As I'm sure you've heard us say many times before, we think mock exams are one of the most important pieces of preparation for the 11+ exam. They teach you about the format, the pressure, the time restrictions and how easy it is to make silly mistakes.
We keep our mock exams reasonably secret to make sure that children are seeing them for the first time. Although the same questions won't appear in the actual exam, we understand why parents want to go through the paper and work through any mistakes with their children. For this reason we do provide a small sample of the easiest questions your child got wrong. We don't hand out the entire paper.
To compliment mock exams, we also highly recommend practice papers. As your child is completing these at home you can work through any mistakes to your heart's content. You can also observe them to see where they are going wrong. Perhaps they are not using their time wisely. Maybe they can't bring themselves to guess really hard questions. Perhaps they are doing too much in their heads. Maybe they are guessing blind rather than reading the question, ruling out silly answers and then guessing.
As we've also mentioned many times before, passing the 11+ is all about your position rather than your percentage. The pass mark is set to pass (very approximately) half of the candidates. If your child gets 72% is this good enough? To help you understand and hopefully start to relax a little, we are offering to collate everybody's scores and let you know in what position you finished. Generally about 75% of people that prepare for the exam (either with tutor's or parents) pass. I would expect it will be similar for children sending in their score for practice papers.
So in order to help you in this way, we've constructed a timetable of practice papers leading to the actual exam so that children are working on the same paper at the same time. We will then collate the scores and give you a prediction of your score in the actual exam. We will also provide an invigilator video to help your child get into the exam zone. If we have time, we hope to make some marking videos where we go through the paper and explain the answers and any shortcuts (no promises though).
The rough timetable will be:
- Tuesday night - invigilator video is released.
- You then complete the exam on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. You are free to organise a joint session with some friends and follow it with a pizza lunch!
- If you want us to mark the paper (£5 charge) you submit the result (photos or scans) on Sunday night. If you prefer, parents can mark their own papers and submit the result in a spreadsheet by Monday night.
- Results are sent out by email on the Tuesday.
GL Assessment have official practice papers and a couple of free ones. For boys, we've found a selection of commercial papers that we like. You can find details of which papers to buy by clicking here.