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Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Eleven Plus and Engineering

The Stanford Scientific Aptitude Test was first published in 1929 and was constructed by Dr Zyve to bring out aptitudes essential for success in scientific fields. The tests were designed to try to be independent of previous knowledge and training.

The tests were constructed to expose experimental bent and ability to think and observe accurately. The questions covered:

Choice of best approach to scientific problems
Analysis of the motion of gears
Inconsistencies in statements relating to physics and chemistry
Approval or disapproval of various scientific projects
Comparison of heights and lengths of lines
Procedures in various types of laboratory experiments
Noting and checking the details of various geometrical figures

If, however, you wanted you child to go to a grammar school specialising in engineering you may consider him or her taking the “Wiggly Block Test”. This measures the ability to visualise in three dimensions. There are nine pieces of wood with wavy sides. When the wood is properly fitted together they form a rectangular block.

But how could eleven plus parents do the Wiggly Block Test at home?

It is easy – take a large slab of butter. (I am not sure if it will work with margarine – but if it does please let all of us know.)

Cut the butter in nine blocks – in a wiggly manner.

Re-freeze the butter.

Lower the temperature in the kitchen as much as possible. Take the butter out of the freezer. Invite your prospective eleven plus candidate to re-assemble the butter blocks.

If your child can solve the problem before the butter melts then you know your child will certainly pass the eleven plus and go onto study engineering at university.

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