The Cost of VCAA’s Dissembling

Last month we posted a PoSWW on a 2022 Queensland MCQ exam question, for which the accompanying exam report indicated the wrong answer. It is depressingly unclear why QCAA had not been previously alerted to the error, but a couple weeks after our PoSWW appeared, QCAA updated their exam report: in the amended report QCAA indicates the correct answer (p 27), and they also indicate in a footnote that the correction had been made.

For QCAA to have done this was professional and classy. It was also important. The uncorrected report invited, effectively demanded, a mathematical misconception (on inflection points); by correcting the report, QCAA ensured that their exam-report could no longer be relied upon as an authority for this misconception.

In Victoria, it’s different. Continue reading “The Cost of VCAA’s Dissembling”

VCAA’s Greater Literary Offenses

The difficulty of critiquing VCAA mathematics exams is capturing the variety and the frequency and the depth of the flaws, and then summing the overall effect, the fundamentally impoverished approach to mathematics and its testing. Documenting straight out errors is not overly difficult, and even non sequitur questions are manageable: the error or weirdness typically speaks for itself. Capturing the ubiquitous awfulness of the writing, and the intrinsic meaninglessness of many of the questions, however, is harder. Continue reading “VCAA’s Greater Literary Offenses”

VCAA’s 2022 Exam Reports Are Up

Sorry, no energy for a joke title. The reports are here (Word, idiots):

Specialist Exam 1 report (and exam)

Specialist Exam 2 report (and exam)

Methods Exam 1 report (and exam)

Methods Exam 2 Report (and exam)

For background, readers may wish to go to the following blog posts:

Specialist Error List (and see here, here, here, here, here and here)

Methods Error List (and see here and here)

We’ll update the various posts soon(ish).

Continue reading “VCAA’s 2022 Exam Reports Are Up”

Witch 96: Root Con All

This is the fourth of our three WitCHes on VCAA’s Specialist Mathematics Exam 1 Sample Questions. Yeah, yeah it’s Douglas Adams-ish, but it wasn’t deliberate. We were undecided on this last one, and it’s not as compelling as the others. But, for similar reasons for the other WitCHes, we changed our mind and decided to post it. (There were other close calls, and we’ll soon update this post with brief comments on all the questions.)

Continue reading “Witch 96: Root Con All”

Witch 95: Top of the Pops

This is the third of our three WitCHes on VCAA’s Specialist Mathematics Exam 1 Sample Questions. Newcomer aps was first to comment on the error, in regard to VCAA’s webinar, where the same question is “solved” (and see the subsequent comments on that post). Once again, it seems worthwhile to encourage a prominent discussion on an unfamiliar topic, and there is more to say than has come up so far.

Continue reading “Witch 95: Top of the Pops”

Witch 94: What Are the Odds?

This is the second of our three WitCHes on VCAA’s Specialist Mathematics Exam 1 Sample Questions. It may not be quite bad enough for a WitCH, but it’s very not good. Our main reason for posting it is because we believe there is more in the question than might meet a teacher’s eye. As with our previous WitCH, this question is on a new topic, and some visible discussion seems worthwhile. Continue reading “Witch 94: What Are the Odds?”

Witch 93: Base Balls-Up

This is the first of three WitCHes on VCAA’s Specialist Mathematics Exam 1 Sample Questions. We spent a solid hour writing a critique of this one, and another half hour removing the bad language. Given the topic is new, however, and will be not so familiar to many teachers, we decided the question required more prominence, and proper discussion. The question was first flagged by commenter Michael, and the sample questions have been discussed generally on this post and this post. Continue reading “Witch 93: Base Balls-Up”

VCAA’s Lesser Literary Offenses

One of the all-time great literary wallops, by one of the all-time great writers, is Mark Twain’s Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses:

Cooper’s art has some defects. In one place in “Deerslayer,” and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.

There are nineteen rules governing literary art in the domain of romantic fiction — some say twenty-two. In “Deerslayer”, Cooper violated eighteen of them. Continue reading “VCAA’s Lesser Literary Offenses”