An eleven plus child is far more than just a candidate. At any stage of the year he or she is a product of the genetic and environmental factors. The amount of work the child does, his or her reaction to pressure and stress and how he or she reacts to life on a daily basis, all play a part in the development of the `candidate’.
The eleven plus child may have difficulty in coming to terms with tests and exercises because of difficulty with diet and pressure. He or she may not get on well with a tutor because the home does not insist on good manners and appropriate behaviour. Some children may even be faced with over anxious parents.
It is possible that a highly significant reason why some children do better than others is to do with the ability to make abstractions. Naturally strong language skills must also help. A positive environment is also likely to help children in their quest for success in examinations.
The film `Crocodile Dundee’ springs to mind. Along with the powerful love story and the dramatic characterisation of `bad men’ we share the emergence of a man from the Outback learning to cope with the hustle and bustle of New York. The time frame of the film appears to condense the story line – but the hero wins the heroine and the final message is that all round success can be achieved.
Successful eleven plus children will come from many different social classes. In time the children will all have to adapt their behaviour to be able to cope with the competitive examination. The behaviour of parents, tutors, teachers, siblings and family and friends will all have some influence on the candidate.