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Week beginning 4th March: pace of working for the Kent Test

How is it March already?!

The year is whizzing by...

During my sessions this week, we'll be marking last week's verbal reasoning timed task and 're-working' the questions to ensure that the children are using effective and efficient strategies when they're answering familiar (and previously unseen) question-types.

I'll be making a note of the scores achieved in this task for my records, but my main areas of focus with this task are not actually directly connected to scores. I'm most interested in how the children coped with the previously unseen question-types that were included in the task and the pace at which they worked. Both of these will have a huge impact on the potential scores that will be achieved in the Kent Test.

Pace: In the Kent Test, we should be expecting there to be 32 verbal reasoning questions, which the children will be given 20 minutes to work through. That's an average of just over 35 seconds per question, so it's essential that the children are working quickly if they're to have time to tackle all of the questions in the time limit that's available to them. I made a note last week of how many questions each child had time to answer in the 20 minutes that I gave for this task. I'll be sending an email to you this week, if your son or daughter worked through this task at a pace that was much slower than we're targeting.

Previously unseen question-types: Increasingly, in the last few years, there have been question-types newly created for the Kent Test - particularly in the verbal reasoning portion of the test. My belief is that this is to reduce the impact that working through multiple practice books will have, since with a previously unseen question-type we're assessing the children's ability to process new information and use it - rather than their ability to learn the techniques needed to answer specific types of questions and follow these techniques in a test situation. It's this flexibility of thought, and the ability to process and use new information, that the reasoning portions of the Kent Test are attempting to assess, so a child's ability to work on new question-types is now a key component of the score that children are likely to achieve for their reasoning in the Kent Test. The verbal reasoning task that we're currently working on included 3 new types of question. If your son or daughter struggled with these, I will let you know in an email after this week's session.

Homework for this week is to continue to work through your practice maths and English books please. One task from each book each week is a sensible target, but if you have the capacity in your schedule to complete more, then please do so.

As a reminder, at this stage (unless I've specifically advised you otherwise) please time how long each task takes rather than imposing a time limit, as I need to gauge clearly each child's natural pace of working in relation to their levels of accuracy before we begin to impose time limits. Once each task has been independently attempted, please mark the work (using the answers in the back of the book) and look together at any questions that were incorrectly answered.

Another date for your diary

I'll be online from 9.30am until 11am on Saturday 23rd March, chatting about Spatial Reasoning in the Kent Test. I'll start the session by sharing information about this assessed area of the Kent Test and there'll then be time for questions - either about spatial reasoning or about the Kent Test more generally.

Please join if you can. This is link that you'll need:

That's all for now, but do check back next week for more. :-)

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