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The new Galore Park 11+ verbal reasoning range
By Natalie at Galore Park
07 Feb

The recent trend, from all test setters, for variation in content and question style in verbal reasoning tests is making the exams harder to revise for. To tackle this, Galore Park has introduced a new verbal reasoning range that broadens the scope and difficulty of the questions.
 
The range comprises the following titles.
 
Each of these titles has been designed to cater for the needs of all children taking:
  • pre-tests delivered on screen
  • 11+ entrance exams in different formats, from GL (Granada Learning), CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) and Moray House
  • 11+ entrance exams created specifically for individual independent schools.
 
Following a two-year research period, these books cover the question types typically used by all major test setters, including bespoke tests created for independent schools. Variations in test styles are included and, in addition, all testing content is carefully structured and reviewed so that weight is given to the most frequently-occurring questions. The speed and difficulty level increases to meet the needs of the most challenging entrance exams.
 
This approach is particularly helpful for children applying for more than one school and, therefore, preparing for more than one style of test, since the consistent teaching approach within the series supports them through their entire 11+ experience.

Understanding the range

Assuming no prior knowledge of verbal reasoning, the range is designed for short periods of study consolidated by frequent testing. This can be in a classroom situation or in private study.
 
Working through the range using the six-point 11+ learning journey below – from revision guide to workbooks and, finally, practice papers – will enable children to:
  1. build knowledge of how to tackle different question types, including cloze procedure
  2. use understanding of English and maths to identify what to look out for, and be aware of what is being tested
  3. increase familiarity with question types through testing
  4. develop skills in spotting variations in the same question type, and how to adapt answers
  5. tackle the most challenging questions with confidence
  6. improve accuracy and speed through practice (essential for achieving higher scores in adaptive pre-tests).
 
All answer explanations tie in with the teaching, enabling children to review questions they may have found challenging and discuss points to look out for in further tests.

Study and Revision Guide

Steps 1 to 6 of the learning journey are covered in the 11+ Verbal Reasoning Study and Revision Guide. See numbers in bold below.
  • Question types are introduced in two-page sections for ease of planning and reference. 1
  • Clear links are made to maths and English throughout (and explained graphically using Learning Ladders* in chapter introductions) to build understanding using already familiar concepts. 2
  • A consistent structure throughout provides a familiar learning path.
    • Train: simple questions developing understanding of the skills needed.
    • Try: simple to medium difficulty exam-style questions to raise confidence.
    • Test: timed questions – increasing in difficulty – based on standard test timings, which should be achievable. 3
  • Timed tests at the end of each section consolidate skills and improve speed and accuracy. Some style variations are introduced to give children practice in spotting differences in a test situation. These tests are also based on standard test timings. 3, 4
  • Sample 11+ tests at the end of the book, in verbal reasoning and cloze procedure, represent a challenging 11+ test with a faster timing, giving children an indication of how they will need to develop their skills in other titles. 3, 4, 5, 6
 
*The Galore Park Learning Ladders are a motivational tool developed to show children how skills in verbal reasoning link to the familiar areas of English and maths, therefore developing their ability to solve complex problems.

learning-ladders.png

Workbooks

The three verbal reasoning workbooks (for ages 8–10, 9–11 and 10–12) concentrate on steps 2 to 5 of the learning journey, each with over 220 questions designed to increase exam confidence through repetition. See how the learning journey steps relate below.
  • Maths and English workout spreads develop related skills in maths and English.  2
  • Question types are revised in two-page sections, using the chapter and title format from the 11+ Verbal Reasoning Study and Revision Guide to aid cross-referencing. Some skills appear more than once, often showing variations in a question type. 3
  • A consistent structure on all standard spreads provides a familiar revision path.
    • Have a go: simple versions of, or exercises working towards, the question type increase understanding.
    • Test yourself: exam-style questions with a range of difficulty in each test. The tests become increasingly difficult as children progress through the series. These questions are not timed as their purpose is to develop confidence through familiarity.
    • Try it out: a chance for children to create their own questions – useful for developing logic skills needed in the more challenging questions and often helpful to consolidate skills for kinaesthetic learners. 3, 4, 5

Practice Papers

11+ Verbal Reasoning Practice Papers 1 and 11+ Verbal Reasoning Practice Papers 2 contain a total of 780 questions for final exam preparation, concentrating on steps 4 to 6 of the learning journey. Children are advised to work through each of the tests in order, to experience the widest range of question styles and to improve their accuracy and answering speed.
  • Exam style (e.g. CEM, GL, advanced independent) is indicated before each test. The variety of question types, difficulty level, question style and speed are all representative of the type of test they will meet in their final exam.
  • Both verbal reasoning and cloze papers are included to meet the criteria of modern tests.
  • Multiple-choice and standard versions of tests ensure variation in answering styles, especially useful if children are applying to more than one school where different styles of paper are given.
  • The speed and difficulty of the tests increase as the children work through the books, with the longer tests at the end, which is useful for building concentration levels.
  • All tests introduce at least one or two unfamiliar question types in the test – given the trend for variation from all major test providers.
 
Galore Park has worked with independent and grammar schools, teachers, test writers and specialist authors to produce this comprehensive new range. The complete series also covers English, mathematics, non-verbal reasoning and science. For further details about question content, teaching approach and all other questions relating to the new 11+ range, please email: marketing@galorepark.co.uk

 

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