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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Snow and the Eleven Plus

We usually expect good weather on the day the eleven plus tests take place. The children who are tested in October can expect reasonably settled weather. The November eleven plus children will also have reasonably predictable weather.

What happens if there is a fierce snow storm in one particular area on the day of the eleven plus tests? We are thinking here about the children who take the test in January. Would some children be more affected than others?

In theory the more reliable the test is the less likely that the results should be affected by any unusual circumstances. So if some parents decided that the snowstorm had affected their child’s results then the authorities should be able to counter there should be no real difference in the scores of the children who were writing in unusual circumstances.

Some parents may argue, however, that the snow storm would tend to detract from the reliability of the test results because the circumstances favoured those eleven plus children who had a strong ability to be able to concentrate. Sitting in an examination with wet shoes may, however, put off some children.

So what can the authorities do? Should they allow those children who may have been affected by the snow to take the test again? Would that be fair on the other children?

Should all the children across the county be offered the opportunity of taking the test again on a calm and peaceful day?

What happens if one child does really well on the tests on the day of the snow storm but fails miserably on the day of the second test?

Lots of questions. This shows just how difficult it would be to try to please all of the people all of the time!

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