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Monday, December 12, 2011

Coping with Eleven Plus Questions

Do you ever look at some eleven plus questions and ask; “Why did they write that?” The `they’ is almost certainly a highly educated and supremely well qualified question writer. It is very likely too that the question has been used with other children and therefore the value and validity of the question verified.

Strange things do, however, happen in the world. I am sure your children will be able to remind you of the `Fireproof Lady’. Her stunts included putting melted lead into her mouth and spitting it out marked with her teeth!

She passed a red hot iron over her body, limbs tongue and hair.

She thrust her arms into fire.

And for a wholesome finale, she washed her hands in boiling lead, oil and water.

When you and your child are faced with a question like: `What is the first letter of the longest word in this sentence?’ does your child freak out or is the reaction calm, confident and relaxed?

Your child will, as a matter of course, run through the usual eleven plus check list:

By reading the question twice, have I gathered as much information as I can?

Am I approaching the question with an open mind – or am I suspicious that there is a trick in the question?

Have I looked at, and eliminated, the multiple choice answers that simply cannot be correct?

Have I worked out all the pros and cons of all the solutions – and developed an estimate of the probability of success for each one?

If all else fails, your child may even enjoy a little reassurance along the lines of: “With a brain and looks like yours, you will never end up a freak at a circus. You’re a bright and able. You do have the ability to put out fires and solve problems. Believe in yourself. We, as parents, believe in you. Enjoy the experience.”

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