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Monday, January 12, 2009

Eleven Plus Common Sense 02/01/09

It is sometimes quite difficult to work out whether some eleven plus questions can be answered with common sense. If we have some knowledge of a topic then is seems likely that common sense can be used to answer a question.

We usually take common sense for granted and accept an answer based on common sense without much discussion.

If we try to teach an eleven plus topic so that it can be used in the examination by simply using common sense, then we would probably have had to break the topic into small but logical pieces. After all if there is little logic to the answer then it is unlikely that common sense can be applied.

What then is a common sense answer to a question? The book: “Essentials of Verbal Reasoning (O.B. Gregory) gives some 11+ exercises:

Look at the first pair of words and decide the relationship between them. Then write a pair of words from inside the brackets with the same relationship:

Small, little (rich, poor, money, expensive, wealthy)

The right answer is rich and wealthy. Is this a common sense solution?

Some children will choose rich and poor because they will not have read the question carefully.

Others may choose expensive and wealthy – because they know what the words mean, and they have read the question, but they may just have become a `little confused’. A number of words are similar. Would common sense help here?

Some children may prefer to have the question, and the answer, explained carefully – rather than hear the words:

“Just use your common sense.”

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