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horrible 13+ CE mocks

(18 Posts)
originalbiglymavis Tue 14-Mar-17 09:45:37

In a bit of a tiz.

D's recently sat his mocks and not to put too fine a point on it, 2 exams stunk (a combination of silly mistakes, rushing, not reading the q, going off point/waffling) and 2 were slapdash /(basic mistakes, not checking work).

God, the exam is in June! Can someone please peel me off the ceiling with wise words?

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 14-Mar-17 09:50:56

That is why there are mocks!

Go through the papers with DS and discuss where he went wrong, how to underline the question in a way that he answers to the point eg. Where? Who? Why? What? How?

Discuss timing issues so that he has time to read through the paper.

Mock results can be scary but practice papers (timed) helps resolve all these issues before the real thing. Try not to let him see your panic. Stay calm.

ZombieApocalips Tue 14-Mar-17 09:53:27

My son's doing GCSE rather than CE but had very low mock grades.
You have to remember that his new school won't know his mock grades and you know where his weaknesses are so he can try and take more care on future papers. Coincidentally, your son's weaknesses are the same as mine. He finishes the exam in plenty of time but is slapdash. He is trying to slow down and use his time effectively.

originalbiglymavis Tue 14-Mar-17 09:58:56

He races through then doodles on the paper. He answered a topic that hadn't been taught (he read it himself). He gives one word answer to a 4 point q... He's been told that he can get 100% in maths if he gets his head out of the clouds (I paraphrase). He can't be bothered with subject he doesn't like, so duh, doesn't do well....

What am i going to do with this boy???!!!

homebythesea Tue 14-Mar-17 12:48:35

Presumably he is holding an offer from senior school? So they saw something in him either in entrance exam and/or interview! Seriously, it is vanishingly rare for kids to fail CE and not go to the senior school of choice. Is he motivated to get to that school? Would he respond to a clear setting out of the consequences?

Mocks are often marked v harshly to give the kids a kick up the bum....

But it sounds like he needs exam technique guidance. They should know that a 4 Mark question needs 2 or 4 separate points for example. He should know that doodling on an exam paper is a bad idea. He should know that you need to take eg ten minutes on section 1, 20 mins in section 2 etc. You need to talk to his tutor and get some reassurance that technique issues are given almost equal weight to the knowledge (which should have all been covered by this stage anyway). IME there was nothing but practice papers from Feb half term onwards

originalbiglymavis Tue 14-Mar-17 13:13:42

Yes he has an offer - we had to relinquish 2 - so no Plan B!

Wants to go to the school, knows that time would be very tight to find somewhere else at such late notice.

Gaps in knowledge I could tackle but a completely numptiness? I asked him what 5 diagrams he needed to know how to draw in geography and he came up with a list of 7 'errr, is it waterfalls?'

SpikeStoker Tue 14-Mar-17 13:20:17

I was talking to DS over the weekend about his CE experience. I really wouldn't worry, prep schools IME mark mocks hard to avoid coasting. Following seriously not great mock results my DS did no work over Easter, the continuous exam practice in school was sufficient. The school was positive that marks in the 'real thing' would be a grade or two higher than the mocks. What I'm trying to say is Don't Panic. Talk to the tutor, but if your DC has been offered a place by a senior school then they are capable of gaining the pass required. Just as an afterthought, my DS (who by some miracle seems to have discovered a work ethic this year) said he wished he had worked hard harder over Easter and in the run up to CE as it would have been nice to get better grades! confused

happygardening Tue 14-Mar-17 15:19:34

If my memory serves me correct lots at DS2's school didn't do overly well in their mock CE I think its meant to be a wake up call.
As said above very few fail every year, if your at a good prep with a track record of getting pupils into your chosen senior school and your following it's advise about schools then I would have thought that its highly unlikely your DS will fail. Your prep will spend all of the time running up to CE practising.
Secondly unless your aiming for a very oversubscribed super selective then I think senior schools will accept CE marks that are lower than their website says they want. At least two of DS2 friends definitely didn't get the required marks at CE and still got their places these two schools are big name selective.
Good luck.

teta Wed 15-Mar-17 09:25:52

I would welcome a Common Entrance support group!
I'm finding the whole process more difficult than dd1 doing A levels.
And yes how do you get 12 year old boys to revise without yelling at them?Especially when they are entering the teenage arrogant phase.

originalbiglymavis Wed 15-Mar-17 09:49:54


originalbiglymavis Wed 15-Mar-17 09:50:26

I'm focussing of test papers to time now.

originalbiglymavis Sat 18-Mar-17 08:25:19

Ok people, are we doing this or what?

Get those kids up, fed and have a work plan ready for the day.

Have something fun planned for after and some good snacks on hand.

Today is - homework, chemistry, geography and a bit of RE. Going over those ISEB revision q&a books.

Fun is swimming later on and a DVD after dinner.

teta Sat 18-Mar-17 11:12:00

Mines doing Athletics this morning and homework this afternoon.He's going off with his friend tomorrow as this is the first Sunday since Christmas he hasn't had a project or exams to study for.Exams last week so he now needs a bit of a break.He's Dyslexic and gets exhausted and overwhelmed and slower the more you stress him.

seniorschoolparent Sat 18-Mar-17 12:11:27

For those about to embark on the 'beginning of the end or the end of the beginning' this might make you smile.

What's in the article is fairly obvious stuff but nicely put.

happygardening Sat 18-Mar-17 13:40:16

Tim Hands who wrote the above linked article is now head at Winchester which has (at least did until my he arrived last autumn can't comment now) a policy of no work in the holidays except revision yr 11/13, a policy needless to say the boys embrace with enthusiasm grin.

BizzyFizzy Sat 18-Mar-17 17:14:35

Bear in mind, OP, that CE passmarks are 55 - 70% depending on the senior school. If he is getting around 50% now, there is plenty of time to make up any shortfall.

I would imagine that teachers are finishing off their topics fairly shortly, then it will be practice papers for several weeks.

He will get there. Very few fail.

BizzyFizzy Sat 18-Mar-17 17:21:43

How do you get a 12 year old boy to revise?

With my DS2, we had him board for the first half of the summer term. It was the perfect solution - no nagging at home, and he was quite content to do 2nd prep along with all the other boys. Is boarding an option, OP?

I teach CE Science and our marks were generally just below the stated requirements of the senior schools. I marked strictly to the mark schemes, which were a bit rubbish, tbh. I imagine most senior schools give a lot more latitude.

Grade boundaries from senior schools are one of those tightly guarded secrets. The only thing that is certain is the 99% of boys pass.

Although I know this as a mum and teacher, I still get exasperated by the boys.

originalbiglymavis Sat 18-Mar-17 18:51:06

Our pass mark is 70 and we've been told that they mark tough!

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