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Swot Up blog - hints, tips, news and events from the 11 plus swot world
  • With the technology growing so fast, a prediction has been made by a private school leader that the pen and paper exams will be replaced by an online tests within a decade.

    David Hanson of the Independent Association of Prep Schools believes that by 2023, technology will have been completely embraced by the education system making the pen and paper exams a thing of the past and a part of the education history.

    Maths, English, and Science will remain to be the core subjects in schools but Mr. Hanson believes that technology will soon permeate the education. Traditional exams like the 11 Plus exams for example, which are currently  taken by students as written exams, will be soon replaced by online exams where students take the tests on computers that analyze their ability and adjust the difficulty of the questions based on their skills.

    Aside from the fact that online tests will make the process faster, one of the benefits of online assessment that Mr. Hanson sees was that online assessment is more secure than written exams as mistakes made by individual markers will then be eliminated. He also believes that the implementation of online assessments can solve some of the logistical problems written exams are encountering such as the delivery and collections of papers.

    Although online tests are still on the process as so many things need to be considered first before pursuing this, it has already received good and positive feedback from some students and teachers. However, a lot of comments and reactions must also be expected when the online assessment has finally been implemented.


    Original Article featured in the BBC

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  • The comparison between state schools and independent schools has long been debated; more recently this issue has been highlighted in the media, with independent schools achieving academy status. Former labour education minister, Andrew Adonis, referred to the education system as having a persistent imbalance between state and private systems leading to  a class-based barrier.

    The independent, or fee-paying, school is often criticized as being elitist and outside of the spirit of the state system. Parents of children who go to independent schools are often regarded as part of a wealthy elite who buy the privilege for their children going to top schools.

    Consequently, Andrew Adonis wanted to put an end to the fees and exclusivity of the old class system seeing the conversion of independent schools to state-run academies as the solution just like what happened years ago when grammar schools have been converted to comprehensive schools.

    This however, was not seen by many as the best solution to solve the imbalance between the state and the independent system. When the 11 Plus program was abolished 50 years ago to allow fair education between students, many people think that it was the best decision. However, as years passed and with several schools still adopting the 11 Plus program, it has been proven that the selective education is still working.

    What really needs to be done at this point in time is to end the continuous misrepresentation of the independent schools because while the UK leaders look for solutions abroad to end the educational woes, others look enviously to UK’s own independent schools because they know it is capable of providing the children the best education they deserved.

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  • The 11 plus exam is made up for four subject headings, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Maths and English. In this blog we are going to be looking at the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning exam. 

    Verbal reasoning is defined as “understanding and reasoning using concepts framed in words.” This commonly used definition does not explain, in simple terms, what verbal reasoning actually is. So, with this in mind, we shall look into the verbal reasoning exam in more detail.

    The 11 plus verbal reasoning exam is commonly made up of 21 different question types and these can be grouped into 5 main topics; Codes, Creating Words, The Meanings of Words, Basic Maths and Reading Information. From this list we can start to see the types of things covered in the 11 plus verbal reasoning exam. They comprise of processing verbal information, logical thinking and problem-solving skills, identifying patterns and rules, determining word meaning, spelling of words accurately and applying basic math skills. 

    Even if your child has not encountered verbal reasoning style questions before, they could still possess the natural ability to excel in this area. Those who enjoy different types of puzzles namely – crosswords, word searches, word games and Sudoku seem to grasp the Verbal Reasoning section a lot quicker and more easily. Without doubt, encouraging your child to engage in these kinds of activities provides them with a good foundation for the 11 plus verbal reasoning exams. 

    At first the verbal reasoning exam may seem daunting but the only way to prepare for the 11 plus verbal reasoning exam is to do as many practise questions as possible. Your child will then start to notice the patterns in the questions and arriving at a solution will become a lot quicker. Here at the 11PlusSwot HQ we have compiled a range of practice papers designed to give your child the best possible exposure to all types of questions. Our papers contain 100’s of questions which will ensure they get to do as many verbal reasoning questions as they require.  

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