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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Words and the Eleven Plus

There is an abundance of eleven plus materials, books, pages, forums and websites. Many of them will focus on the same type of question. It is easy for a publisher or a parent or a teacher to change a few words and then present a supposed brand new question.

Which are the two words, one from each set of brackets, that complete the sentence in the most sensible way:

Silver is to (picture material jewellery) as glass is to (window grass envelope). 
Silver is to (jewellery material postcard) as glass is to (showboat window grass).

Latching onto a theme is not a new phenomenon in our daily life. We just need to look back a few years to a song many of us may have sung at school. Mr Morley of Bincombe, near to Dorchester, offered this 1907 version:

On yonder hill there stands a creature
Who she is I do not know
I’ll go and court her for her beauty
She must answer Yes or No.
O No John, No John, No John No.

Mr Beale of Wareham in Kent (1908) suggested:

On yonder’s hill there lives a maiden
Who she is I do not know
But I’ll go and court her for her beauty
Whether she answers me yes or no
No John No, No John, No John, No John, No.

Some parents may care to consider not being too fussed over individual eleven plus questions. If your child is not sure of a word or an answer there could be an alternative elsewhere. The words may change, the punctuation may alter but the sentiments may stay the same.

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