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Those of you whose children are doing the 11+ this September...

(14 Posts)
BillPostersIsInnocent Tue 30-Jul-13 07:44:02

How much work are they doing over the summer? Just being nosey really. Dd is doing one paper or part of a paper for each topic, each week (so one verbal, non verbal and maths) - no tutor.
I am hoping we have the balance right. I've heard lots of warnings about over cooking them but also am aware of the summer slip.

What is everyone else doing?

BillPostersIsInnocent Tue 30-Jul-13 07:46:11

YARGH! Should have put this in primary, she's not at secondary yet blush

piggywigwig Tue 30-Jul-13 10:25:44

The amount of work your DC does, or should do, will very much depend on whether you're going for a superselective or a school where in the region of 25 - 30% of candidates get into GS, like Bucks and Kent. Another couples of factors: how academically able are they and also how is their exam technique is coming along.

passthecheese Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:36

My ideal would be 20-30 minutes of a maths or English paper each day, plus reading every day. Choice of book would be DS's. So far, he has done 2 maths papers v grudgingly but he enjoys maths. His 10th birthday was yesterday so I gave him the day off.

Asheth Tue 30-Jul-13 13:43:16

That sounds similar to what my ds did last year except we also spent 10-15 mins before bed playing word or number games each day. We did take complete breaks, not even discussing the 11+ if we were away. He passed and is off to grammar school in Sept.

But it depends on what the pass mark is likely to be and how much she's prepared so far. good luck!

Ladymuck Tue 30-Jul-13 15:55:08

I think that a lot will depend on how well prepared they already are. If you are still looking at technique, and ensuring mastery of the basics, then it might be a little light, but if, say, she was at the level where she would have breezed through 11+ before the end of term, but you want to avoid a dip over the summer, then sounds about right. Most of my year 5 friends are annoyed about timing - that the children get tested shortly after a 6 week break!

BillPostersIsInnocent Tue 30-Jul-13 16:42:26

It is annoying they are tested then but I guess they all are so no-one is at a disadvantage.
She's getting above the pass mark every time but there are still a few problem areas - timing on the non verbal being one, not sure how to get round that apart from practice.

iclaudius Tue 30-Jul-13 16:44:27

How do you know what the pass mark IS op??

BillPostersIsInnocent Tue 30-Jul-13 19:32:57

Oh yes, not pass mark, sorry! here gives the scores needed for maximum marks and she isn't too far off these most times (apart from the odd heart-attacking inducing blipswink)

piggywigwig Tue 30-Jul-13 20:17:47

Timing can be down to various factors and can be put right. You will need to identify whether she's experiencing issues because of lack of exam technique experience due to needing more practice, or improved strategies for tackling the question paper and question types. It could also be down to her struggling with certain types.

Perhaps you can see a pattern?

Does she have a clear strategy for managing her time?

Have you spoken with her about where she feels she needs more help?

Does she struggle with timing on shorter papers?

BillPostersIsInnocent Tue 30-Jul-13 23:08:32

Piggywig - It's a mix. She definitely struggles with one particular type of question which we have been working on.
As each section is 12 questions in 6 mins there isn't too much time strategy to be done apart from 'move on if a question' is taking too long to answer.
Her time management is fine on the other two types of paper so I think really practice is the key as she'll become quicker at identifying features to each section.

Btw we are in Kent. DD is an able student, we're not working with her because she won't pass otherwise, it's more to give her access to all options (superselective and 'normal' grammars).

Are you a tutor or clued up parent?!

piggywigwig Tue 30-Jul-13 23:58:28


I'm a clued-up parent lol!

NVR wasn't in DD2's 11+ but we're doing some together now, for a bit of fun, so I'm grasping the issues smile

I appreciate that you say there's 12 questions in 6 mins and so you feel that there isn't too much in the way of time strategy. However, what I was getting at, was that sometimes, time can be saved by learning little tips and tricks to crack questions much faster wink There's often more than one way to skin a cat with certain question-types and it can allow you to "bank" some time in each section.

Please don't think me rude when I ask this, especially if you've already tried it: have you gone through the questions with her that she finds more challenging and asked her to explain her approach? I did this once with DD2 and I was able to spot some areas where she was falling into a thinking trap. She wasn't doing it wrong, it's that it could be done more efficiently and effectively and I helped to explore that herself and come to the same conclusion. I didn't want to spoonfeed her but encourage a "thinking outside the box" approach.

Practice does make perfect and you've still got time on your side if she doesn't really have issues with Maths and VR.

It's good to have choices and options: many children grow in confidence after the extra work and support.

ladyinhiding Sun 25-Aug-13 18:02:23

My son is doing the 11+ in September. He is not so academic as his older sister (already in grammar school) but he really wants to go to the boys grammar school as he is a science buff and it is a science specialist school, i.e they teach Physics/Chemistry/Biology separately as opposed to local comps who lump together and only teach twice a week, plus local school teaches rural science and as he can't do that he will be 'dumped' in the library on his own. Like I say unlike his sister at the same stage, he's not as forward but is 5C reading, 4A maths and 3A literacy - so not awful. He does have dyspraxia but as yet has not been statemented due to a very long wait for OT. The problem we have with him is speed, he did a mock test and was below on everything, 3 questions in maths, 4 reasoning and 7 in literacy - his tutor said he was accurate with his answers but not fast enough. If he does it online he can whizz through in less than 50 minutes with am average of 80% but on paper he is really slow. I know his wrists do ache after a while when writing for long periods of time, but can't think that ticking boxes and working out maths would be painful for him - he says not anyway. Apart from brain training does anyone have any suggestions on ways of speeding him up please?
Tutor just says keep practising- which of course we are.

goingmadinthecountry Mon 26-Aug-13 09:51:19

Do you do SPANSS for NVR? Shape, position, angle, number, size, shading. Look at one element at a time and eliminate those it can't be by putting a cross through the letter name. Gives you better odds if you need to guess at the end. Asterisk any you miss out so you know where to come back to. Always go back over any you got wrong using SPANSS to work out where you went wrong.

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