It may be a source of wonder to some eleven plus parents when they look at the content of some eleven plus questions. A stray thought may pass through their minds. “How can an exercise of this nature determine my child grammar school future?”
The eleven plus `experts’, who set the actual tests, are working on the premise that more superior or more able children will be able to solve more problems that children of a lesser ability. If we consider that that each of the questions in an eleven plus test counts as one mark, as is the case in eleven plus tests, then a test can be constructed.
If we take questions along the lines of: `Rearrange the Letters to Make Names of Animals” then a group of children can be given the exercise. The task is unequivocally specific – the answer is right or wrong. There are no degrees of success – either the child can answer the question or the answer is wrong. If the eleven plus candidate can unravel the answers then there is an enhanced chance of eleven plus success.
Before questions are included in the actual test they are tried out of sample groups of children – and questions and answers are checked. There is no point in setting questions that no children can answer. In the `Rearranging’ exercise the task is similar for each animal that has to be found. Some questions may be easy – and some more difficult. If you did the following exercise on each member of your family you would expect some to be able to answer some questions – while others struggled.
You could try this at home!
Rearrange the Letters to Make Names of Animals
What now follows is a gentle suggestion. Gather two further families on Sunday afternoon. This could, possibly, give a total of six adults and three eleven plus children. Give each participant a sheet with the list of twenty four animals. Take the finishing time. Mark the answers. Compare the answers. Help those who need help. Find solace in a timely fashion. Wonder why you ever started on this eleven plus lark. Ask yourself: “Why do they have questions like this in the eleven plus?”