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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Prolonged Eleven Plus Examinations

There was a vogue at one time, and it may exist today in certain quarters, to offer candidates prepared questions. One of the premises of the prepared questions was to try to reduce stress and attempt to take away as much tension as possible on the day of the examination.

The same questions would be given as in the final examination – but the candidates could be offered two or three days to go over the questions ahead of the examination. In some cases candidates could even be offered the questions a few weeks before the actual examination.

If this form of examination was offered to our eleven plus children they then would be able to prepare in any way they wanted. Some parents would, possibly, maintain that the examination was being conducted in an unfair manner and would therefore not allow their children to see the questions before the examination. “We just want to see just how good he or she is.”

Others questions would go the other way. We could envisage a scenario where a limited number of poor children were drilled unmercifully. “No dear, we know that it is eleven o’clock but you still have three types of question to go.”

If there were a limited number of eleven plus questions then the children would be able to study the topics in great depth. If there was a multitude of topics then the eleven plus child would almost certainly have a much wider knowledge of eleven plus topics – but, possibly, with less understanding.

For a number of children the greatest drawback of the prepared question would be that the examination was stretched over a longer period of time.

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