Untried Methods

We’re sure we’ll live to regret this post, but yesterday’s VCE Methods Exam 1 looked like a good exam.

No, that’s not a set up for a joke. It actually looked like a nice exam. (It’s not online yet. Update: Now online.). Sure, there were some meh questions, the inevitable consequence of an incompetent study design. And yes, there was a minor Magritte aspect to the final question. And yes, it’s much easier to get an exam right if it’s uncorrupted by the idiocy of CAS, with the acid test being Exam 2. And yes, we could be plain wrong; we only gave the exam a cursory read, and if there’s a dodo it’s usually in the detail.

But for all that the exam genuinely looked good. The questions in general seemed mathematically natural. A couple of the questions also appeared to be difficult in a good, mathematical way, rather than in the familiar “What the Hell do they want?” manner.

What happened?


4 Replies to “Untried Methods”

  1. What happened indeed. Some options (maybe more than one is correct, not an exhaustive list):

    A. New exam setting panel.

    B. Exam setting panel have seen and taken on board criticisms of past exams (does not exclude option A, perhaps is even evidence for it …)

    C. Exam 2 is terrible and Exam 1 was simply the Ying to the Exam 2 Yang (judgement reserved until I’ve seen it).

    D. Writing a good exam is not rocket science, it was only a matter of time before one appeared (just like rolling a double 6 with two dice)

    E. There was not Hipster Café, Robots, plagiarised material etc. and so the exam was always going to look good, relatively speaking.

    F. The exam was diabolical but threats of legal actions against multiple subjects forced a last minute re-write where mathematical instincts prevailed and the writing was not done in a hipster café.

    G. Anything would look good compared to the NHT exams.

    H. VCAA are scared that there will be a Longstaff culture review of their exams and so stuck up posters that said “Elite Mathematical Honesty” in their exam writing cupboard …. (and perhaps there were few preemptive sackings). Or perhaps scared of what a Royal Commission would find.

    I. It was all a dream.

    J. Marty (and pehaps many of us) are getting mellow in old age (or maybe just desperate to clutch at anything that is an improvement on the past).

    I expect VCAA to have an article in the next Bulletin:

    “2018 Maths Methods Exam 1 PRAISED by Marty. Proof that the VCE is world;s best practice.”

    I invite other posters to comment on or add to this list. But let’s not get too excited, folks. There’s still five more exams to look at (including the just finished Methods Exam 2). Plenty of opportunity for VCAA to screw up yet. (What are the chances of rolling consecutive double sixes ….?)

  2. Hi
    I was thinking that the exam board could possibly engage Marty and Buckyard as an exam reviewers or as an independent experts on how CAS could be used to improve core knowledge eg programming in Mathematica to enhance the standard suite of analytical tools.
    Steve R

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