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Monday, March 29, 2010

Multiple Choice and the Eleven Plus

If you ever have had difficulty in completing multiple choice eleven plus answers then you may care to take note if the research by Louis Cheskin of the Color Research Institute. (The spelling of Color is deliberate as Cheskin operated in America.)

He wanted to isolate why a woman would choose one evening dress over another. He and his workers used the second floor of a Chicago store as their workplace. The latest styles from Paris were advertised.

Every woman coming onto the display area was recorded from the time she came in to when she left. By and large the women came in, looked around and then thought more deliberately about three different dresses. This took around 90 minutes.

The problem that Cheskin set was the dresses came in three different colours.

He found that some women `just loved that dress’.

The colour turquoise most often accompanied the `just loved that dress’ attraction.

The next motivation he found was that some women were very aware of their complexions.

These women often chose fuchsia – often because at one time or another they had been told that they looked good in fuchsia.

The third primary preference was for style. Vogue magazine had had a big spread a few months earlier stating that chartreuse was the prestige colour of the moment.

The style conscious women chose chartreuse.

The `just love that dress women’ only amounted to some 20%. Of the remaining 80% half bought for complexions and half for style.

There must be a little moral in this story. When you are advising your child what to do towards the end of the eleven plus examination – and he or she is running out of time – you will naturally suggest that guesses are allowed under certain circumstances.

Your child could select all the `a’ line – or the `b’ or the `c’ or the `d’.

You could suggest simply guessing and jumping your responses about in a random manner.

You could mention that a further option would be to write down the letters of the alphabet in the right order, Look for the first four letter word in the question. Use that vowel!

We are led to believe that buying a Dior dress is a good investment – because the dress just lasts for ever. Passing the eleven plus is also a good investment – because the benefits just last for ever.

A suggestion: Suggest to your child that if he or she goes for `just have a gut feeling’ then he or she is going to be correct about twenty percent of the time.

If your child is drawn to choose between two similar answers and can’t decide over style and substance – then suggest that a guess will probably be about half right – or even half wrong.

This brings us to the eternal question: `Is it better to be half right or half wrong?’

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