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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:58 pm 
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Hi my DD is sitting this sept and I too am totally stressed with the whole timing issue. whilst good at the maths she just falls apart under time constraints. She can’t finish reading and do the questions for the comprehension in time but if given a few more minutes she’s great. Her tutor says she needs to be timed now to understand it’s time pressured but I feel like daddybear, I’d rather she knows the material inside out before timing her. I’m afraid it’s knocking her confidence but not sure if I’m just bring nieve about it. At the end of the day she will be timed and that’s probably the main difficulty with the 11 plus, those kids that can be accurate under pressure and those that need more time like mine. I just don’t know.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:32 pm 
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I think April is a bit early for too many timed mock papers, but possibly not the 10 minute tests. Maybe try a few at an easier level for the timing to appreciate the speed that is required without knocking their confidence too much?

Learning the processes for maths is fundamental, so once they have mastered that the speed can be increased. No one has time to read the whole comprehension piece and answer the questions; it is a matter of being able to skim read and pick out the important key area to answer the question. However, with DS2 we did make him read the whole piece first and underline where he thought the answer was, and then once he got better we started timing (over the allotted time to start with, and gradually decreasing it).

Maybe time the subject areas they are better at to start with so as not to knock their confidence? DS2 was best at NVR, so it was easier to say to him that he had 10 minutes for that rather than a comprehension which would have been a bit disheartening.

We didn’t really do full blown mock papers until the summer holidays, but did do a couple of mock exams (at a test centre) prior to this to get him used to the environment, process and timing.

Good luck all.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:15 pm 
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Yes I agree Helen0209.

I made it a point to time my DS until we covered everything. He is a slow reader and so we focussed on skim reading.

The summer hols is where most of our work in terms of preparation was done. The mock exams supplied by CGP was excellent for us.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:20 pm 
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It is very hard to know what approach to take. All children are different and by the time I know what works (or not) for us it will be too late.

My DS has only been doing timed work but never anything above 20 minutes. He has settled into the timed aspect now. One advantage I have found is that he knows exactly how much time the work will take - unlike some of the open ended pieces of homework that we get from school...

We're all doing the best we can though. I feel I am getting increasingly fatalistic about the whole business. What will be will be and there are positive aspects to all schools.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:21 pm 
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We also started full mock exams in the summer holidays. Until then it was 10 min tests and Schofield and Sims mental maths tests, untimed.

When we started the timed papers I made sure ds (and his dad!) understood that we weren’t aiming for 80-90%. Having seen previous posts about actual raw scores I realised even the late 50%s might be enough for HGS and maybe around 70% for FW. So we just got ds to focus on beating his previous score (and gave little rewards when he did!).

The full papers aren’t so disheartening as there are usually some sections they find easier than others so the overall picture isn’t as bad as if you just look at their worst section!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:26 pm 
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It’s also definitely worth practising with some papers which have a separate answer sheet come the summer (assuming the 11plus is using a separate answer booklet this year - they did in 2016 but didn’t in 2014).

My son found it very easy to lose his place on the answer grid and get out of sync so this needed practice.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:03 pm 
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The tip about the raw scores is really helpful, thanks. DS gets cross if he gets even one question wrong in maths tests at school and I have been trying to convince him that it is an entirely different kettle of fish with the 11 plus.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Thank you all your advice is much appreciated. Helen I don’t think my DD can skim read she ends up not understanding anything then. Maybe I need to practice this. My previous DS got through few years back and read the whole thing properly within time. I thought that’s what they were supposed to do and not skim read? I agree about the 10 min tests she’s scoring in the fifties for test papers but I think she will need 60-70% raw score?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:10 am
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Inner Chimp wrote:
Thank you all your advice is much appreciated. Helen I don’t think my DD can skim read she ends up not understanding anything then. Maybe I need to practice this. My previous DS got through few years back and read the whole thing properly within time. I thought that’s what they were supposed to do and not skim read? I agree about the 10 min tests she’s scoring in the fifties for test papers but I think she will need 60-70% raw score?


Which school are you aiming for? 60% is probably required for girls schools but you’ve got plenty of time yet!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:47 am
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maybe you could start with setting timed test for timestables, hit the button is great for this. My youngest is completely different to the oldest and will panic at the start of anything homework related but after 2 minutes of stressball squeezing and "mindfulness breathing" she's good to go, maybe some breathing techniques might work before actually starting the test.
thankfully we have a couple of years to practise the timing.
one thing that came out from my oldest is the number of questions v time for the NVR, it is really tight (I was told 20secs per question) and the children need to learn to make educated guesses rather than working each one out, so that might be a good one to work on with tests nearer the date.


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