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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Comparing Eleven Plus Papers

A problem that parents are faced with is how well their child is doing as work towards the Eleven Plus progresses.

“My son always gets over 80% on papers. He finds them easy. His tutor says he should pass the Eleven Plus.”

“My son is only reaching around 50% on papers. His tutor says he should pass the Eleven Plus.”

Which papers were they? Published by whom?

At what stage of the Eleven Plus journey was the paper administered?

Did the tutor or teacher help `just a little’ during the course of the exercise?

Had the child done the paper before? Had the answers been explained?

Had the mum or dad been through the paper the night before pointing out potential problems?

Was the paper done late at night or after a good night’s sleep?

We have children who are being prepared for a number of Eleven Plus boards or entrance tests. The content of the mathematics syllabus could be different for two children sitting side by side. A girl could be asked to write and essay for one board – but only do verbal reasoning for another.

80% on a recognised Eleven Plus paper could be very different from 80% on a downloaded paper. An underlying assumption that parents have to accept is that the papers are comparable.

Naturally any one involved in the extensive Eleven Plus market will try hard to ensure that the elements of a paper are broadly comparable with other papers. As the market stands at the moment any one can build an Eleven Plus paper and publish their work.

Parents, therefore, have the ability to choose what sort of paper they would like their child to work through. If their child is being tutored then the tutor might recommend a particular set of papers. The parent can naturally follow the advice – and then still go out and purchase a different set of papers.

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