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 90: Tiles and Tribulations

This is late, and it isn’t very Christmasy. But it came up as part of another project, and it’s been bugging us, so Bah Humbug.

The following is a question from 2022 Mathematical Methods Exam 1. It’s been discussed some on this post, including a concerning rumour (edited 24/12/22), and we also hammered some of the wording on this post. It is clearly deserving of its own WitCH.

Continue reading “WitCH 90: Tiles and Tribulations”

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”

WitCH 85: The Continuation of MAV’s Trials

With Methods exams next week, this one’s kinda important.

We try to avoid critiquing, or even being in the same room as, third party VCE practice exams. They are invariably clunky and weird, with plenty to criticise, but they matter infinitely less than the yearly screw-ups of the official exams.

Even MAV trial exams we do our best to ignore. Yes, the MAV is (too) closely aligned with the VCAA (with a number of people in conflicted, dual roles), and so MAV has a significantly greater professional and moral obligation to maintain high standards. But still, third party is third party, and we try our best to just ignore MAV’s nonsense. On occasion, however, MAV’s nonsense matters sufficiently, or is simply sufficiently annoying, to warrant a whack.

Continue reading “WitCH 85: The Continuation of MAV’s Trials”

Can Smart Victorian Students Avoid Mathematical Methods?

Note that our question is not whether smart Victorian students should avoid Methods. Given that Methods is the ugliest, stupidest, most aimless, digitally perverted, anally retentive, error-strewn, little Hitler managed, God forsaken heap of anti-mathematical garbage ever conceived, or even conceivable, of course all students should avoid Methods if they possibly can. The question is, can they?

Continue reading “Can Smart Victorian Students Avoid Mathematical Methods?”

WitCH 84: VCAA’s Design Flaws

We still haven’t had time to take a proper look at the 2023-2027 VCAA Mathematics Study Design, but it smells very very bad.

A blog-reader has alerted us to a VCAA webinar on Mathematical Methods in the new study design. The video can be viewed here, with transcript here (Word, idiots), and PowerPoint slides here (PowerPoint, idiots). The study design is here (Word, idiots). The previous discussion on this blog can be found here.

The video made us nauseous.

Continue reading “WitCH 84: VCAA’s Design Flaws”