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11+ Mock Exam – Session A (for CEM 11+ candidates)

Thank you for bringing your child to the Susan Daughtrey Education 11+ Mock Exam, Session A (for CEM 11+ candidates).

You can access your child’s Record Table, an anonymised List of Scores and your child’s Video Tuition report using the tabs above.

The students were generally very good at following the test instructions and our checks during the test indicated that students did not move forward or backward to other sections in the test papers save as instructed.

At Susan Daughtrey Education we provide students with the following advice:

  • While the number of questions and the time allowed for the Section is being read out (which is usually stated immediately before the students are instructed to start the Section), to quickly look at the clock and make a mental note of the time so they are able to work out how much time is remaining at any stage during the Section;
  • To perform a quick mental calculation taking the allotted number of minutes and dividing this by the number of questions in the Section in order to work out the approximate ‘pace’ with which they will need to work through the questions if they are to finish the Section in the given time (for example where there are 12 questions to complete in 6 minutes, students will be able to calculate that they need to answer a question roughly every 30 seconds, or to complete 2 questions in each minute, if they are to finish the Section) – however students have been told that there will of course be some quick/easy questions and others that are more difficult and which take longer – therefore if a question is taking a little bit more than the time allowed for the ‘average’ question in that Section, this is probably ok as the ‘lost’ time can be made up on other questions;
  • If a question is taking too long, or the student is unable to work out the answer, students have been advised to:
    • Enter a guess for the question on their multiple-choice answer sheet;
    • Circle the question number in their question booklet (so they know this is the question for which a guess has been entered);
    • Continue to the next question; and
    • If there is time left once they have completed the other questions in the Section, to return to reconsider any question(s) which they have circled in their question booklets and, if appropriate, to change the answer already recorded on their answer sheet.

The reasoning behind this advice is as follows

  • It is thought better to enter a guess than to leave the question blank for the following reasons:
    • There may not be time left at the end of the Section to return to the difficult / time consuming question and therefore it is better to enter a guess, and have an answer on the multiple-choice answer sheet, than it is to provide no answer at all;
    • If no answer is entered on the answer sheet, there is a greater risk that the student will move on to the next question but then inadvertently give the answer to the next question in the multiple choice answer battery intended for the question they have just missed out – for example in Sections where all the answer options on the multiple choice answer sheet are A, B, C, D or E, if the student leaves out say, Question 9, it is very easy, especially under pressure, to then enter the answer to Question 10 in the multiple-choice answer battery for Question 9, to then enter the answer to Question 11 in the multiple-choice answer battery for Question 10 and so on (and in doing so to lose a substantial number of marks);
  • It is better to circle the question number in the question booklet as the answer sheet is marked electronically and only the student’s answers should be recorded on the multiple-choice answer sheet (in the real test it is likely that the students will be permitted to write on the question paper – for this reason students are encouraged to write on the question papers at SDE’s mock exam sessions and we then shred and recycle these after the Session); and
  • Finally, as a very last resort, for example if time is running out, students should enter guesses for any remaining questions, as there is no negative marking in the 11+ (i.e a mark will not be taken away for getting an answer wrong). By guessing e.g five questions with A – E options, it is possible the student will pick up a mark or two and this could make all the difference. Leaving batteries on the multiple choice answer sheet blank guarantees lost marks.

Please note that the Session A test papers are not easier than the other tests (Session B, C, D and E). The test papers have been designed to reflect, as far as reasonably practicable, the difficulty of the actual CEM 11+ tests. As a result many students will find their marks are lower than they would like. This is quite normal and if this applies to your child, you should consider explaining that the tests were not easy, that they have lots of time to revise the work they have already done and to improve their exam performance. Students should consider the results of their first mock test a ‘starting point’ from which gradual improvements can be made if they continue to work hard to address their weak areas between now and September.

RECORD TABLE

As well as providing a detailed breakdown, we have also provided a total mark and a percentage for each paper. In the real CEM 11+ tests the results of both papers will be taken into account and the total figure will be standardised (see below). There is not a minimum mark required for each paper – only the overall mark derived from both papers is relevant.

CEM will either weight the results from both test papers equally (as both papers contain 45 – 50 minutes of questions) or, if there are a few more questions on one paper, it is possible that the paper with more questions may have a slightly greater weighting.

As CEM does not disclose information about its scoring system we have not provided an overall percentage or mark taking into account your child’s performance on both test papers (as to do so could be misleading as we do not know how CEM will calculate the results of the real CEM 11+ tests). However you should be able to establish a very good idea of your child’s performance on these tests based on the information we have provided on your child’s Record Table.

Please note that our students’ results have not been standardised (i.e. your child’s score has not been adjusted to take account of your child’s age on the date of the test). As a rule of thumb, standardisation on other (non-CEM) test papers tends to involve an adjustment of up to 4-5% of the total amount of marks available on the test (the September-born child will not usually have any marks added to his score, whereas an August-born child will, depending on the test paper, have up to 4-5% added to his score – students born in other months are likely to receive a pro rata adjustment to their score on a sliding scale). The justification for standardisation is that it helps to ensure that the younger children, who on average tend to score lower in tests than their older peers in the same year group, are not disadvantaged by reason of their age.

If your child is not born in September, you may wish to make your own adjustment to your child’s score to take account of his age, however you will also need to bear in mind that the other student’s scores on the List of Scores have not been standardised.

We hope the comments above relating to standardisation are helpful but please note we do not have any information about how CEM standardise their test results – the methodology CEM use is likely to be similar to other 11+ test providers but in the absence of more details from CEM we are speculating. Parents will therefore need to draw their own conclusions.

TARGET MARK

A ‘Target Mark’ for each Section has been specified below in order to help you identify areas of weakness. The Target Mark is not a specific percentage of the total marks available in each Section; the Target Mark has been determined taking into account (i) the difficulty of the questions in the Section; and (ii) the overall performance of students in the Section.

Please note the Target Mark is not an attempt by us to estimate the mark your child will need to achieve in order to pass the 11+. This will depend on the difficulty of the actual 11+ tests and the standard required to obtain grammar school entry (which varies from area to area and (to a lesser extent) from year to year) and as such it is not possible for us to indicate whether, if these tests were the real CEM 11+ tests, your child would gain entry to grammar school based on his/her performance. In particular those parents targeting so called ‘super selective’ grammar schools may wish to set a higher Target Mark if they consider their child needs to score more highly in order to gain entry to their first-choice school.

Having said the above, in previous years we have ‘mapped’ the actual 11+ results achieved by students to the scores they achieved on their 11+ mock exam test papers with Susan Daughtrey Education.  In areas such as Slough (and Bucks when it was CEM), we found that approximately 65% of Susan Daughtrey mock exam candidates were actually passing the 11+.  In most (but not all cases), these students had appeared in the top 65% of students on the List of Scores and there was a direct correlation between the scores achieved on the mock exams and the final 11+ result.  Further, those students who were consistently appearing in the top 65% of students were more likely to pass.  Please note in Reading the pass marks for Reading Boys and Kendrick are considerably higher.  This is also likely to be the case for Chelmsford County High School for Girls (Essex) and Pates (Gloucestershire).

Where your child has missed the Target Mark (most students have fallen short of the Target Marks in this first mock test), you may wish to make the relevant type of question (or the underlying skill, such as knowledge of English vocabulary) a particular focus of the work your child does between now and the real 11+ tests in September. Where your child has missed the Target Mark in several Sections (applicable to many students), you may wish to prioritise or spend more time working on the areas where the shortfall was greatest. We hope this is helpful.

TEST PAPER 1 – DESCRIPTION OF SECTIONS / COMMENTS ABOUT DIFFICULTY & TIMING

Comprehension

Target Mark: 12 / 16

The comprehension text was adult-like and many of the 16 questions were challenging:

  • 9 questions involved factual recall and/or a good understanding of the text;
  • 5 questions required the child to draw inferences from the text (i.e interpretation of the circumstances rather than merely factual recall); and
  • 2 questions related to vocabulary (WORDS: ‘compassion’ and ‘manoeuvring’), although even if your child did not understand the meaning of these words they may have been able to work out the correct answer based on the context in which these words were used in the text.

Up to a fifth of students did not manage to finish this section.

Vocabulary (Dual Meaning)

Target Mark: 16 / 19

Below is a list of the more complicated vocabulary from this section.

admirer
apparent
congestion
conspiracy
craft
discard
disembark
draught
enthusiastic
fanatic
garment
moult
occupation
proposal
pulverise
realm

sphere
stampede
tournament
unadorned
undecorated
walkout

You may wish to test your child’s understanding of these words and to see if he/she can suggest any synonyms and/or antonyms. The vast majority of students managed to finish this Section.

Numeracy 1

Target Mark: 17 / 23.

Problem Question 1 (4 questions/marks):  Capacity, fractions and multiplication
Problem Question 2 (4 questions/marks):  Table data, multiplication and subtraction
Problem Question 3 (4 questions/marks):  Chart data, range, median and mode
Problem Question 4 (3 questions/marks):  Addition and subtraction (house prices)
Problem Question 5 (4 questions/marks):  Time, distance and speed
Problem Question 6 (4 questions/marks):  Interpreting train timetable

Approximately one third of students did not manage to complete this Section.

Numeracy 2

Target Mark: 14 / 16.

Short maths and mental arithmetic questions.

Approximately one third of students did not manage to complete this Section.

TEST PAPER 2 – DESCRIPTION OF SECTIONS / COMMENTS ABOUT DIFFICULTY & TIMING

Cloze

Target Mark: 18 / 21

This Section comprised of 3 separate passages with 7 words missing from each passage. For each of the three passages the student was required to select the correct word from a choice of 7 words in a ‘Word Bank’ and position the word in the correct place in the passage.

Overall students did well on this Section (although most students’ scores fell short of the Target Mark). Timing was not an issue for the vast majority of students.

Antonyms

Target Mark: 14 / 18

Below is a list of the more complicated vocabulary from this section.

abhorrent
abundance
affluent
benevolent
composed
disadvantaged
drab
endorse
extravagant
flamboyant
flourish
inattentive
innocuous
liberation
malicious
merciless
motivate
muffled
nebulous
necessity
obnoxious
populous
proficient
prosper
righteously
ruthless
scarcity
scorn
suppress
wistful

You may wish to test your child’s understanding of these words and to see if he/she can suggest any synonyms and/or antonyms.

The vast majority of students managed to finish this Section.

Odd One Out

Target Mark: 20 / 24.

Below is a list of the more complicated vocabulary from this section.

amiable
beseech
blemish
conscientious
crimson
diligent
disperse
exhilarate
flaw
gloomy
hamper
impartial
implore
indolent
industrious
invigorate
pinnacle
soiled
torment
unbiased
vicious
vindictive

You may wish to test your child’s understanding of these words and to see if he/she can suggest any synonyms and antonyms.

The vast majority of students managed to finish this Section.

NVR

Target Mark: 13/18

Please refer to your child’s Record Table for a description of the types of NVR question which appeared in this Section.

Please note that the questions were very difficult and also time consuming – this is why the ‘Target Mark’ has been set low, at 13/18. Many students will have found the NVR the most difficult part of the Session A test papers.

Approximately one third of students did not manage to finish this Section.

Identifying themes and focusing your child’s work accordingly

Each of the Sections / sets of question on the test papers are unique but it is possible to broadly group some of the types of questions and in doing so, try to identify underlying skills and knowledge that need to be improved.

1. Where your child has missed the Target Mark for the following sections:

Comprehension
Cloze

This suggests your child may be failing to ‘read with understanding’. Try reading passages with your child from a suitable book, then close the book and test your child on the information in the passage. Perhaps try to develop your own fun reward system for getting the question right without reference back to the text; this will help your child get in the habit of ‘thinking while reading’ and thereby to ‘read with understanding’.

2. Where your child has missed the Target Mark for the following sections:

Synonyms
Antonyms
Odd One Out

This suggests your child needs to improve his/her knowledge of English vocabulary.

3. Where your child has missed the Target Mark for the following sections:

Numeracy 1
Numeracy 2

This suggests your child needs to work on his/her Maths (and for Numeracy 1 only, the application of Key Stage 2 Maths topics to long Maths / Maths problem questions).

COMPARING YOUR CHILD’S PERFORMANCE WITH OTHERS

Using the tab above, please refer to the List of Scores.  This is an anonymised list showing the scores achieved by the other students attending the Session on the same day or weekend and is provided to give you a basis of comparison.

Please bear in mind the students attending SDE 11+ Mock Exams are generally above average ability and are not representative of the students who will appear for the real 11+ tests in September.

It is very important to note, that a significant proportion of the students appearing in the bottom half of the list, will go on to pass the 11+ and do extremely well at grammar school.  We therefore advise you to treat your child’s ranking with caution.  At this stage of the year, we often find that a child’s exam performance is disappointing (especially where the child’s results were held back by their exam technique, such as working too slowly or too quickly) and does not reflect his/her academic ability.  Often in these cases the child’s results will improve markedly with lots of additional test paper practice and revision.  Similarly, those students in the top half of the group need to keep working very hard if they are to maintain or improve on their position in September.

Sessions B, C, D & E

The test papers at Sessions B, C, D and E include some different types of question which are similar to the types of question that have appeared on CEM 11+ tests papers in past years, such as scrambled / shuffled sentences and different types of Maths problem and NVR questions. To make further reservations please visit:

http://www.sde11plus.com/mock-exams/cem/

We wish your child every success with his/her 11+ exam preparation and we hope to see you both again shortly.

Susan Daughtrey Education

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