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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Clever Eleven Plus Parents

Is this one of the best eleven plus questions you have ever worked through?

Would you like the answer before you read the question?


“How did you get the answer?”

“I worked through the question.”

“Let us read this together.”

20% of the people in the street own a dog.
30% own a cat.
40% own a bird.
5% own a dog and a cat.
4% own a dog and a bird.
3% own a cat and a bird.
1% own all three.

What percentage of the street own at least one dog, cat or bird?

Before you shake your head at your child and wonder aloud why he or she has not completed the exercise in the required 54 seconds, think back to when your child was in reception. Do you remember the Christmas Party when your child was required to share sweets with the rest of the class? Do you remember how proud you were when your child was able to complete the exercise with minimal intervention?

Your eleven plus child will be able to tell you about populations and variables. You may even be able to help your child build a visual structure. A very clever man called John Venn (1834 – 1923) went to Cambridge and studied philosophy. He worked out a relationship between sets and subsets. Sometimes there will be numbers outside of the set – this is called the complement. Sometimes the sets may overlap – and this is the intersection.

Armed with all this information I would love to hear your child explain this question to you. It would also be fascinating to hear how you help your child understand.