Children working on verbal reasoning papers should be learning to reason. Many verbal reasoning exercises, however, seem to revolve around developing and consolidating verbal skills. The reasoning side of verbal reasoning seems, in some questions, to have been forgotten. Trying to answer questions that do not develop and stretch reasoning must be frustrating for some children.
In mathematics it is generally accepted that a core aim should be to try to inculcate an understanding of mathematics. Eleven plus children have to learn skills well enough to be able to `pass’ an eleven plus paper. Along the way a good eleven plus student needs to know his or her tables – and how to do fractions and decimals. Skills of this nature are the staff of mathematical life. Solving problems without basics must be hard work for some able children.
Somehow some discerning parents and teachers will want to work out how to distinguish between the demands of the so called `eleven plus curricula’ and the techniques that have to be acquired in order to be able to cope with eleven plus level questions.