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Old 30.01.2019, 08:23
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Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

Hi all,

Would be grateful for any recommendations for Gymnasium preparation course, in and around Zurich. I am looking for a course which ideally starts next autumn for a 2. Sec student.

Thanks in advance
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Old 30.01.2019, 14:49
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

Sorry if I take advantage of your thread, but I also have a question that concerns gymnasium.

My son is in 5th and next year will do the exam for langgymnasium. His teacher recommended him this. She said that next year the school will provide 2 hours extra classes per week for the preparation and it will be free since the teachers are "referring" him.

Talking to some friends and colleagues it almost looks like everybody pays for extra courses to get ready for exam admission, etc. I am not so old, but at my times nobody ever did extra classes. Nachhilfe was also only for those very weak. I went myself to gymnasium but I don't remember having ever studied extra. I never even asked for my parents support. You simply had to pay attention during class and that was it.

So my questions: is Ticino that is so different from the german part or the times have changed and the educational system is not anymore like it used to be? And, should be enough to just do these free extra hours for preparation?

I'd be happy to hear your experiences.
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Old 30.01.2019, 15:26
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

That purely depends on the teacher that will be giving the course. When my daughter was in the 5th her teacher was very good, and the students did not do any other courses. Almost every year 80% if the kids taking the exam passed. Unfortunately she didnt manage to pass, with a 4.2.
Personally I wasnt upset, it was my opinion that she was too young anyway to go to a school in the next town and be away from 06h40 all day.

Now in Sec, its a different story. The teachers from the 1st Sec didnt complete the syllabus. So her class is not ready for the exam. This year is wasted. I now believe that i cannot rely on school to prepare the children for the exam. She wants to continue studying and we will support her.
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Old 30.01.2019, 16:51
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

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Sorry if I take advantage of your thread, but I also have a question that concerns gymnasium.

My son is in 5th and next year will do the exam for langgymnasium. His teacher recommended him this. She said that next year the school will provide 2 hours extra classes per week for the preparation and it will be free since the teachers are "referring" him.

Talking to some friends and colleagues it almost looks like everybody pays for extra courses to get ready for exam admission, etc. I am not so old, but at my times nobody ever did extra classes. Nachhilfe was also only for those very weak. I went myself to gymnasium but I don't remember having ever studied extra. I never even asked for my parents support. You simply had to pay attention during class and that was it.

So my questions: is Ticino that is so different from the german part or the times have changed and the educational system is not anymore like it used to be? And, should be enough to just do these free extra hours for preparation?

I'd be happy to hear your experiences.
Nice question, i don't understand that groan.
There are so many parents here asking for prep courses and tutors I really wonder wheter:
a) Schools don't prepare pupils enough for the exam
b) The exam is too difficult and far away from the primary school curriculum
c) A lot of parents want to see their kids at the gymi even though they don't fit in there. (Some with valid reasons of course)
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Old 30.01.2019, 16:59
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

Oh right, maybe I didn't specify enough that it was not my intention to judge who pay for extra classes It never even came to my mind.
I just wanted to hear other parents'/students experiences. It's clear that every situation is different and there is no right and wrong... If anyone felt offended, sorry
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Old 30.01.2019, 18:00
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

My daughter is now in 6th. A year ago I thought it should be piece of a cake to pass these exams. I never took any additional course for my exams.

We decided to give it a try (in May), took actual math exam samples, made two copies one for her, one for me, started timer and... After about 15-20 mins she came with tears - can't do anything with any of task. I was able to solve only one... I can imagine they didn't learn some things in 5th yet, but zero result makes me think. Me myself managing only one was another doubt (shock actually).

So we decided to work on math together on our own. I don't really trust these not motivated courses. We took some study materials in a local library, bought last year's ones and found the rest online. Very soon I figured out they do calculations completely in a different way I did at school. Together with that came understanding what we need learn first - use materials as a source of knowledge. Everything is described here, examples provided.

At the beginning we spent quite a lot of time together, multiple times a week.

By end of December she was able to solve all sorts of asked tasks. The only problem is velocity. 9-10 tasks in 60 mins is a challenge. Now I only shortly remind her that the exam is in March and if SHE wants to get there she has to improve her performance.

Regarding the language exam I cannot help, but she herself does it pretty good. To write a 3-5 pages text in German is her typical thing... So we agreed in addition to school's course to ask a friend of us with some experience to work with her every second week.

We'll see if it was enough in less than two months.
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Old 30.01.2019, 18:09
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

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There are so many parents here asking for prep courses and tutors I really wonder wheter:
a) Schools don't prepare pupils enough for the exam
b) The exam is too difficult and far away from the primary school curriculum
c) A lot of parents want to see their kids at the gymi even though they don't fit in there. (Some with valid reasons of course)
a) true, schools are preparing workforce for Migros, etc.
b) true, see a). Another factor is amount of tasks and lack of time 9-10 tasks for 60 mins.
c) teacher says she fits fine Sec A, I informed her about a), she spent a "Zukunfttag" in my office and another one at a factory/shop. The rest is her decision, we just support it.
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Old 31.01.2019, 08:07
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

The exam for the 6th Graders has work that is not covered in depth in the school. They just touch on these types of problem solving. There are tricks which help the child to grasp the technique. Therefore a prep course is a must. BUT all primary schools should offer a comprehensive free course.

The children should have the same content in the Sec A as in gymi, therefore they should be allowed to move to gymi after the 2.Sec without problems. That is not the case in my town. The Sec students are too far behind. One year not one of the 18 students passed the exam!!!
This year, the teacher made it clear to us that the chances of passing are slim, because he had to teach them material they should have learnt in the 1. Sec.

Which really upsets me. As a parent I dont know what the syllabus is. Sure you can get it online, but try to figure that out if you are not a math prof.
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Old 31.01.2019, 08:35
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

I have a son in Langgymnasium (Uster ZH) and a daughter who will take the exam this March. For both of them, this is what we did:

Downloaded sample exams from the Kanton Schule website, these are actual exams from previous years. We let the kids solve it at the end of their 5th grade, we wanted to know where they stand. And clear as daylight, the skills or techniques needed to solve the Math problems they haven't discussed in class. Like kkmm did, we looked for materials (offline and online) to help them. Focused on learning the skills first and then worked on speed.

For the German part, we needed to improve their writing skills and fortunately, both their class teacher were willing to correct any essay our kids will give them, so it was just a matter of them writing and writing.

The Primarschule they went to offers preparatory lessons for those taking the exam. We did not have to pay anything but as parents had to commit that we will make sure our kids do the Hausaufgaben religiously. For us, we are quite ok with this course, we didn't feel the need to go for additional private lessons.
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Old 31.01.2019, 09:08
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

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Nice question, i don't understand that groan.
Stella's question about Zürich/Ticino is unrelated to OP's issue, she should start her own thread, even more so as she's obviuosly aware of her hijacking.
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Old 31.01.2019, 09:34
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

And that been said, does anyone know of a good school offering courses? I am not quite ready to fork out between 2 - 4K if it's not really going to help her.
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Old 31.01.2019, 10:20
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

I can recommend Lernstudio. They have a very good pass rate and 1 in 10 of the children who took the exam last year attended their courses or day school.

Last edited by Rayne; 31.01.2019 at 10:33.
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Old 31.01.2019, 11:30
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

Thank you all for your insight's. You paint another picture than that i have in my memory when I was 10. But this was 20 years ago and it seems a lot has changed. My first born will join kindergarten next year and I'm very interested in his experience as a pupil and mine as a parent. Since I've moved back to my hometown he will go to the same school as I did, maybe even with some of the same teachers (in sek).

I agree with you that Sek A maybe learns the same content, but the depth may vary.
If I remember correctly, 3 out of my 5th grade class of 20 joined gymi, then in the second year of bezirkschule, 4 out of ca. 35 joined gymi (2 failed the exam though). We never had the impression theres something wrong with those numbers.
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Old 31.01.2019, 13:54
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

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So my questions: is Ticino that is so different from the german part or the times have changed and the educational system is not anymore like it used to be? And, should be enough to just do these free extra hours for preparation?
The Lernstudio Zürich has been established 1970, Lernstudio Winterthur 1980. Not sure if they always offered Gym-prep courses. But I remember that they did more than 25 years ago and it looks like they did so since the '70 https://www.lernstudio.ch/de-CH/Lern...hre_Lernstudio
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Old 31.01.2019, 15:26
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

Can someone, please, post some links to some of these tests you are mentioning? I can only find tests for sek 1 für Erwachsene on Zurich's site. One of my kids will go to Bezirkschule, but the teacher didn't mention anything about a test (mental note: ask), just that she's Kanti/Uni material.

Thanks!
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Old 31.01.2019, 15:31
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

Here you are for Canton Zurich https://www.zentraleaufnahmepruefung...uefungsarchiv/
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Old 31.01.2019, 15:32
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

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Can someone, please, post some links to some of these tests you are mentioning? I can only find tests for sek 1 für Erwachsene on Zurich's site. One of my kids will go to Bezirkschule, but the teacher didn't mention anything about a test (mental note: ask), just that she's Kanti/Uni material.

Thanks!
You mean these entrance exam tests? This is for canton Zurich.

https://www.zentraleaufnahmepruefung...uefungsarchiv/

Edit: sorry, I've noticed someone else was a bit faster.

Also, for those interested check this out

https://www.gymicards.ch/?gclid=EAIa...SAAEgKqyfD_BwE

Last edited by greenmount; 31.01.2019 at 15:44.
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Old 03.02.2019, 12:32
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

We're on child number two to get through the exam. A couple of tips:

- don't fully rely on the Lernstudio course to fully prepare your child; it will provide the base but a lot of extra work through previous year exams is really required
- our first child went to Lernstudio, our second to AHA. We have been more impressed with AHA, but this can be different teacher to teacher
- previous year exams, especially on the math are very useful, repetition until they can confidently handle.
- Lots of extra time, effort and working through frustration is required by parents and child. If the drive and motivation from the child is there, it's worth it.

It's a less than ideal system for entrance, but it is what it is. With that said, we've been nothing but impressed with the quality of the education at the gymnasium. The workload is extremely high (too high imo), but the teaching quality is very very good.
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Old 03.02.2019, 13:27
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

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Stella's question about Zürich/Ticino is unrelated to OP's issue, she should start her own thread, even more so as she's obviuosly aware of her hijacking.
Edit: I did not read the OP properly. It‘s for entrance into Kurzgymnasium. Sorry.

Sure, but in my opinon the quality of the thread has been improved by the various insights in the provoked discussion.

As others have already said, the Gymi entrance exam covers topics not necessarily taught in the regular classes. For example, the maths test includes things like deriving and solving simultaneous equations from a textual problem. The candidates also have to show their “working out” on the page - otherwise no points. Trying to get the latter concept into the head of a 12 year old is the last job God made in my opinion.

My son’s school has an extra class on Wednesday afternoons from which they also get 3-4 hours homework which is based on exam questions from past papers. As we get closer to the exam (March) the homework has been to do past papers against the clock. On the maths test, the candidates have to complete 10 questions in one hour - even I find some of the questions quite tough. to complete in 6 minutes each!

At my son’s school, there are 30 kids attending the Gymi preparation class - and, according to the mum of one of the other kids attending, they spend time going over last week’s homework rather than teaching the principles for solving the different styles of problem. Plus a lot of the class time is spent assisting the less able candidates. To my mind, 30 sounds like a lot of kids in one class, but we‘re reasonably confident our son will get through in spite of this. My wife and I are sufficiently versed in German and maths that we can help show him if he can‘t solve a particular question.

For the German, a big part is writing a piece of text based on a choice of three different subjects which our son is not the best at. During summer we downloaded some of the actual writing topics from past exam papers and we got him to write one essay each week of the holiday - which the teachers were happy to mark.

Without being able to recommend a private tutor (therefore totally OT) I would say try to make use of the resources provided by the school. Ask if you can sit in on a prep class if they do them so you can assess the quality of what they are doing. If you engage a tutor, also ask to sit in on a class to see you are happy with the quality.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 03.02.2019, 13:59
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Re: Gymnasium preparation course Zurich

[QUOTE

For the German, a big part is writing a piece of text based on a choice of three different subjects which our son is not the best at. During summer we downloaded some of the actual writing topics from past exam papers and we got him to write one essay each week of the holiday - which the teachers were happy to mark.

Nick[/QUOTE]

One thing I did with my daughter to help prepare her for the essay part (long gymi) was practice writing very short essays in English, purely to get a really clear idea of the format (intro, middle, conclusion etc) and to practice writing something that actually makes sense and follows through with an idea. We chose funny/stupid topics to keep it light.

It really, really helped, because then at least the planning, formatting side of the essay was much easier. It didn't help at all with the German side ;-) but it did increase her confidence, and they are marking you on your essay writing skills (answering the question, well-planned, proper format, makes sense, is interesting etc) as well.
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