WitCH 79: Cos Why Not?

Yeah, we’re busy, but this one has been bugging us. It is an exercise and solution from Cambridge Specialist Mathematics 3&4. It’s basically a PoSWW, or we could simply let it pass as a textbook glitch. But we think there’s more than the obvious to say.

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The State of Declining Mathematics Enrolments

This post, as indicated by the title, is ostensibly about the State of declining enrolments in mathematics subjects. That State, as we shall see, turns out to be Queensland. But, first things first.

Last week, AMSI released its annual Mathematics Participation Report Card, complete with a media release¬†and a media notice of an Australian story on the report (Murdoch, paywalled). Begun in 2008, AMSI’s report has become a tradition of sorts, kind of an Australian Groundhog Day. Each year, mathematicians poke out their heads, look at the darker maths ed skies, mutter “Bugger this, it’s worse”, and go back inside. This year is no different. Except, it turns out to be different. Continue reading “The State of Declining Mathematics Enrolments”

Specialist Mathematics 1&2 Note-Sharing and Idea-Sharing

Perhaps people are done, but given the previous discussion, here and (weirdly) here, and a couple requests, it seems worth a shot.

Given VCAA’s pigheaded ramming through of their still-non-existent and now invisible new study design, some teachers have expressed concern about what and how to teach in Specialist Mathematics 1&2 in 2022. One teacher, we’ll call them Mr. Puzzled, emailed us:

I am a 11 & 12 specialist maths teacher and have been spending countless hours trying to prepare some sort of course outline for the upcoming year without clear advice from VCAA on what we need to cover. Continue reading “Specialist Mathematics 1&2 Note-Sharing and Idea-Sharing”

How the Other Maths Lives

A few days ago, the Sydney Morning Herald had an article on “the hardest question” from this year’s NSW Extension 2 Exam. The question is worth 5 marks, which equates to 9 minutes of a 3 hour exam (accessible here). The question, and another question (6-ish minutes), which apparently came along for the ride, are posted below. Readers’ homework exercise is to Compare and Contrast. Continue reading “How the Other Maths Lives”

Secret 2021 Specialist Business: Exam 2 Discussion

Last one. We’re keen to hear.

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UPDATE (09/05/22)

We’ve now had a chance to look at the exam report. Of course blatantly lying about the screw up in 2(a) is not good, even if it’s par for VCAA’s gutless course. Our comments on this, and everything, are interlaced below, in green.

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WitCH 72: High Significance

Here is one more from the 2019 Specialist Exam 2, once again courtesy of student PURJ (who is vetting the exams much better than the exam vetters). It consists of the last four parts of Q6, the final question on the exam, concerning a machine that packages noodles. The answers from the examination report appear below the questions.

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