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Common Entrance Practice Papers

(10 Posts)
2017newyear Sun 05-Feb-17 07:00:24

Does anyone know of anywhere to download old practice papers for CE?

I can only find galore own site and they are very expensive there.

DC's school don't give them out until October year 8 to bring home, but as they sit mocks in March of year 7, my dc is already worrying about what the format is like.

trinity0097 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:09:14

You can only get them from galore park, but why not get the iseb revision guides from Amazon, there usually are some second hand you can get to keep the price down. They have similar questions.

2017newyear Sun 05-Feb-17 18:10:51

Oh that's great I hadn't known about them.

Thank you.

MadHattersTea Sun 05-Feb-17 18:36:00

Do try to reassure your DS that he really does not need to worry. The school will practice these papers ad nauseam before he sits the exams - and he will be very well prepared. That's what you are paying for. Also, nobody ever fails (but maybe don't tell him that!)

I would be wary of showing him the papers before the school recommends for two reasons
- if he has not finished the syallabus he may well look at them and feel there are whole areas he cannot tackle. That won't do his confidence much good
- if the school wants the students to sit the mocks without preparation it is because they want a baseline level for each child against which they can judge improvements. If your DS has already seen and practiced the past papers he is going to get a much higher mark than he would normally have done and that may well skew their preparations for him...

2017newyear Sun 05-Feb-17 20:08:14

Excuse my ignorance what do you mean nobody fails?

My dc's senior school has a 65% pass mark while I know others have between 55-70.

Doesn't this mean they have to get 65% in the exam? And the place is conditional on CE.

Good points though re daunting if not covered all syllabus and school wanting baseline.

AnotherNewt Sun 05-Feb-17 20:17:01

No-one ever fails becaus it's a conditional offer system.

And there is quite a lot of matching between school and potential pupil in the run up to the exam. And the offers should be well within the DC's capability. The exam is in effect confirmatory.

It's very rare that a school mucks up its numbers badly enough that it has to put out the word that it might have to fail candidates - if that happens it would be in spring of year 8, with enough time for weaker candidates to switch to a different first choice school (listen to your prep head advice on this).

There can always be a bit of horse trading if there are very surprising results.

MadHattersTea Sun 05-Feb-17 20:17:36

Your prep would not have put your DS in for the secondary of your choice unless they were absolutely certain that he would reach that threshold. Their entire reputation rests on that. That is why almost all prep schools can boast on their web sites that all their students were accepted at their first choice school.
The only exceptions to this would be if the prep head had said "don't enter Fred for school x because it is not the right school for him and he won't achieve the pass mark" and the parents had still gone ahead.
Even if a child drops a few marks in the actual exams the secondaries take them if the school reference says they are usually performing at the required level.

2017newyear Sun 05-Feb-17 21:15:18

Oh that's very reassuring for me as a parent to know, agree don't think I'll share that with my child wink

BizzyFizzy Tue 07-Feb-17 20:48:38

I teach in a prep school.

I give individial 11+ and CE questions for preps, but whole papers start around October half-term in Year 8, with a few questions omitted because the topics haven't been covered.

It is really important to have lots of exam practice for CE, as the papers (science) are really badly written. Exam technique is everything. My Year 8s will have practised every past paper we have in the run up to CE.

As for no one failing CE, it certainly shouldn't happen. The real selection takes place at the pre-test, and this is getting more formalised with the introduction of the Common Pre-test. If a child has a place at an appropriate school, they will get in. Every year is nerve-wracking for both parents and prep schools though.

Michaelahpurple Thu 09-Feb-17 15:35:09

It can happen, albeit rarely. A few years ago a boy at our prep really didn't cooperate at all and didn't do well enough at CE to go through to the linked senior school, and has to go elsewhere. Sad for him but handy as a cautionary tale for teens!

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