We’ve reached a plateau with NVR and my child doesn’t seem to moving forwards – help?

This is a common problem. Lots of children find that they cannot seem to make further progress even though they are working hard at timed tests. With NVR there are only a very few areas that you can look at to effect change.

1/ Why are mistakes being made? Don’t assume that mistakes are made due to lack of knowledge, they might just be a ‘mistake’ (accuracy issue), they might be caused by time pressure (timing issue), or knowledge might be at the core of the problem (knowledge issue).

2/ if you have time and have not diligently been through each NVR type then it really would be worth doing so to check that you child understands each type of question and has been exposed to any methods which mean they can get to an answer more quickly.

3/ If time is a continuing problem then they may just not be able to work to the time allowed (the more intelligent and quick thinking a child is the more likely they will be able to deal with the time constraints). You can however try the following… split the paper up into tight five or ten minute sections to ensure they work at the right pace during the whole test…. have good habits about circling a question and moving on if they are spending too long on it….if they have ten questions left and two minutes to go then they need to go into ‘best guess’ mode to ensure they give themselves the best chance.

4/ If they are making consistent mistakes then this is probably a knowledge issue (see item 2… you can just focus on one or two types if that is where the problem lies). If the mistakes are random then overall accuracy will be the problem. Children need to find a way of being able to focus effectively enough not to get questions they can do wrong. Sometimes getting them to mark their own work and then come and tell you where they went wrong helps develop self-checking skills. Sometimes just recognising the need to work more accurately helps.

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