11 Plus Exams Forum

Bucks Format Please
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Author:  patricia [ Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:37 pm ]
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Dear Mary

The standardisation process is full of IFS and BUTS. It depends on so many factors , each year it will change depending on the cohort taking the test. So, in reality no one can predict accurately the score needed to pass.

The 'going' rate amongst the teachers / tutors that I know [ in Bucks] is 86% ie 69/80 - at the least.

I prefer my tutored children to be gaining 90% to be on the safe side.

Author:  Mary [ Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:56 pm ]
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Thank you all for your help. Another question for you. How close are the Practsie Papers from NFER we buy in the shops to the NFER Practsie papers that our school test the children on. We are in Bucks and so our school do recieve test papers fo rthe children to do. I also purchased NFER papers which my son scored high on 88-92% so we were confident. However in the NFER tests he did at school he scored only 74-82% so is there a real difference between them?

PLease tell me what you think, is my son inconsistent or are the papers??

Author:  Guest [ Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:58 pm ]
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Hello Mary,
As your aware when it comes to verbal reasoning practice it is only usefull to practice on the codes and maths questions . The english type question becomes very repetitive and the child will always remeber the answers. So assume your child attempts NFER paper A for the first time and he scores 75% and the he attempts again and again and again ofcourse his score will improve drastically as he becmes familiar with questions and answers. I find this very misleading. You can only gauge your child only when he attempts a paper he has not seen before. My son started to score above 95% all the time but when he sat the test he left 20 out of 80 and still got in which is a similar score to what he achieved first time.


Author:  Mary [ Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:13 pm ]
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Hi Sue

Thanks for that although am a little confused. Are you saying your son attempted 60 questions out of the 80 and still passed and if so what was his standardised score and do you assume he must of got all of the 60 correct?
Going back to the prcatise tests. The tests we did at home were from one pack of 4 but my son only attempted each one the one time and then yes he scored up to 92% which is why I dont understand why his scores at school were less unless they are alot different. Out of interest did your son do the Bucks test and if so what type of score was he achieving on the school papers.

Much obliged

Author:  catherine [ Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:18 pm ]
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My son took the Bucks exam last month and did the prep tests at school. He scored 73 -86%, whereas he was achieving between 80 and 90% with the NFER Nelson Papers. The Bucks papers have more question types than the NFER test papers, but he was prepared for them.
I do not know the level of the actual Bucks paper compared with the tests they do at school.

Author:  patricia [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:54 pm ]
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Shop bought NFER verbal reasoning have 6 types of questions missing in comparison to the real NFER test [taken in Bucks] Your son would have covered these during his 5 familiarisation sessions taken before the 3 practice papers.

With regard to the practice papers, the first test paper A is easier than the real thing. Papers 1 and 2 are of the same difficulty as the real tests.

I wish you luck for the forthcoming results.


Unsure of your comment ie 'it is only useful to practice codes and maths' I think that it is extremely important to practice the English. In many respects the English is the hardest part because the children are seeing vocabulary totally out of context. I spend a lot of time with my tutored children covering words and their meanings.

The maths and codes are easily mastered and come down to timing in the end. I constantly time my children on these types so they can spend more time on the english/vocab questions. The children need time to think about the 'traps' eg

Closest in meaning question:

[ contest, game, football ] [ disagree, dilute , neat]

The'trap' = they have put the child into a mindset that contest is the competition because they have put it next to game and football, when in fact its the contest as in 'I contest your decision. The children need time to recognise these 'traps'

Author:  Mary [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:15 pm ]
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Dear Ali

In your opinon is it likely that the average will be higher then 50? and if the 12.5 is the deviation what is the 15??

Also how many points does a child get according to thier age. My son was only ten in August



Author:  Guest [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:41 pm ]
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Dear Patricia,
You seem to be very well informed on the Bucks tests,could you please advice on the best and most efficient way to tackle the code questions specially type c? My daughter spends about a minute per question on these type.

Many Thanks


Author:  patricia [ Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:55 am ]
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Dear Jim

Codes, Type C

Alphabet always given

One basic RULE

WHATEVER you are LOOKING for goes on the BOTTOM

You need a rule because sometimes the word and code are written in a different order.

eg if the code for TRAP is USBQ
what does DPME mean?

Tell your child to go straight to the second line, don't waste time reading first line, what are we looking for? In this case a word, therefore have to make the word on the first line go on the bottom ie write USBQ on top of TRAP

..... .................USBQ
if the code for TRAP is USBQ
what does DPME mean?

Work downwards ie how do you get from U to T = -1 apply this to the first letter of the code on the second line ie D-1=C

and so on...S to R=-1 apply it to second letter=P-1=O
B to A=-1 apply it to third letter =M-1=L
Q to P=-1 apply it to fourth letter E-1=D

at last we have the word COLD

Your child DOES NOT write all this down says to herself U to T =-1 apply it ie D-1=C the only thing that is written down is C

The real tests are going to have longer words, if your in Bucks you will have a multiple choice sheet, which helps when it comes to codes because you can check after you have done the first three letters and normally you have found enough to answer the question - saving you time.

I like times of between 30 and 45 seconds for these particular code, hope you have understood, much easier explaining verbally!

Once children have the technique mastered I offer them an alternative to writing the code/word on top of what they are looking for ie same rule -

If the code for TRAP is USBQ
what does DPME mean? .................

Looking for word, word goes on the bottom, so child will draw an arrow on top line pointing towards the word so child knows they are moving right to left ie U to T then S TO R etc..

It is MOST important to draw the arrow so child knows which way to move, if we were looking for the code in this example the arrow would go left to right

Its practice makes perfect. I would rather explain verbally any day!

Author:  Zoe [ Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:58 am ]
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Mike Edwards and all other interested parents,

As a parent who had no former experience of VR until tutoring her son for the 11+ entry exams, might I just say that, irrespective of what schools one is applying for and the number of VR question types set by each school/county, no teaching aid on the market surpasses those offered by Susan Daughtrey's range of books and papers. They are simply first class!

My son and I commenced with the Technique and Practice Books 1 to 4 on 29th June this year and, in the space of 4 months, have progressed through these to Further Practice Exercises, Graded Test Papers (Books 1 & 2) and on to the Bright Sparks (loose) examination papers...and therafter to NferNelson's VR papers. In the space of a few short months, he has mastered every question type and is consistently scoring in the 90% range (highest yet 97%) - all inside the alloted time.

I put his success entirely down to Ms Daughtrey's evident expertise, namely: (1) her clear and simple approach to explaining the format of each question type and the corresponding answering techiques; (2) the way she has structured and graduated her books to introduce and progress from the easiest types of questions first; (3) the way she facilitates learning and mental recall through a wide array of practice questions and with repetition in the Graded Papers and (4) the emphasis she places on a child's learning "to time" his responses, so that he/she ultimately grows accustomed to completing the some 100 questions in 50 minutes.

My only regret is that Ms Daughtrey hasn't as yet turned her hand to producing a similar set of excellent books for Non-Verbal Reasoning. We used Bond's book of 45 techniques/exercises for this purpose which sufficed, but was in no way as user-friendly as the former's approach.

My philosophy is that learning is about acquiring and applying knowledge for life NOT just for examinations, so, what matter if Ms Duaghtrey's literature covers (what was the number?) some 35 question types versus the 21 needed for Bucks?! If a child enjoys learning and can acquire the lot in a handful of months (as with my lad) - and, in the process, becomes more dexterous in mind and acquires good examination techique - to me, this can only be good.

Best wishes, Zoe.

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