Preparation
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Eleven-Plus Preparation Specialists
This question type involves replacing letters with numbers (or vice versa). As such, your reasoning ability is what youâ€™ll be relying on here – not your vocabulary.
In this question type, youâ€™ll be asked to perform simple sums, using a series of numbers that are provided to you. However, the numbers have been represented by letters. You are told which numbers are which letters, and must then refer back to that â€˜codeâ€™ as you work through the sum.
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A = 2, B = 4, C = 6, D = 8, E = 3
Find the answer to the following sum.
B* C – D * E + B = ?
Answer: B
Here, you will do 4 * 6 (= 24), then subtract 8*3 (= 24). This gives 0. Then, youâ€™d B to get 4. Therefore the answer is 4, which was B.
These questions should be seen as a chance to get marks without having to worry about not knowing the answer – you can work through them with a clear process and secure marks here.
We advise that you take a four step approach, as follows:
Step 1: Check the Numbers
Step 2: BODMAS
Step 3: Negatives
Step 4: Check the Answer
First of all, you must check the numbers! Remember that the codes can change from one question to the next, so you should check that this is not the case. Ensure that as you fill out the numbers from the letters – in your head or on paper – you do so looking at the information you are given, rather than doing so from what you remember. Using your memory here can lead to mistakes.
Next, the key to getting marks is to use BODMAS. You should be well aware of this anagram, which stands for Brackets, Orders, Divide, Multiply, Add, Subtract. Most of the questions will involve both multiplying/dividing and adding/subtracting, but will not feature brackets – as such using BODMAS (or at least the latter part of the anagram) is important.
Watch out for negatives. You might find negative numbers being used, in which case you must ensure that you have correctly performed the sum, and double check that youâ€™ve found the right letter.
Lastly, check your answer! As above, donâ€™t use your memory to pick the letter, but instead read the letter from the information provided.Â
Letâ€™s look at a worked example.
A = 1, B = 3, C = 6, D = 8, E = 10
Find the answer to the following sum.
A * C * E = C * D + C + ?
Here, we begin by checking the numbers and plugging them in. So, we find that we can rewrite this as:
1 * 6 * 10 = 6 * 8 + 6 + ?
Letâ€™s simplify this to 60 = 48 + 6 + ?
â†’ 60 = 54 + ?
We can therefore see that we need to subtract 54 from 60, giving us 6. This is C. Note that we did 6 * 8, rather than adding 8 + 6. Thatâ€™s because we followed BODMAS.
So, we know that the answer is 6. We therefore look back at the information provided, and check that 6 is C.
Therefore, we select or write C.
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