The spectre of the eleven plus examination may sometimes, but only sometimes, be used as an incentive to study. The incentive, however, does not lie in the actual eleven plus examination – but in the perceived prospect of actually writing and passing the eleven plus.
Sadly for some children, and of course their parents, the eleven plus can be taken only once. A child can attempt a range of different eleven plus examinations – but the eleven plus is an examination written for a specific purpose. If parents try to use the eleven plus as an incentive – and the child passes - then the child’s attitude to future examinations may be affected. If the child, however, does not pass then the child may be, at times, motivated to want to give up and take life more easily.
If the eleven plus was designed to become an incentive to study –it would not be an examination of ability and reasoning powers.
Happily, however, for most of us involved in the examination we can work off much more attainable goals.
“Let us finish the last two questions and we can all enjoy an ice cream.” This is, quite rightly, more of an enticement than an incentive. Most of us would rather be enticed than incentivised.