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      05.02.2013 11:29

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      After my daughter recently attended a Tudor House Edgbaston Centre 11 plus mock exams at the Edgbaston centre in Birmingham www.elevenplus.co . The exam was very professional and appeared to follow a very similar format to the Birmingham consortium eleven plus entrance examinations. Subjects covered in the exams were Verbal reasoning ( in its new combined form with English), Non verbal reasoning and Mathematics. After looking on the website I discovered that there are a further 13 mock exams in 2013. I will certainly be purchasing some more before the real test.

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      24.07.2010 12:19

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      My son is preparing for the 11 Plus exam. I have private tuitions and have loads of papers. I pay the tutor £35 per hour (even at this rate you have to struggle to find one !). All he does is "papers". Is this worth it? I have no feedback on how his progress is. I have seen a few web sites. Most notably 11plusdiy.co.uk which provide very clear breakdown of performance and feedback. Has anyne else tried this site at 11plusdiy.co.uk?

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      01.06.2010 22:47

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      My son is taking the 11+ in November. We have used the NFER and Bond books, which we bought from WH Smiths. We have also looked around on the web for more practice papers. We have made use of 3 internet sites, elevenplusexams.com, 11plusexams.com and 11plus.co.ukelevenplusexams.com has an excellent active forum where parents swap advice11plusexams.com has excellent 11 plus practice papers and interactive software available for download. We were impressed by the explanations provided for the answers, which provided tuition as well as just giving the answer.11plus.co.uk is an excellent site with thousands of free questions available. There are also free videos available which explain verbal reasoning techniques.We are doing lots of practice tests as I want my son to be fully prepared. Many children go to tutors, but we are preparing together by doing lots of questions, which is the most important thing.

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      16.02.2009 22:19
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      Changes need to be made

      If I had my way, there would be now exams before the age of 14, when teenagers have to sit there GCSE's, and even then, I would limit the amount of exams that they must sit. There is way to much pressure on a child when they are coming up to an exam, it is ridiculous. I never had that sort of pressure when I was a child, and back then exams didnt matter, not really. Kids these days always try and push themselves too hard, and in the end, it doesnt really work. When you son was sitting his exams when he was in year 6, he had mountains of homework to do in preparation. What happened to a childhood, these days, all teachers want to do is keep kids in the house doing for work, as if 6 hours a day isnt enough. Yes you need exams to test their progress, but if there was a better way to do it, I am sure that more kids would do much better than they are doing now. In my opinion, I think that exams are not a way to test the pupils, but a way to see how good a school is. Thats what it is all about. If they were so bothered about getting kids through their exams and make sure that they do the very best they could, they would leave off them. I know that they need to be prepared, but there are limits to this. It only gets harder as kids get older, going through secondary schools, with GCSE's, and then A-LEVELS. At least now the governement is starting to realise what they are doing, in that they are destroying the childhood of many. They have stopped making year 9 pupils sit SATs which is an advantage. Hopefully they will see sense in the future and make bigger changes.

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      25.11.2007 18:59

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      Regardless of whether it is fair or not, the 11+ still exists and we just got the results and are over the moon! The only tip I can give is the wonderful site- www.chuckra.co.uk/education where we were able to do 1000's of 11+ questions for free!! Absolutely free! there was no catch at all. Thanks to Chuckra, my son passed with flying colours!give it a go!! Good luck everyone!

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      24.09.2006 16:07
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      The 11+ should be reinstated for every child

      I have never been able to understand the hatred that some people seem to have for the 11plus examination. If it had not been for the 11+ (an exam which in my time at school everybody took) I would have been sent to the local secondary school whether it was good bad or indifferent. My parents were both working class and not very well off so there was not a hope in hell of them being able to afford to pay for my education. So money would have talked and the well off parents would have paid for their children to attend a good school whether they were bright enough or not and the bright or clever children of the working class would have been sent to the local school no matter how bad it was. The 11+ exam put a stop to this. Yes there were still schools that rich parents sent their children to and they still exist today but the 11+ exam enabled children who passed it to attend a good academic school regardless of their background or how wealthy their parents were. Many of today's success stories are children from working class backgrounds who had the opportunity to go to grammar school because of the 11+ without it they may never have had the education they deserved because their parents were poor. What happened if you failed? Well if you almost passed you could go to what in my day was called a central school. This catered for children who might develop academically later or those who would benefit from a more technical education. and the rest went to what was then called a secondary modern school which in the main concentrated on a technical education but still left room for anybody who developed academically later on. The 11+ separated the more able children regardless of background and put them together with children of similar ability so that they had the best chance of learning. What happens today in the comprehensive system? Bright or clever children whose parents cannot afford to pay for private education go to the local comprehensive school and are put with less able, disruptive children in the hope that the brighter children will force the standards up, in fact they are in the most cases rounded down and the more able pupil suffers because of it. If they do achieve they do it despite the system and not because of it. I can hear the cries of the anti 11+ brigade its not fair that some children have to fail it ruins their life, it makes them insecure, well Ive got news for them we all pass or fail at something in our lives that's what life is like and the earlier you learn this the better it is for those concerned. Selection at any age is never going to be best option for everybody but we must all face selection at some stage in our life, whether it be for a school or later on at a job interview or even later when it comes to promotion in your chosen career. Sooner or later you must face selection so why not at 11. In my view the 11+ was and probably still is the best method for educating bright children from all social backgrounds together and was one of the best methods of doing away with the class system whereby the rich had good education because they could pay for it and the rest of us took pot luck. Mick Gray

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        12.09.2006 00:07
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        Mock Exams can help to ease the pressure of a daunting 11 plus exam.

        11+ Exams are very positive however the stress associated with them and the pressure they often put upon children is not so positive. Tudor House are offering a series of mock exams to help prepare children for the daunting prospect of the 11+. A practice is a great idea in my opinion. Their website is www.universaltutors.co.uk. You must decide for yourself but I believe this is a positive service to help children feel more comfortable.

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          09.05.2002 01:36
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          • "A lot of revising and effort to be put in"

          Up until the early 1970's, every child in England and Wales had to sit the eleven plus exam. Nowadays, only some certain area's of Britain actually offer their student's a chance to participate in the eleven plus exam at the end of their Junior school years, and even then it is optional. My area is one of them (Redbridge, London). The local Grammar schools in my area are Woodford County High for Girls and Ilford County High for Boys, if I had passed I would of obviously gone to the segregated all girls school. The eleven plus exam (for those of you who don't know), is a selective examination to determine which children should enter Grammar schools in Year 7. Grammar School places are offered to roughly one quarter of the year group in areas where the process applies, so as you can tell, it is very restricted. In my opinion, I think that the eleven plus exam is a great idea, it sorts the intelligent out from the less intelligent and at eleven years old, you are already beginning to tell how well you are going to do in the future and whether you are achieving better grades than standard at your age. I remember the eleven plus exam really well, there were two sections and I had to go to a different school (other than my own) on two separate days. The sections of the exam included: (i) Verbal Reasoning Test (50 minutes- an 80 item test, multiple choice). (ii) Non-verbal Reasoning Test (40 minutes - a 72 item test in multiple choice format). (iii) Maths Test (60 minutes - 50 item test - multiple choice). When you take the test, you will not feel as though you are shaping your destiny. There were quite easy questions at the start, yet as the paper went through, they gradually got harder and harder, hoping that you would bottle out when you realised that you couldn't continue with the paper. There were both maths and English questions in both papers, including ones about sequences and patterns , and ones about comprehension. Good results gain you a place in a good school, ordinary comprehensive schools are not as good as they used to be, so by going to a Grammar school, you can definitely make sure that your outlook for the future is brighter. At Grammar schools, you will only get the children who are at the same level as you in your year, and even then the standards set will be higher, work will be of better standard and in general you will just keep doing better and better. Grammar schools tend to achieve far higher pass rates in both GCSE and A-Level (if a Sixth Form is combined), compared to comprehensive schools. In normal comprehensive schools in subjects where you are not put in sets, there are sometimes distractions and you have more chance of failing. If you have the talent, then why waste the opportunity? People will drag you down if you let them, especially if they are not as clever as you are, so at least by going to a Grammar school, there is not much range between the level of IQ. I think that if you feel as though your child is capable of achieving well (you can ask your child's teacher for an evaluation of how they are doing and ask what their ideas and thoughts of your son or daughter taking the eleven plus exam is), then it is worth entering them in. There are lots of practice papers which can be purchased from shops such as Waterstones and W H Smiths. If your child does take the eleven plus, then try not to force them into it, ask what they think first, see if they understand all of the effort and work they need to put in, yet at the same time explain that it isn't that important and that they can only try their best. It sets the child up in practice for the future with exam's, it's like the first stepping stone to success.

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            02.02.2002 01:51
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            There seems to be a lot of disagreement about the 11+ but personally I am very glad that it is still happening. Of course children shouldn't be made to sit it, as they are in some schools but I think that it is really good for those who want to sit it as it provides an opportunity for them to attend a different school to the one they would automatically be fed into. The 11+ is an exam which children who are 11 years old (surprisingly enough!)can take to be given the chance to attend selective schools if they pass. The exams take place around the beginning of year 6 - October/November time and each child sits two verbal reasoning papers and a writing paper in which they have to do a piece of creative writing. There are actually four exams, but the first one is a practice paper to give the children a chance to see what the real thing will be like regarding timing etc. Each verbal reasoning paper lasts around fifty minutes, and the creative writing paper is usually about half an hour. After the exams, the children have to wait until March for the results when they find out whether they have a) passed the 11+ and b) whether they have achieved a high enough mark to attend their chosen school(s). Because of the high competition, passing the 11+ does not automatically guarantee you a place, most schools have between sixty to ninety places so you have obtain aroud 95%+ to have a really good chance. I took my 11+ and it is that which I have to thank for where I am now. I luckily passed and decided to go to a grammar school instead of my local comprehensive and I couldn't be happier. Loads of people immediately connect grammar schools and private schools with the 11+ and think "posh" as I have read in other opinions and indeed have been called by other people but they really aren't! All that is different about my school really is that it is a lot smaller (and poorer) than where I would have gone. None of us are snobs and neither are we innocent little grammar school girls as others seem to think! Basically the 11+ has given my brother and me the chance to attend smaller schools where we are surrounded by people with whom we have a lot in common. I don't think taking the 11+ should be compulsory, but it should be available for children who want to take it or those who maybe want more of a choice about where they go for secondary education. The 11+ may be considered to be old fashioned and traditional by some and if so then fair enough, don't take it! But there are many children who do want to take it and make full use of the opportunities it opens up for them.

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              23.06.2001 02:59

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              • "Passes judgement on children"

              The whole concept of setting rigid generic exams on which to judge the 'value' of children is wrong - Advantages: Make politicians look good - Disadvantages: Encourages a 'win at all costs' society, Forces kids to learn and conform to a set structure which denies them the freedom to make their own choices., Passes judgement on children

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              16.06.2001 05:19
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              Having just read an op on the 11-plus exam, I thought I'd put in my two penneth worth. As a teacher I know something about the exam. Basically you're looking at a traditional 3Rs test to see if children can read, write and add up. Nothing to do with an elite education. It's not an IQ test we're talking about, but an odd-dated test from decades ago that is still going today because of that typically British word : TRADITION. The Government have introduced SATs tests that all children in state schools should take when they are 11 years old (Year 6) before they leave to go onto secondary school. These tests are far more useful as they give a level and a standardised score. The standardised score means that you can compare your child's performance with that of the rest of the country to get a good idea of where they are at. It also tests reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, mental maths and written maths as well as science. The 11 Plus cannot give such a comparison because very few children in the country now take it, so it is impossible to say how children fare compared with others. The 11 plus is an elite status exam. You take it because soem grammar schools think it is more important (read TRADITIONAL) than the SATs tests. Nonsense.

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                16.06.2001 05:11

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                This is not my personal experience but my friend's daughter's. She is a bright girl in general. She reads a lot and her interest is quite diversified i.e. from history and music to science and mathematics. The eleven plus exam actually gives her a good chance to show her academic achievement. The good results of her eleven plus exam facilitates her entry into a good school. Even though it is a state school, it is the top of the bunch in the region. Grammer schools are usually good however there may be some rich kid associated bad habits such as drugs to be picked up as well. A good, well-managed state school may actually be a safer heaven. Without this exam she may have to go through lots of interviews and short exams in various schools that she is interested to get into as part of the selection process. An eleven plus exam will centralise the requirement and cause less stress for her entry into a good school. Eleven plus exam is good.

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                15.06.2001 06:48
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                Too many years ago for me to count I took the 11 plus and 'was selected for grammar school'. When I took it we did not really know it was coming, we had been prepared in class but it was just part of the curriculum. When we took the exam it was an intellegence test. There were visual and written reasoning questions involved. It was quite a fun paper to sit. The papers were marked and teachers recommendations were sent in and you were then told what type of school you could go to. This was not the be all and end all as many people changed school after 1, 2 or 3 years at secondary school. I benefitted from a grammar school education. I do not know how I would have got on at a comprehensive school it was not an option. Now the 11 plus is sat in fewer areas than it was in those days and the areas it is sat in seems to go over the top with preparation. I have a neice who has had to sit it this year. Half of her Summer holiday last year she was supposed to spend doing practice papers and preparing for the 11 plus. She is a clever girl and managed do get through. A few months later the heat was on her again as she had her SATs to sit this time for the sake of the school. This is far too much for an 11 year old to have to do. I thought that the 11 plus was to measure aptitude not ability to learn how to answer questions which too much preparation turns it into. The preparation becomes important as this exam can make the difference in the type and standard of education you get. If you have to do the 11 plus then you should do a lot of preparation to be able to compete. Is the 11 plus a good thing? I am not sure. The test is only part of the system. The grammar school system seems to work for some more than others, but then so does the comprehensive system. I think on balance that the 11 plus is too derisive, separating friends and classing some children as failures before they begin. Children are separated from friends and other children of different social classes, that is not the aim but Grammar schools do tend to be more middle class. A well sorted comprehensive school can provide a suitable education for all children without the need to separate out the children.

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                  15.06.2001 05:58
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                  Over the years the government has made so many costly alterations to education. Costly in financial terms and also in education terms. Teachers are inundated with needless amounts of exam papers to mark, taking up valuable teaching time, and school children are put under increasing amounts of pressure to do well in exams. There hardly seams to be any time to sqeeze in actual learning time between these exams. Both my daughters are going through a variety of exams each term, and why? What purpose do they serve other than to highlight the gap between academicaly bright students and those who don't fair too well? Competition is good up to a point, but it can be detramental to the confidence of a student who cannot cope with exams and therefore has bad grades as a result. My oldest daughter does extremely well in course work but goes to pieces under exam pressure, her grades do not reflect her true ability. Whereas my youngest daughter is opposite. She gets bored with the routine of normal everyday class work but excells in exams, getting above average grades. Her grades are usually better than her sister who is 2 years her senior. It causes a great deal of disharmony between the two of them. When I was at school we had short tests each week in the classroom between class members and were encouraged through fun and rewards, I passed my 11 plus easily. My next set of exams were my cse's at 16, which I got above average grades for. I left school and spent 6 months on unemployment benefit as there were no jobs left. My class mates who had left before the exams started had taken all the job vacancies. I don't agree at all that taking numerous exams benefits pupils. I felt very resentful about taking my exams only to be rewarded by a dole cheque each week. Basic learning skills are what our children need.

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                    14.06.2001 03:55
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                    It is a very scary thought indeed that it is now almost twenty years since I endured the hell that was my '11 plus' exam. I remember the day vividly as it was my eleventh birthday, and so taking an examination was never going to be the highlight of the day for someone so young and impressionable (yes - me!) with more important things on their mind. However, the main reason that I remember this day in a poor light is not the fact that I was taking the first proper exam of my life on my birthday, but the conditions under which the whole debacle took place. It was the end of March, and the birds had begun to sing and the daffodils had begun to spring into action. However, winter fought back with a vengeance on this particular day. Atypically inclement weather for the time of year resulted in a covering of four or five inches of snow. Not only that, the temperature was low enough to prevent the heating boiler from operating, meaning that we were left to work in an unheated school hall. When I arrived, which had been difficult enough in itself as the journey was ten miles across rather treacherous roads, the whole place as well as the people in charge were in disarray. I imagine that initially there were doubts as to whether the exam could go ahead. However, when that tempting possibility had been ruled out (despite the views of the important people - the victims, er...sorry, pupils!) it was down to business as usual, despite the difficulties. So that was that, no arguments, we would have to take the exam in our winter woolies!Wisely, we all kept our coats on, and what I wouldn't have given to have had a pair of gloves as well. Writing was difficult to say the least, although I struggled through like the brave little soldier that I was back in those days. In the unlikely event that any youngsters that are in line to take the '11 plus' exam next year are reading this - please don't be put off m y experience. For parents, likewise, by all means bask in the frivolity that was my misfortune, but remember that if the opportunity arises this could potentially be one of the more important decisions that you and your child take. I stress the fact that these decisions should be joint ones, because there is no point in forcing someone of that age to do something they do not want to do. However, a little gentle cajoling and general encouragement will go a long to ensuring that you are both on the same side in this matter. Thankfully, despite the difficulties on the day, I passed (woo-hoo!), and I feel that my education benefitted significantly from the doors that this then opened for me. Although it is a relatively tender age to be subjected to such stresses and strains, the talented children always seem to shine through. Although the 11 plus exam is much less common in the modern day, it is still used effectively in many areas of the country as an entrance exam for selective schools. Testing aspects of the basic grasps of mathematics and english, primarily, it seeks to ascertain which pupils have achieved a standard that sets them apart from the majority of their peers. Whilst I appreciate that there are many readers that do not agree with the principles of selective schools, a great many children have gone on to benefit from an improved education by association with other equally bright and talented youngsters. Whilst there is little that either side in this particular argument can do to influence the extent to which the 11 plus exam is used, it makes sense for those that believe in the benefits to make use of it while they are still able. To enable our brighter youngsters to flourish by ensuring that they are working in a constantly challenging environment should be encouraged in my opinion. I also appreciate that appropriate funding is required to ensure that those who are not quite as intellectually talented also re ceive the rightful investment in their education too. That in a nutshell is my personal experience of the 11 plus, as well as an examination (excuse the pun!) of some of the key aspects surrounding this potential milestone in your child's education. So, remember - tread carefully and ensure that the decision to go ahead is the right one for all concerned, and be ready for the consequences of success and failure. However, if you are blessed with a child that passes nothing is guaranteed, but the chances of academic exellence are definitely enhanced. [Please Note: I have also written a semi-related opinion on Dooyoo about single sex schools - check out the campus section or my Dooyoo homepage if you're interested.] {An original Dooyoo opinion © Blackjane 2001}

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