PoSWW 5: Intelligence is not a Factor

The following PoSWW comes courtesy of Franz, who states that “when it comes to ‘stupid curricula, stupid texts and really monumentally stupid exams’ no Western country, with the possible exception of the US, is worse than Germany.” We take that as a challenge, and we’re waiting for Franz to back up his crazy-brave claim.

Franz’s PoSWW, however, has nothing to do with Germany. This PoSSW follows on from two of our previous posts, on idiotic questions appearing in New Zealand exams. Franz wrote to us, noting that the same style of question appears in the Oxford Year 8 text My Maths. Indeed, a number of versions of this ludicrous question appear in My Maths, all inventively awful in their own way. The two examples below are enough to give the flavour:

6 Replies to “PoSWW 5: Intelligence is not a Factor”

  1. Notwithstanding complaints about the nonsensical application of factorisation, is there even any suggestion from the context that the rug is a rectangle?

    1. THat’s hilarious. SRK, of course you’re absolutely correct. The question doesn’t even make it to first base.

  2. Assuming that rugs have been defined be rectangular, it irks me that expressions for two of the “possible” dimensions for the rug in question 24, are now the ‘correct’ dimensions to be used in question 25

    I have just realised that from the available answers in 25, you can deduce what the answer to question 24 without being given the area of the rug. Now that was a fun problem.

  3. Perhaps these sorts of errors arise from trying to force questions into the format of a multiple choice question.

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