11 Plus Exams Forum

Message for SB
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Author:  Jess [ Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Message for SB

Are you still out there SB?! Ages ago you said you'd post all you know/any advice about preparing for the Tiffin tests. I remember your son was successful in getting a place (hope he's settled in and enjoying it) and as you know information on this bit of the site is pretty thin on the ground. It really would be a great help if you could pass on any info or tips.

Thanks in advance


Author:  Guest [ Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Jess

My daughter prepared for Tiffin Girls & Nonsuch girls for Sep. 2006 entry. She passed tests for both and we choose Nonsuch. Tiffin was our second choice due to travelling distance.

Anyway, I prepared my daughter myself using NFER, IPS, AFN, Bright SPARKS, TUTORS (from this website) and BOND papers. I started coaching from yr4 and initially used Bond papers to break her into the concept of VR & NVR principals. Tiffin papers are set by NFER so I widely used the NFER, IPS, Bright Sparks and TUTORS papers during the final preparations. These papers encompass the full scope of VR questions types used by NFER.

The actual tests were two 50-minute tests on separate days, although I understand the tests may be on the same day this year. My daughter found her preparations were adequate based on the above and as far as I can remember she was able to attempt all questions. Couple of very important principals I taught my daughter were,
1. Effective time management
2. Attempt all questions (some by method of intelligent guessing)

Hope you find this useful.

Author:  Jess [ Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:50 pm ]
Post subject: 


Thanks so much for your reply and yes, it's extremely helpful not least because I spoke to a tutor today who was of the opinion that it was 'very risky' to attempt to 'DIY' in preparation for the Tiffin exam (too steep a learning curve for parents apparently!). My own view is that with sufficient research and committment (and tips from people like your good self) it MUST be possible.

My daughter is also in Year 4 and I'm inclined to start early to avoid too much pressure. How often did you tutor her in the early/later stages? I'm thinking an hour or so at weekends to start off with, maybe working through the question types? She instinctively 'gets' a good number of them (she's had a go at a couple of papers already, and actually enjoys them) but will clearly need explanation and practice for others. Would be grateful for your thoughts.

Thanks again for your reply-and well done to your daughter for doing so well.


Author:  patricia [ Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

Dear Jess

I spoke to a tutor today who was of the opinion that it was 'very risky' to attempt to 'DIY' in preparation for the Tiffin exam (too steep a learning curve for parents apparently!).

What a whole load of rubbish. comments, like this from tutors, make me so MAD. I am sure you know that I am a tutor from Bucks, but I would never say YOU MUST EMPLOY A TUTOR we do have a place in society, there are some parents who just do not want to DIY and that is fine. Parents are perfectly capable of DIY as long as they use the correct publications, start early enough and keep the momentum going, rant over.

I think RC has given some sound advice, as a norm Bond do not go with NFER VR, but as RC states they can be good as an introduction, making the whole affair more quizzy. As soon as you get into the swing of coaching, ditch them [ for VR]

Good Luck Jess, you CAN do it, even though the tutor thinks otherwise.



Author:  Guest [ Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Jess
I, like Patricia, whole-heartedly agree that parents can DIY prepare children for 11 plus tests. You are starting early so there is plenty of time to prepare your daughter. There is a big "tutor industry" out there that will tell you parents can't do it alone.

I for one enjoyed preparing my daughter and was delighted to share the highs and lows with her during the whole process. Many a times we laughed, cried, despaired and REJOICED together. If you have the commitment, time and patience then the whole experience is very rewarding. I am looking forward to doing the same with my son in a few years time.

As for how & how often, start of with an hour or so during weekends and maintain this throughout year 4. At the same time get her to read regularly, lots of good quality children’s books. This will help her to expand her vocabulary and will help in VR. Buy some VR and NVR guidance books for you and your daughter to study and understand.

From year5 continue with the weekend studies and introduce a weekday evening hour. Gradually start timing her and teach her how to work within time constraints (this is a alien concept for a child). Establish her areas of weakness and keep working on them until she is confident. Give her constant encouragements and make her believe that she can do it. Ultimately you are the best judge of your daughter’s ability so tailor your coaching according to her needs.

I wish you all the luck with your daughter.


Author:  Jess [ Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Patricia and RC

Thank you both very much for your words of encouragement and advice. My own instincts are that I (and my husband) CAN prepare my daughter without a tutor, but it's great to have that backed up by a tutor and a parent who has successfully done it. One can't help but feel an element of doubt when a tutor says 'I wouldn't want to experiment on my own child in what is one of the most important examinations of their lives'!

I now feel fully armed and am looking forward to it, although I'm sure there will be ups and downs. Having a forum like this is a huge source of reassurance aswell as information, and I'm sure I'll be drawing on it a lot over the next couple of years. I only hope neither of you are going anywhere!

Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply


Author:  pony [ Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  nonsuch grammar school


First of all I have to thank you , because u r the first parent to talk about the two grammar schools in surrey.My daughter is taking her exams this Nov,so I have few questions to ask you I hope u dont mind answering it.We are doing it without any tutors help, so I was bit worried until I saw your post.

We don't come under the catchment area , unlucky by few yards . Did u have that last year,could u tell me what was the cut off score and how many questions did they do for maths, my friends daughter also writing , so we both will appreciate your reply .l

Author:  Guest [ Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Pony

I can't tell you what the cut-off mark was because for the children who pass the test the school simply writes and informs parents that child has passed the test and a place is offered, no details of mark attained are given. However I am sure the school will give you this information. I can remember such questions being asked at the open day.

I asked my daughter and as far as she could remember there were 32 maths questions. She found most of the the questions to be of KS2 standard.

Hope this is helpful, wish you all the best.

Author:  Thea [ Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:45 am ]
Post subject: 

Was the open day helpful re the exam format? Imagine there must have been lots of questions regarding the exam ( My child will be in the bunfight next year, so interested to hear)
many thanks

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