A bit of research that comes to mind when watching some eleven plus children learning is the work done, some years ago, on paratrooper trainees. Most of us will have seen pictures of trainees jumping from a 34 foot tower – where the trainee falls about eight feet before the harness engages.
The trainees were asked, on a ten point scale, to rate the amount of fear they felt before jumping from the tower. The average group rating was six before the first jump, and then gradually declined over the next six jumps. The average fear rating was three by the seventh jump.
Would a similar pattern follow in the world of the eleven plus? Give a group of eleven plus parents a paper for their children to work through. Ask the parents to rate their fear about how well their child will do on the paper.
It is likely that the fear will reduce as the eleven plus children work through the papers. The fear may never quite go away – but it will reduce.