SUMMARY OF KEY DATES
- 7 September 2016 - Deadline for Registration for 11+ with school of choice
- 17 September - 11+ Examinations Week 1: CEM Paper 1 and CEM Paper 2
- 21 September - Open Evening 6-8 pm
- 24 September - 11+ Examinations Week 2: English and Mathematics
- 27 & 28 September - Open Mornings 9-10.30am (by appointment)
- 3 & 4 October - Mop-Up Days for absent students (pre-arranged with the College)
- 6 & 7 October - Open Mornings 9-10.30am (by appointment)
- 10 October - Last date to submit Special Consideration requests
- 18 October - Guidance Letters distributed
- 31 October - Deadline for Submission of Common Application Form to LA
- 1 March 2017 - National Allocation Day
- April - Date to submit an Appeal to LA - TBC
STRUCTURE OF THE TESTS AND SOME EXAMINATION TECHNIQUE ADVICE
The CEM are papers produced by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham. They were successfully used for the first time in September 2015 and test a wider range of skills than the GL Assessment Verbal Reasoning papers that we have used previously.
There will be two CEM papers and they will assess verbal ability (comprehension, vocabulary and verbal reasoning) numerical reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. They also have some innovative questions designed to test a candidate’s perception and intelligence.
Unlike GL Assessment, CEM are not proposing to make practice papers available commercially – the rationale for this is that the test outcomes will be more likely to reflect natural ability and the capacity to work independently, than the impact of private tutoring. Having said that, CEM have made available a familiarisation booklet which will give students a feel for the appearance of the tests, the range of disciplines tested and the answer formats used.
Because the papers are scanned and analysed by the provider we need to ensure that the results are received in good time to issue our guidance letter and with this in mind we have programmed the two CEM papers to be taken on the first Saturday and the English and Mathematics to be taken on the second Saturday. The instructions to students and timings are on a CD played in each examination room so that it is certain that candidates will receive the same instructions and each room will have independent and equal time allocation.
The score will be combined rather than the better of the two – because each will test different skills.
English Reading and Writing:
These are two sections of the same paper – so candidates can move on to the essay writing rather than having to wait. They will be strongly advised to complete the Reading section first so they know how much time they can spend on writing, but this will not be supervised, other than advising them when half the time has elapsed.
There are usually 2 passages to read and 20 multiple choice questions which test their understanding of what they have read. Each question has five possible answers. As with all multiple choice questions three of the answers can usually be dismissed easily, but it will require the passage to have been read, and possibly re-read, very carefully to be certain of choosing which of the remaining two is the right answer. The answer sheet just requires the candidate to tick the correct answer and there is no extended writing in this test. The passages are numbered to help the students to identify the section of the text referred to in the question.
There is a choice of writing topics – the candidates choose 1 from 3 questions – so should find something to which they can relate. We feel the need to preach caution against coming to the examination with a prepared text – what the student writes needs to be structured to answer the question that has been set. The children won’t always have the option of writing a story – there are many types of writing – to persuade, inform, or report – so fictional writing is only one of the options that can be examined in the writing paper. The students will be encouraged to plan their essay – but what they write in this respect will not be marked or contribute to their final assessment.
There will be approximately 35 questions to be completed in one hour. The questions are not of equal length, and some will take longer than others to answer.
This paper is NOT multiple choice; there is space for working and a final place to record the answer. As with all Mathematics papers candidates are encouraged to show their workings because it is possible to get credit for an answer with the wrong final figure if the correct process has been followed and the student has demonstrated he or she knows how to approach the calculation.
Standard of questions
All the tests have been set to reflect what has been taught in the primary schools according to the National Curriculum for Year 5. Students are not expected to have done any additional material for their 11+ examinations other than familiarise themselves with the style of questions in the CEM papers using the information supplied.
There may be one or two questions that the students find more challenging. This is to extend the brighter children and for the school to discover the budding geniuses; candidates are not expected to get absolutely everything correct!