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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:42 pm 
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I have had two children go through the Bucks 11+.

In both of their years, a new test was introduced.

The first was a departure from GL Verbal Reasoning to CEM. No complaints there - a rigorous and logical test, well-planned and designed. The Grammar Schools Consortium were happy. Their standards were finally being addressed and met. It was expensive, I understand.

The second was the new GL last year. A sprawling test that cost less. The test did not know its start and its end. NVR, SPAG, Comprehension, English, Maths, Maths Problems, 21 Verbal Reasoning Types and a 22nd if you were looking closely last year.

GL are accountable. End of. Their services were purchased and they have failed to deliver. What they may 'project' as a fair solution, is not necessarily fair at all. It is just a solution that exists within their faulty framework.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:59 pm 
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Agree! CEM was better and less susceptible to tuition. Not a fan of GL.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:14 pm 
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Yes Deb70, the old CEM Test was intuitive as to what the child could be expected to learn and produce in their studies at GS.

The GL Test is rather, well, farcical. Almost covering all bases just for the sake of covering all bases, whether necessary or not. This scattergun approach, by extension, has resulted in a very flawed test paper.

The point is made earlier in the thread that this must have been checked. Hmm. A much cheaper test. Not convinced it will have been.

In these cases, a concerted, unified voice of protest is possibly the only tenor that will drown out PR bull ... nonsense.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:03 pm 
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Deb70 wrote:
Agree! CEM was better and less susceptible to tuition. Not a fan of GL.


Just out of interest, what is it about the CEM test that would make it more tutor proof?
Our child sat CEM yesterday, we had done a little GL familiarisation over the summer for Bucks, but sat the CEM completely unaware of what to expect. Although she felt it was a lot more arduous in terms of the number of questions, she seemed quite happy with the papers overall. I get the impression it was more reasoning based, and had none of the Spag type questions, which of course are very much ‘taught’ topics.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:34 pm 
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The GL VR is very formulaic with its question types. Children really do need to have been shown how to attempt them. With CEM, I think bright children with no tuition would pass, but not so with GL.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:31 pm 
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Deb70 wrote:
The GL VR is very formulaic with its question types. Children really do need to have been shown how to attempt them. With CEM, I think bright children with no tuition would pass, but not so with GL.


I agree. I felt that the material we prepped for CEM was useful beyond/outside of the 11+. Standard maths/English that was worth learning either way. I found the GL prep to be very formulaic, as mentioned. A lot of it was about understanding question types, some of which were ridiculous IMHO, and I didn't feel the material was as transferable beyond the exam. For example, never again will son likely need to know how to do those coded letter word questions!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:55 pm 
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Thank you, that makes sense. We did ask her if there was anything that was very different or completely unfamiliar, and she seemed to think it was very much a different format and style to GL, but she just read the examples and they were self explanatory. As a very logical, strong on maths and NVR type of child, I got the impression that with the lack of spelling and punctuation sections that were her bugbear in the GL material, she seemed to like yesterday’s CEM better. Time will tell I suppose!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:11 pm 
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Not that Deb70 or me are in cahoots ... but what she said.

Look, an exam like CEM with a focus on three core sections. Maths, English and NVR.

Or an exam with Maths, English, Comprehension, Spelling, SPAG, VR (21 types and rising) and NVR ... With NVR everything is allowable.

It's almost like a caper movie. Tread the sensible side or career off into the distance without a clue.

This is not learning. This is not education. This is not reflected, in any way, in GCSEs or beyond.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:48 am 
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trudie wrote:

Or an exam with Maths, English, Comprehension, Spelling, SPAG, VR (21 types and rising) and NVR ... With NVR everything is allowable.

This is not learning. This is not education. This is not reflected, in any way, in GCSEs or beyond.


I agree that VR and NVR practice, which serves only to develop the child's logic, may not have a direct correlation with academic subjects, but it hopefully assist them in other indirect ways throughout their lives. However, I would argue that the work/tutoring done in Maths, Comprehension, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar has been invaluable for building a foundation for future learning in these areas, especially for the SATs at the end of Y6. My child is now a whizz at word problems, which they struggled with before we started DIY tutoring, their spelling ability has improved, and I know that they will cope well with the Reading section of the SATs (and of course comprehending and interpreting texts is vital for education). Since punctuation and grammar are also vital to writing a decent sentence/essay/creative writing/email/letter, I think that was also worth spending time learning properly (and will be needed for the SATs). I've DIY'd for the CEM (eldest child), and also for the GL (youngest), and while I agree there is more 'technique' to learn for the GL, I still think both build a good foundation for Y6 and beyond.

The idea that the GL exam is tutor-proof is laughable - I totally agree with Deb70 which they say:
Deb70 wrote:
With CEM, I think bright children with no tuition would pass, but not so with GL.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:29 am 
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trudie wrote:
This is not learning. This is not education.


No, you are correct, it isn't...it's not learning or education but a test to try and separate out one group of children from another. Whatever test is used has some inherent unfairness in it - CEM has been absolutely slated on other areas if this forum for being completely tutorable for a variety of reasons - you can't both be right - or, in fact can you?!! Alas the entire 11+ system is inherently unfair - and has been discussed as such, time and time again on here. All respected academics would say that making decisions on a child's future at one point in their 10th year is ridiculous, because of the rate of acceleration/plateauing that occurs. Effectively the 11+ system implies that taking children at one point at one moment in time chooses the brightest - if that was the case, every child in Grammar Schools would come out with all 9s - they don't - some crash and burn as they would in other schools - and all children in any other school will come out with rubbish grades - they don't - some come out with all 9s.

The system is inherently flawed, so worrying about which test provider is less flawed becomes slightly pointless. If a parent's child is successful, they are more likely to feel the test has done its job, if unsuccessful, or only successful on review/appeal (as you have in Bucks) they can see the flaws more clearly. The same arguments were had when CEM was used.


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