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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Eleven Plus and Time

A question that could conceivably come up in an eleven plus examination is adding seventeen minutes to a stated time. “If the train is going to be seventeen minutes late, and it was due at 9.50, what time will it arrive if it able to make up two minutes on the journey?”

A different type of question could be: “Add the number of days in the fourth and fifth months, and take away the number of days in November.”

Now we know that there are 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46.08 seconds in a year. This is the time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun. Past civilisations have related this to the moon’s phases – or the time between the two moons which is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds.

The eleven plus questions can now add a little eleven plus bite.

Express your answer in the Julian calendar.

The Julian calendar has 365 days but every year whose number is divisible by 4 has an extra day.

Express your answer in the Gregorian calendar.

All years divisible by 100 are ordinary years, not leap years, with the exception of years divisible by 400.

Express your answer in the Muslim calendar.

The Muslim calendar gives the moons precedence. There are twelve months of alternately 30 and 29 days.

The eleven plus question then becomes alive if we know what the year of the question is.

The time question could develop further mileage if we expected eleven plus children to be able to remember three different rules that can be applied to a question. Opponents would argue that this is learning by rote. Supporters would say look at the multiple choice answers. Eliminate the answers which simply can not fit. Select the correct answer and march forward!

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