A number of parents will approach the 11+ examinations with some considerable degree of disquiet and concern. How far will their child’s future, at such a tender age, be affected by a largely irrevocable decision? Is the way we use the examination’s results really fair on all children?
If verbal reasoning tests are designed to give useful information about a child’s ability then the verbal reasoning element of the 11+ examinations may need to investigate areas different from normal classroom work. Children with reading problems or who are not fully fluent with the English language, may sometimes be at a disadvantage when attempting verbal reasoning tests.
There are many factors that are far outside the control of a teacher or parent. The death of a loved one or a family break up can affect performance. No matter how many practice papers a child may have done – if the child does not feel up to the examination then the content of the following years of education could be altered for ever.
A simple comprehension problem, however, could affect the progress of your child through school – and into the examination hall. The words `It is not fair - the dog ate my paper,’ will be offered by some children when they have not done as well as possible. Lots of quality reading may help to save the day.