Measuring how well your child is doing towards the eleven plus can be a mixture of science, dark arts and sheer make believe. At times it may feel like gazing into a crystal ball. All adults know that gazing into a crystal is done in the hope of inducing a hallucinatory vision! All parents know too that this is a secret that they do not have to pass onto their children.
Before we can ask for a properly prepared and carefully controlled answer to: “How well is my child going to do in the eleven plus?” we need to follow some obvious rules.
Rule 1 – It is perfectly permissible for parents to hear what he or he wants to hear and not what is actually being said.
Rule 2 – Ask the question in as precise a form as possible. “How will my child’s examination nerves affect his or her chances of doing well in the eleven plus?”
Rule 3 – Ask to have the numerical scale defined. “On a scale of one to ten, what are my child’s chances of passing the eleven plus?”
Rule 4 – Make sure that the question you are asking is analogous to reality. “There are three weeks to go to the eleven plus, what are my child’s chances?”
Rule 5 – If it is necessary to resort to some form of hallucinatory stimulation then do it properly.
“Should we go for it?”
If you were measuring your child’s shoe size, and you established that a larger shoe size may last a little longer, you may be inclined to listen to the shoe clerk. Yet a simple ten percent swing on test results may make all the difference between a pass and a fail.
If the eleven plus providers sat down to a brainstorming session – aided by some form of stimulation – then would it be possible to work out a secure method of extending the eleven plus to be able to take into account areas such as achievement, retention, attitude and personality?