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Friday, November 10, 2006

Problem Solving Skills

Are children who are good at verbal and non verbal reasoning tests likely to be good at solving complex problems?

Are children who pass the eleven plus more likely to be able to solve problems better than children who did not attempt the examination? The answer is quite simply that it depends on the problem.

Coping with the logistics of 150 guests at a wedding, along with the ceremony, the dresses, the bridesmaids, the in-laws as well as the immediate family demands problem solving skills far beyond the requirements of a mere 11+ examination.

An actuary is a member of a profession that requires strong problem solving skills. An actuary deals with risk and uncertainly. Naturally there will be many different types of actuary. One kind of actuary will be one involved in the insurance business. It will be the actuary who will suggest the insurance premium that is needed before a wedding to cover the photographer, the food, the venue and the thousand and one other possible areas of misfortune.

Who then will be better at solving problems? On the day it will certainly be the bride. If there is a problem that has a financial implication it will be the insurance company guided by the actuary.

Could one become a bride without passing the eleven plus? Of course. The fact that the actuary has had to go to university does not necessarily mean that the actuary is better at solving practical problems that are complex in nature.

I am pretty certain that there must be actuaries who never did pass the eleven plus. These actuaries would not have needed to struggle with verbal and non verbal reasoning papers. They would, no doubt, have developed their problem solving skills in other ways.

Does anyone know if you can claim for the best man forgetting the rings?

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