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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Eleven Plus Poll

I wonder what the results would be if we were able to conduct on online poll of all the children engaged in the act of preparing for the Eleven Plus examination?

In order to conduct an experiment you have to submit a hypothesis. A proposed outcome would be that the majority of the children engaged in preparations for the Eleven plus examinations are enjoying the hypothesis.


We need to define key words - the first being `preparation’. What is preparation for one set of parents is not the same others. One child may be attempting a paper every second weekend. A different child may need help with comprehension and reading vocabulary – before being able to attempt a verbal reasoning paper confidently. Some children do a paper every day.

One child may need a carefully balanced program of study of his or her mathematics – covering fractions, decimals and the metric system while a different child may only need a little brushing up on algebra and proportion.

One child may be attending weekly lessons on a one to one basis. Other children will be attending with a group of children following a similar syllabus.

We know of parents who swear that their child can pass a competitive examination with no other preparation than the practice papers supplied by the school. We have a very able child of seven attending one of our centres and it is evident that he could probably pass a mathematics eleven plus examination today – if he had to.


Some children will enjoy the challenge of the work and remained engaged and committed up to the date of the examination while others will need to be coerced and cajoled from the beginning.

Eleven Plus Examination

The Eleven Plus examinations appear in every shape and pattern. Some just Verbal Reasoning, others with verbal and non verbal reasoning, some have mathematics and others English.

Eleven Plus examinations vary from county to county, town to town and school to school. It is very difficult for parents to be able to carry a full picture of the whole Eleven Plus scenario.

And now to the questions:

Do your parents encourage and sustain you while you are working through papers?

Are you sometimes subjected to pressure to improve your marks?

Do you enjoy working through papers?

Do you enjoy the idea of working towards the Eleven Plus examination?

We then need to collate, interpret and publish the results.

It would take a brave person to publish the results.

We all remember, however, the Duke of Wellington suggesting “Publish and be damned!” Perhaps I will leave this experiment for a braver person.

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