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Try your hand at exam sat by 15,000 Ulster children

By Kathryn Torney

Last Friday over 15,000 young people across Northern Ireland sat their last 11-plus test.

Last Friday over 15,000 young people across Northern Ireland sat their last 11-plus test.

The 10 and 11-year-olds were given an hour to answer questions on English, mathematics, science and technology.

They sat their first paper just over two weeks ago.

Today, as public debate continues over the future of Northern Ireland's selective system, we are publishing some of the questions from this year's papers.

Can you answer them? The answers are printed below.

Frank Bunting, from the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, said: "I have always thought that 11-plus questions are very difficult.

"One of the reasons I have been opposed to the use of the 11-plus for transfer to post-primary schools is that creating such a major roadblock at such an early age can have very negative affects on children and even generations of children.

"I failed the 11-plus and felt bad about it for a considerable time afterwards."

Mr Bunting added that most children find the 11-plus examination daunting.

"If there is an educational purpose for a test I would be all for it, but if it is solely to place pupils' backsides in grammar schools then I do not think it is fit for purpose," he said.

A spokesman for CCEA, the local exams body which sets and marks the 11-plus, said: "Transfer test questions are based on the programmes of study in English, mathematics and science and technology. Irish replaces English in Irish-medium schools.

"The questions are the result of extensive trialling and pre-testing prior to the production of the final test papers.

"This testing takes place with pupils of a similar age group outside of Northern Ireland.

"During the pre-testing period CCEA also takes great care to review each question to ensure they are free from any in-built bias in terms of gender, race, religion etc."

The test results will be received by pupils on February 3.

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