Verbal reasoning questions are designed to examine different types of ability. The answers, however, do not always jump off the page. Sometimes the brain needs to reflect and think before delivering the right answer. Two types of questions spring to mind – those dealing with anagrams and those with relationships.
At least when you, and your child, are working through eleven plus verbal reasoning papers, and you reach the section on anagrams you feel you know where you are. An anagram is where the letters of the word are mixed up. People who work on crosswords love anagrams. Writers of eleven plus tests and selection papers love anagrams too. It can’t take much time to write an anagram question. It can, sometimes, take lots of time to work one out!
Sorting out the anagram sometimes needs a combination of imagination and stealth.
What is the odd one out?
Deed level madam toot owc
Answer: The word cow as it is not a palindrome.
Concerned parents and teachers would then react positively at this point and take time out of the eleven plus paper to ask their child to think of a few more palindromes. This allows a sense of freshness and realism to the lesson.
Of course someone in the family will come up with:
Rats are to live as evil is to … (star)
Eleven plus tests also rely on relationships. Most relationships appear to deal with words rather than numbers. Sometimes the test writer will try to add a little twist.
The questions could start with:
Man is to foot and horse is to …. (hoof).
And then develop to:
Eskimo is to igloo as Swiss is to …. (Chalet)
Keep reminding your bright, alive and active child that a brilliant answer to the wrong question does not offer any marks! You could add that when doing multiple choice questions it is essential to select at least one of the choices.