Before 1900 Normal Triplett, who was an experimental psychologist, tested how children were stimulated by competition.
He had them compete by winding reels that moved a flag towards a goal.
20 out of 40 worked faster when competing.
10 out of 40 did worse in competition.
10 out of 40 did about the same.
We don’t know if the ratio would still be true if we told our Eleven Plus children that they are entering a competition for places in a grammar school.
Presumably a number of Eleven Plus children would rise to the challenge.
Equally there may be some who would abhor the idea that they were entering into a competition with other children.
Parents are obviously aware that their children are entering a competition – but what percentage put their children under pressure as the examinations approach?