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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eleven Plus Chances

How can parents improve their child’s eleven plus chances? The eleven plus, as it stands, is a rather traditional examination. Questions that were used fifty years ago can still be used in one of today’s eleven plus examinations. Parents, therefore, may not need to have an intimate knowledge of the examination to be able to make some suggestions. (Especially if you also sat the eleven plus some years ago!)

There could be a range different styled ability tests – so that parents and children can choose the most appropriate learning style. Some questions could be offered in the format of traditional eleven plus question – and other questions could be far more creative.

A Record of Achievement could be developed – with an end result of `Recommended for Grammar’ or `Sorry, but we do not have a place. The school is, unfortunately, full.”

The types of questions can be changed. `How many sides has a circle?’ Answer: `Two – the inside and the outside.’

Have your child rated by all who know him or her. This could be interesting – with a sliding scale. Would the observation of past teachers be more important than those of the parents? Should a sibling’s score count as highly as that of the swimming coach?

Develop a sort of parachute test – with questions ranging from general knowledge to abstract reasoning. Only the mentally fittest would survive.

Give your child a reasoning test. Drill the answers and the rationale behind the answers. Then offer a remarkably similar test – with only minute variations on each of the questions. Calculate just how much progress was made after all that extra work.

There is little place, so it seems for originality and creativity. I am sure that many will remember the story of the little girl who took a piece of poetry to school. “This is no good. I wanted some more rhyme and rhythm. We have been working on this all week.”

In the staff room a different teacher saw the poem on the staffroom table. “This is wonderful. It must be read at assembly. How old is this girl? She has something.”

The little girl went on to read language at university – and, in time, joined a national magazine as an editor!

By the way: What form of transport has eight wheels but only carries one passenger?

Reroll steaks!

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