11 plus forum is intense but does seem to have the most specialist info for each region. Check the school website for a start they will explain format of tests and key dates to register.

Our area uses GL(maths/english/vr). The main thing was to ensure especially in Maths DD had covered all the topics. The 11 plus maths questions went well beyond what she was doing in school in yr 5. Then over summer she did GL practice papers (packs 1 and 2) to improve speed and accuracy.

I know however lots of the 11 plus areas are now a totally dfferent CEM style test.

DC needs to read lots helps comprehension and vr. There are 11 plus reading lists online. Especially classics. Old fashioned words used to come up in the practice tests.

What year is your DC/where are you?

Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo Thu 29-Sep-16 17:19:03

I am in Glos. We have CEM. Despite lots of tutors claiming that they can prep for it, the test varies year-on-year and papers are not circulated widely. I am hoping for a recommendation for one of the online training sites.

PettsWoodParadise Thu 29-Sep-16 18:38:27

Are the actual tests you will be taking on a computer or on paper? DD did three lots of grammar tests last year and all were on paper. It is very important to learn to juggle question paper, note paper and answer paper on a small desk. Timing on a computer and on paper are also hard to compare. My recommendation would be to stick with paper based products which will make me sound like a Luddite but for eleven plus I just firmly believe that is the best course. As others have said it is best to kno the test provider and the test content as even GL differs across areas and some include spatial tests like cubes and nets, others don't.

We successfully home tutored and it can be done - the key ingredient is that your DC really wants to do it.

Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo Thu 29-Sep-16 21:07:35

My DC has visited one of our local grammars and is interested. We're not set on the top massively oversubscribed superselective: the less popular school will do just fine. Ds is bright and got very high CAT scores with no coaching. Given the number of grammar places in county, he should have a very good chance of a place. So I don't want to make a big thing of tutoring and I would like to use an online tool as my son responds best to this sort of learning. We can practice him holding his paper in the summer, but if he's borderline enough for that to make a difference then I'd rather he went to the comp.

What I'm looking for is any recommendations for any of the online services smile.

PettsWoodParadise Thu 29-Sep-16 21:38:11

Sorry wheredid but you did say 'Or I could buy a bunch of bond books or similar. Any experience gratefully received.' so I thought this was part of the equation and put in my twopennorth accordingly. We didn't make a big thing of tutoring either, just an hour once a week, often in two half hour blocks from start of Y5. Hopefully someone else will come along and give experience of the the online tools. All those I know who relied on online only found pretty quickly that it didn't bear any relation to their region. I believe the Bond one is more customisable than most to the region or schools being targeted but that is only going on what one parent told me. Another lot of feedback was that the online tests lull you into a sense of they are doing all the work for you when in reality you need to check where the common incorrect questions are and then adapt the training appropriately. Some online courses claim to do this but in reality they just churn out tests and the children repeat what they also know and continue to get the questions types they are getting wrong wrong.

Badbadbunny Fri 30-Sep-16 11:03:02

Why not use a local tutor? They will know the type of exam used by each school so can tailor their tuition to the actual schools you are going for and will also know the standard of those who secure a place.

But if you're dead against it, you need to find out from the schools what kind of 11+ they use, get past or specimen papers from their website etc., and then work backwards and select whatever forms of books/online training you need.

Really no point in using computer-based tuition if the exam itself is paper based. Our son has always preferred computer based tuition, but we found the 11+ sites completely useless because the 11+ itself was paper based - he liked the computer sites, but it did him no good so we had to stop him and make him pick up a pencil and paper! Also some paper based are multiple choice whereas others are written.

A lot of whether a kid gains a place or not is down to exam technique, i.e. time management, whether to answer questions in order or whether to start at your best/worse parts first, dealing with distractions, pressure, etc.

With our son, we concentrated on exam technique rather than actual tuition of the subject matter. He lurched from running out of time half way through to finishing in half the time - it was hard work getting him to pace himself, limit his time on harder questions and not rush and make silly mistakes on the easier bits.

Around here there is a tutor who does a formal mock exam in a church hall (proper exam desks, proper papers, exam conditions etc). Our son came out thinking he'd done really well, it was easy, he had loads of time, etc., but had a hell of a shock when we got the results, which were good (all over 80%) but not good enough to secure a place. The tutor's evaluation was that most of the lost marks were due to silly mistakes or poor time management and that the lost marks were in easier sections of the paper. Lesson learned for him! I'd suggest finding that kind of mock exam in your area if you don't engage a tutor.

Autumnsky Fri 30-Sep-16 14:34:46

I think it's good to buy some work book and do it at home, then do some sample papers. If the schools you choose don't provide sample paper, then do some sample paper from similar grammar school. We do find the sample paper from grammar school and independant school is harder than the bond paper.

Garic Thu 27-Oct-16 13:35:25

Hi Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo,

Did you manage to decide ?
Apart from the websites you listed I found another 2.

I am looking for learning resources for my son as well.

The structure I am aiming for is as below:

1) Weekly lesson of around 1 hour.
2) Daily work of around 30 mins based on the lesson
3) Weekly test based on lesson

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