## Wednesday, March 07, 2012

### Random Eleven Plus Questions

 70 29 17 12 13 56 62 18 37 35 78 49 57 22 77 16 08 15 04 72 31 16 33 32 43

Part of a Random Numbers Table

Every now and again it is possible that your thoughts may have wondered if a certain type of eleven plus question was really going to come up in this year’s examination. You may have used the principle of randomisation to ensure all the different types of alternatives had an equal chance of occurring. Some of you may have used a well-known examination paper with eighty questions with your child.

You could select ten questions out of the eighty and do those topics with your child.

You could choose five questions and leave out five questions

You could suggest to your child that he or she does not work through the questions in a sequential order but that it was possible to jump around the questions and execute them in any order

You may want to suggest to your child that he or she works through the paper touching simply on random questions.

Could any of these methods of choosing questions help engage your child’s interest or should he or she work solemnly through the paper in a sequential order? When questions are selected at random you are trying to ensure that all the possible alternatives have an equal chance of occurring.

Of course if you have a number of random numbers tables then you will need to select the tables at random! This is often done by closing your eyes and stabbing at the page with your pencil to choose a starting point. You then drop the pencil from a great height and move up and down the table depending on which way the end of your pencil is pointing.

If you are trying to select ten numbers from eighty you could establish a starting point and then select the numbers in five sets of pairs.

You could maintain that you use only even numbers for the first five questions and then only odd numbers from your table for the next five questions.

You can simply start at the beginning of the table and choose the next ten numbers. You could start at the end of the table and choose the previous ten numbers.

The writers of eleven plus papers are following some form of a system in presenting questions to children. Not all eleven plus papers will follow the same ordering system. The questions on one paper could be very different from those on another. Naturally parents are not purchasing eleven plus papers at random. They are relying on the integrity, expertise and knowledge of the authors of eleven plus papers.