Are you eagle-eyed enough to spot the bird?
By Sarah Collins
14 Jul

11+ and pre-test revision is all about building thinking skills, using existing knowledge to work out the answers to new challenges. This series of blogs is designed to help children exercise these thinking skills in each area of 11+ testing. Each blog takes one of the most challenging areas of a subject and sets problems in a slightly different way. This approach builds confidence in tackling question variations that are now increasingly common-place in today’s 11+ tests.
The questions in this blog are based on the most challenging logic questions in the Verbal Reasoning tests. It’s easy to get in a flap with these problems if you don’t work through them step-by-step, so the trick is to find the best way to record the information in a way that makes sense to you. See the text as a series of clues and break it up by underlining key information, drawing up tables, charts or maps to help you visualise what is going on.

So now is the time to sort out the birdbrains from the wise owls in your family with this tricky problem (and don’t crow about it if you’re the only one to solve the puzzle!)

The four answers to questions 1 and 2 below combine to make an anagram that, when reordered, create the name of a bird.

1. Five parrots are sitting on a wall chattering and squawking in the afternoon sun. This species of parrot has variations in their plumage: some have a blue body and green wings, some have a green body and blue wings; others have a green body and wings with a red head. Birds with the same colour wings always sit next to each other. In addition, the birds all have large red or grey feet with the exception of birds with red heads, which have small grey feet.

If two parrots have blue wings and the only bird with small grey feet is sat on the left, select the letter from the options below to answer the following questions:
(i)     What does the parrot in the middle look like?     ...............                      

(ii)    Which parrot is sitting on the right-hand side?     ...............

A             green body, blue wings and large red feet
B             green body and wings and large grey feet
C             blue body, green wings and small red feet
D             green body and wings with large red feet
E             blue body, green wings and large grey feet

2. Jenna, Nadia, Malcolm, Lila and Travis have come to a square-shaped nature reserve to spot a rare bittern that has been sighted there. They decide to spread out so that they have the best chance of seeing it. Nadia and Jenna both stay at the north end of the reserve and go to the hides at opposite sides, while the others head down to the hides in the wetland. Once the children have reached their viewing points they are in the following positions:

  • Travis is due south of Lila and south west of Nadia.
  • Neither Malcolm nor Jenna has anybody to the south of him or her.
  • Lila is west of Malcolm.

Write down the initial of the person…
(i)        most central in the reserve.                      ............
(ii)       furthest south.                                           ............

Now reorder the letters from your answers to questions 1 (i), (ii) and 2 (i) and (ii) to find the name of the mystery bird.
 _______   _______   _______       _______       

Are you a wise owl? Can you solve the clues?

Check your answers here.
In the meantime, if you need a little help solving the clues, why not take a look at our Verbal Reasoning Study and Revision Guide. This handy guide explains and tests all of the question types that children could face in all major Verbal Reasoning pre-tests and 11+ independent school entrance exams, including CEM, GL and ISEB. This title can be purchased for £12.99.

We also sell 11+ Verbal Reasoning Revision packs, containing everything you need to ensure your child is familiar with all topics they could encounter in the exams. These packs take children on a step-by-step journey - consolidating revision, teaching children how to apply knowledge learned, and finally building confidence and exam technique. This money saving pack can be purchased for £48.


Buy now

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