We’ve decided to make June Reasoning Month. This is an essential 11+ skill, but what exactly is reasoning?
Reasoning: The action of thinking about something in a logical sensible way.
So now we’ve defined reasoning, we are going to take a look at its applications for the 11+ exam and everyday life.
In the 11+ exam, there are two reasoning sections. The first is verbal reasoning, which is a test of a child’s ability to solve problems involving words, numbers and letters. Questions often include relationships, sequences, codes and word meanings (synonyms and antonyms). This is why it’s so important for children to build their vocabulary before sitting the 11+ exam.
The second reasoning section is non-verbal reasoning. This tests a child’s ability to see patterns or relationships between shapes, both in two and three dimensions. Again, these problems often involve sequences or patterns but the puzzles are shapes and lines. Working out the differences or similarities quickly is really important.
Careers and Professions
Many career paths will need a solid foundation in reasoning. From doctors to engineers and software developers to barristers, reasoning is an essential skill. Many companies now include a reasoning test as part of their application process. Whether you’re going to be building bridges or arguing complex case law in court, the skills your child develops in school and at home around reasoning could make all the difference when it comes to their future career path. So what can you do to improve their reasoning skills?
For verbal reasoning, reading is really important. Building a solid vocabulary with a broad lexicon of synonyms and antonyms will stand your child in good stead when they walk into the exam room. For non-verbal reasoning, practice makes perfect. All this month we’ll be posting a new puzzle daily. Why not try and sit down together with your child to work out the answer. You can do it as a race or a collective effort. We’ll post the answer later the same day!
Playing games that involve reasoning is also really useful. Su Doku, logic problem books and model making will build logic skills whilst having fun! For a really bright child, chess is a great game of strategy that will build decision making and forward-thinking too. It’s also not just about being able to spot the difference; it’s about doing it quickly! Playing games that involve seeing things quickly can really speed up a child’s performance. “The first person to spot…” is a good game to play from a young age in the car. Another game that is good for older children is Dobble. It’s like a harder version of Snap which will even frustrate grown-ups!
Whilst some children may be going back to school in June, many will still be at home. We hope that Reasoning Month will give you some activities to practise whilst you’re homeschooling. As ever, parents of children at Smart 11+ Tuition Harborne, Smart 11+ Tuition Solihull and Smart 11+ Tuition Sutton Coldfield can get in touch with us via our email for help and assistance.