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 Post subject: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:24 pm
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Hi, new to this forum and looking for some advice please :0)

My dc is very bright, has always been 'top' of the class and exceeds in most things academic. Both his tutor and teacher believe he will pass the 11+ with high marks. However, as the test is only a few weeks away, against what I was going to do, I have bought a load of books and have decided to give my dc the 'best' chance and help him along the way.

He is very compliant and goes along with it. However, his scores have averaged around 65% when doing the CGL CEM tests and we have just started the CEM Bond 10 minute tests and he didn't score very well with 8/14 for a comprehension and 5/13 on a maths problem test. This ended in him being in tears at such low scores. I've explained this is just practice and the hard part is going against the time and going against all he's known in that he has to move on rather than sweat it out on one question etc.

We've had the discussion just now and I've told him he has to take ownership on whether to carry on doing this with me, I certainly don't want tears throughout the summer and to make him miserable, plus fearing doing the tests. I've told him I love him come what may and that he'll do fine whichever school he goes to etc etc and it needs to be his decision whether to practice.

I've left it with him. I'm asking really if anyone else has this sort of struggle plus perhaps I should just leave it to his tutor and stay well out of it? It just seems lots that I've read 'most' children put loads of hours into studying over the holidays and that it's a normal thing to do for the 11+. This is all new to me lol!

Any experiences or advice welcome. I'm worried I've put him off for life!

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:02 pm 
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Most children have a holiday ... he needs a good break from 11+.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Yep, agreed. I think I'll stay out of it and let him continue with tutor etc which he enjoys. Think he's been feeding off of my stress over it and that's not right :0(


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Which exams is he sitting?

The levels required vary greatly.

Some exams only have a few hundred applicants so the competition is not that great.

Others have thousands sitting for less than two hundred places so scores in the 90s are required.

Top of the class and being academic means nothing if you have not prepared using the right format.

825 of the 1,150 students sitting DAO on 1st September will not pass the first round. Only 325 will have their Maths and English papers marked.

Many of the 825 will be top of their class and considered highly academic both by their school and the class teacher.

How long has he been preparing and what sort of scores has he been getting?

What proof does his teacher and his tutor have that he will pass with high marks?

What proof have you seen?

It is all very well them assuring you that he will do well but his results seem to point to the opposite.

You are the one who will be impacted the most if he does not do well.

There is no way I would let a tutor get on with it and keep out of it.

His teacher and tutor will move on but you will be left to deal with the outcome.

Nobody knows what the level is for this year, not your tutor or the schools he is sitting for.

Last year students I know of got the following letter from the private school they applied for: "The score achieved by your son would have got a place last year but we have had more applicant this year so due to other students securing a higher score we are unable to offer your son a place."

I would not leave it with him. He is 10 years old, this is not a decision he should be making. Be the parent and step up and own the process.

Do a full timed mock with him using the exam format of the school and then you will have the data you need to plan the next few weeks ahead.

If he is sitting for any of the North London selectives the scores you quote will not be enough to secure a place.

Of course he should have a break if he has been preparing for a while but how much preparation has he actually done so far?

DG


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:29 am 
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Thanks DH. We are in Medway so it will be the CEM test (plus taking Kent GL test). The practise material for CEM seems so hard and unrealistic with the timings.

I totally get what you're saying and I'm completely torn. All I can think about is the 11+ and how I can help my DC. He has had a tutor since last August and each week is timed against the 4 subjects. His teacher believes from the level of work he's doing at school that he will do really well.

As his parent I want to do the best I can and see that others put hours of effort each week. I don't want to force my DC to do this and feel if he really wants to go to a grammar that it needs to come from him. My family think I'm worrying about it too much and if it's that hard to pass then grammar is not the right place for him.

With the GL papers that he's done he's getting between 75-80%.

I think I'll leave it for a few days/a week and then try to come to a plan together. This is so stressful!

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
So he is sitting two different exam formats?

How does the tutor approach that?

Does he sit timed exams for each exam format each week or is he sitting subject based exams?

Does he bring those papers home so you can go through them with him.

How does a ten year old know he wants to go to a grammar? Have you taken him to the schools you want him to apply for and made him motivated to want to go there?

Is there a backup that you are happy with?

Have you seen the level of work he is doing at school?

Has he done any mocks? Does he have friends who want to go to the schools you would like him to go to?

Most ten year olds I know want to go to the school their friends are going to. Ten year olds cannot see the bigger picture. That is an adult concept.

You say he enjoys going to the tutor which is very encouraging. Is he in a class or a one to one?

If he enjoys the work then this does indicate that he would suit a selective school. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:57 am 
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He is sitting subject based tests weekly, not timed for each format.

The tutor comes to our house so is 1:1 and I see the results that he gets which is consistently good and anything he's unsure of is gone through to secure his knowledge.

He hasn't seen any grammars as I don't want to flaunt what he might not be able to have but he definitely wants to go there. He's not swayed by friends so that's not an issue.

I work at his school so can see his work and can speak to his teacher more freely.

He does enjoy doing the work and loves a test, it's just he feels hard done by having to do 'work' with me during the summer. What I don't want to do is for him to resent working with me and put him off doing the test, I need him to work willingly with me.

I'm sure with enough discussion and some set learning times in place he'll come round. He's so used to succeeding that not being able to complete the timed tests is hard to swallow, hence my eagerness to practice.

We'll sort it out, I was just wondering if other children 'kick back' and don't want to practice or whether it's just me and mine lol!

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:11 am 
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Hi, OP. Is this the first time your DC has completed tinned CEM tests? And are these the scores they got in the time? Would you say they got most of what they did right but ran out of time or were they making lots of mistakes but getting through the questions? CEM timing is incredibly pressured but the questions themselves aren't very, very difficult. If this was the first time of timing, I would talk to your DC about this and focus on building up speed. The first time my DD completed a timed numerical test, she got 1 or 2 out of 20. However, it didn't take much practice before she was up in the high teens and she scored highly enough in the exams to get into all three grammars she applied to.
Stokers


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:24 pm
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I've just looked through the tests he's completed and, aside from the GL tests he's done, he's done one of the CEM maths and scored really well. To be fair we returned from our hols on Friday and so yesterday was probably not the best time to sit down with him for 11+! It was the first time he'd tried the Bond CEM 10 minute tests and totally got pressured by the time which meant he didn't do well which caused the tears. What I think I should have done was just time him to see how he completed it and in what time and then to work on improving etc.

He has the Bond online which he enjoys doing. I've spoken to him this morning and he says he does want to practice but just got really upset yesterday with how bad he did in the time. At least I have something to work with and he is willing. That's really good to hear the progress your daughter made in a short space of time, and well done for getting scores to get into all of her choice of schools.

Thanks all.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:46 am
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My daughter is currently preparing for the CEM test in September so I appreciate the dilemma you are in with regards how much practice to do over the summer The way we are tackling it is by trying to do little and often rather than devoting huge chunks of the day to it. We go on holiday for a week soon and during that time she will probably do no structured practice but we will do reading and maybe look over vocab, synonyms, antonyms etc when we can fit it in. Out tutor has set homework for the summer, which is pretty much all timed exercises and I'm finding that the more timed work she does the more confident she is getting at knowing how to progress through the questions in the given time (and when to move on if she is stuck). From my knowledge of CEM it is very time pressured and this is what some children end up struggling with on the day if they haven't practised. Has your son done any formal mocks for the test? We did one a couple of weeks ago and I think it was a really valuable experience as I think it has given my daughter some insight in to what to expect on the day in terms of being in a large room with lots of children under exam conditions. It's so hard to know how much to prepare without putting pressure on them though!


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