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Monday, September 15, 2008

Fuzzy Eleven Plus Questions

A few last minute thoughts as many of our Eleven Plus children enter the Eleven Plus examinations this week.

“Read the instructions at the front of the paper very carefully.”

“Work out when the examination will end. Watch the time as you are working.”

“Answer the questions you can first, then, go back if you have time.”

“If there are calculations with hours and minutes then remember that there are 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute if you are doing any addition or subtraction?”

Remind your child that if he or she gets a question like this to keep calm:

You have just been on holiday in France where your family meet a wine grower. The French man convinced your father to purchase part of the vineyard. The farmer suggested mixing Chardonnay with Pinot Noir. He had an excess of Chardonnay while a fellow farmer, a few farms away, had excess Pinot Noir. (Possibly caused by the down turn in the markets?) The idea was to produce a tasty `Vin de Table’. This would save the wine being turned into industrial alcohol.

The experiment begins:

One 12 litre container is half filled with Chardonnay, and half filled with Pinot Noir.

Another 12 litre container is one third filled with Chardonnay and two thirds filled with oil.

Both these containers are then emptied into a 24 litre container that will in time become the `Vin de Table’.

In the larger container what fraction is filled with Chardonnay, and what fraction is filled with Pinot Noir?

If you have been working with your children through a sensible Eleven Plus syllabus you will no doubt work out well within thirty seconds that there was seven twelfths Chardonnay and five twelfths Pinot Noir.

The night before an Eleven Plus examination is not the time to start explaining an example of this nature. By all means chat about wine and where it comes from, how to distinguish different flavours and why a few glasses can give a `Pre Eleven Plus’ buzz.

Leave the fractions part out of it all together. After all just before an examination you, and your child, need reassurance – not a protracted struggle with an unfortunate example.

A sudden thought:

Suppose the blog had advocated a few glasses of wine before tacking the question …. Would it still be possible to answer a question like the one above in around thirty seconds?

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