# WitCH 128: Door Jam

This is our final Year 9 NAPLAN WitCH. It is from the non-calculator part of the 2017 test.

## 7 Replies to “WitCH 128: Door Jam”

1. Cathy says:

How much trim do you need to make that fancy mitre on the corners?

How much extra to you need to get a clean finish on the ends?

Does the trim have any kind of pattern on it that might look better with a bit of pattern matching here and there?

This question was clearly written by somebody who has never made anything practical in their life. They probably think this is a good test of unit conversions.

1. Ron says:

An infinitely thin saw blade will solve the first problem

2. Alasdair says:

I fully agree with Cathy. This is a “real-world” (so-called) problem, entirely devoid of reality. And it’s this sort of stupid faux-applied problems which help to give school mathematics a bad name. And they are just everywhere.

By the way, if you haven’t read James Thurber’s “Pythagoras and the ladder” (1936), you should – it’s an instructive read (as well as being pretty funny) including the mix-ups of mathematics and the real world. You can read it at https://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2003/09/9112011-thurber-tonight-pythagoras-and.html, especially the last five paragraphs: starting with “There is a curious tendency … “

1. marty says:

That is really excellent. I read a lot of Thurber long ago but I don’t think I’ve seen that one.

3. tom says:

Um
Even assuming that we ignore the practical problems that Cathy and Ron have noted, the whole question is unanswerable without knowing the width of the panels. Every carpenter surely saves time and material by making the angled cuts serve two separate pieces.

1. marty says:

Indeed. (I was unsure of Cathy’s first sentence, but thought she may have been making the same point.)