When you and your child approach a verbal reasoning paper you should be able to share a whole range of strategies. We sometimes meet questions like this:
April, Beatrice, Candice, Daisy and Elizabeth are all in the same class at school. April and Elizabeth are tall. Candice, Daisy and Elizabeth love mathematics. The others do not love mathematics. April and Candice prefer art – but the others like music.
Which of the tall girls love mathematics?
Your child may first try some form of simultaneous scanning – this is where the question is read and re-read - and then one idea after the other is tried systematically.
“Oh yes, I remember we did this last week. We had a similar question. I drew a table.”
Your child could remember how the two of you worked through a similar problem and then go on to try to apply a similar set of rules.
A different approach could be a form of successive scanning. Here your child comes up with one theory after another.
“There are only two tall girls so it must be either April or Elizabeth.”
A third type of approach is where you try to train your child to focus on the question and change one variable at a time. Your child may come up with a similar answer – but the route to the solution would be very different to the two types mentioned earlier,
Finally there is the gambler. This is the child who holds onto two different ideas and tries to follow both lines of thought simultaneously.
It is likely that at one time or another, during the approach to the Eleven Plus, you and your child will adopt one or more of these four strategies in solving some of the more complex eleven plus questions.