It must appear to an outsider that, at times, emotions run high as the family work together towards the Eleven Plus. Today we need to explore the need to develop an adaptation of a ninety year old test – which we can call the `Eleven Plus Emotional’ test. Each relevant member of the family works on lists of words. The origins of the Eleven Plus Emotional test go back to 1919 (Plessey X-O tests). (This must have been around the time that authors of the first Eleven Plus tests must have been born.)
In the first list the family cross out words that are unpleasant.
Homework, extra study, depression, anxiety, concern, failure
Anger, yelling, co-operation, not listening, turbulence, passing
After crossing out the words each family member then circles the most unpleasant word of all.
In the second test the family will be asked to cross out words which are connected to the first word. The family then circle the word that is closest in meaning to the first words. (This is very close to some verbal reasoning questions!)
ELEVEN PLUS passing, good job, success, misery, lazy, successful
GRAMMAR SCHOOL traditional, friends, university, homework, GCSE, pressure
In the third test the family cross out words which they think are wrong. They then circle the word which describes the worst wrong of all.
Communication, joy, failure, grasping, pushy, permissive
Control, sadness, driving, lies, indulgence
The fourth test deals with the things that worry the family. Again the words are crossed out – and then a circle is put around the most worrisome word or words.
Comprehensive, university, falling house prices, unhappiness, torture
Why me?, too much sport, not enough reading, talking back, ungrateful.
The words that remain will count towards the Eleven Plus Emotional score. A comparison of the circled words could be used to illustrate differences between the attitude of different members of the family to emotional highs and lows.
Over the course of eleven plus preparation there will be some emotional ups and downs. It is likely that a number of parents will be able to add materially to each of the four sections described above. It will be impossible for any of us to be able to separate emotion from the situation. We must just hope that we keep our cool when emotions run high.