English exam questions: Can you answer tricky grammar faced by 11-year-olds?

One academic is 'exhausted' by expectations national education curriculum places on students

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The Independent Online

An academic has challenged adults to answer the questions faced by 11-year-olds in what she describes as a "daunting" grammar test.

In an article for the Times Education Supplement, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), says she is "exhausted" by the expectations the national education curriculum places on students. 

She describes a "grammar-filled primary school career" which asks its pupils to respond to exam questions about grammar structures such as the subjunctive, modal verbs, relative clauses and determiners before they finish primary school.

To prove her point as to their difficulty, Dr Bousted chose four gramar-based questions from an exam and asked adults to answer them.

We put the questions into a quiz so you can see how well you get on:



Dr Bousted told the Daily Mail"I have no problem with a curriculum aiming high, but this is a standard which is unattainable for many adults, never mind children.

"Primary school children need to learn how to use, rather than to name, language... Naming the parts of language and doing grammar exercises are not what the vast majority of children need to improve their language skills at this stage."