It is the number/letter series it will add on time for, as I have taught him to put arrows, with the patterns, above and below in the letters. He will now have to write the series out on his scrap paper if it is one that is not immediately obvious, losing valuable time.
But yep he also uses the tip of his pencil to count along the alphabet, isn't that why they put it there
I actually think this rule is a complete nonsense how does not writing on the question sheet make your child a more able grammar school student
Surely as long as the answers are clearly marked there should be no problem and I am sure the computers that mark them wouldn't get confused by it
Just another little thing that penalises those children DIY tutored and not proffessionally tutored or those not tutored at all.