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Monday, November 06, 2006

How long for each question?

Solving problems takes some thought.

If the 11+ examiner makes all the questions achievable to bright children then all of them will pass the examination. The examiner has to think of some way of setting problems that can be solved - but only after some thought. When the family sit down to solve some obscure verbal or non verbal reasoning question there is the combined power of a number of minds bearing down on a problem.

Some questions just take time to solve. The words `lets sleep on it’ are not uttered by chance.

The brain has the capacity to think about a problem long after the moment has passed.

An eleven plus examination requires a problem to be solved in a short time. It is possible to come back to a problem - but once again the time available is limited. A child who answers all the questions correctly - but does not finish the paper - may achieve a pass mark ahead of a child who completes the paper and then goes back over the harder questions.

One way to reduce this perceived unfairness could be to set a section of harder multiple choice question where two marks could be awarded for a correct answer. Questions1 - 55 would then be worth one mark - but Questions 56 to 70 would be worth two marks.

You could then teach your child to spend 25 minutes on Question 1 - 50 and 15 minutes on Questions 56 to 70. Or should it be fifteen minutes on Questions 1 - 15 leaving 25 minutes to answer the rather more difficult questions?

Remember bright parents are more likely to make bright children! Some one will solve this problem for us.

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