Reading this forum for some time, now I have a question too.
My DD will try it at Pate's and obviously we've been looking through Pate's practice papers available on the school's site. Paper 3 question 1 puzzled me a lot until I realized that some expected answers do contradict to basic math rules of operations (multiplication and division should be done before adding and subtraction). Instead, expected answers come out when operations are done as they go left to right.
1-D) If A = 1, B = 2, C = 4, D = 9, E = 20, what is D x D â€“ A Ã· C?
Well, correct answer to this is: 9*9-1/4 = 80 and 3/4, or 80.75
The expected answer is: (9*9-1)/4 = 20 (E)
Obviously, in this example it is easy to spot that correct mathematical answer doesn't fit into offered multiple choices. However, next example is not that obvious:
1-J) If A = 0, B = 1, C = 22, D = 35, E = 57, what is C + D x A?
Correct answer is: 22 + 35 *0 = 22 (C)
Expected answer is: (22 + 35 ) * 0 = 0 (A)
My DD does well in maths and knows what the correct order of operations is. She was stuck with this task until we looked up in the answers and figured out what she was expected to do. My DW suggested that this is due to the fact that primary school curriculum doesn't expect children of this age to know priorities of math operations and therefore all calculations are supposed to be done as they go left to right.
Now I come to my questions.
Is it really that children are not expected to follow math rules on 11+ VR tests but should rather follow simple left to right approach?
What if a child does calculations according to math rules and gets correct, but not expected answer? Would this be regarded as mistake and can this be appealed if it comes to this?
I really don't understand why following basic math rules should leave a child with lower scores.