One FEL Swoop: The Foundation Error List

This is the (new) newly established home for Foundation Mathematics exam errors. The guidelines are given on the Methods error post, and there is also a Specialist error post, and a (now renamed) General error post (with unchanged link).  As with General Maths, I will not look much at the Foundation exams, only posting errors as they are brought to my attention.


2023 Exam (No exam yet, discussed here)

MCQ13 The key to the graph is confusing, and wrong. Some indication that “payment” and “interest” are cumulative had to be included.

Q1(c) There are two methods of working out the percentage increase, which give different answers. One method is unlikely to have been considered by students, but this still should not occur.

Q2(e) The question makes zero sense, since it assumes that a person cannot play both a ball sport and a non-ball sport. The question also fails to specify the percentage is of females participating in a sport.

Q6 An awfully written question, throughout confusing usage with market share. There is probably only one plausible way to answer the questions, but this is teaching Not Maths.

Q6(a) The 2022 percentages in the graph do not total to 100%. This in itself is ok, but it leads to two potential answers to (a); one answer is unlikely to be given, but this still should not occur. The graph should have been appropriately labelled.

Q11 The outer rectangle on the diagram doesn’t mean anything and was probably actively confusing.

Did VCAA Misgrade the 2022 Exams and, if so, Why?

This will be my last VCAA post for a while. I’m sick of it all. And, anyway, it’s now a matter of waiting to see what the Minister and the newly acting CEO of VCAA will do. I think both of them have demonstrated some genuine interest in repairing the mathematics exams, and I think both of them deserve an honest shot at it, without a nasty blogger sniping at them. But, there’s one last post I think must be written.

One of the lingering puzzles of VCAA’s Deloitte Debacle is why VCAA were so determined to game their mathematics exam reviews so much. VCAA were clearly determined beyond all plausibility to ensure that Deloitte examined nothing beyond trivialities, and it seems VCAA didn’t let a proper mathematician get within a country mile of the exam questions. But why? Sure, the 2022 exams were, as always, bad, with, as always, bad errors, and any halfway honest review would have been plenty embarrassing. But bureaucratic deceit can only hide so much, and not nearly as much as VCAA had to hide. So now, rather than simply looking like a gang of clowns, VCAA looks like a gang of deceitful clowns.  Continue reading “Did VCAA Misgrade the 2022 Exams and, if so, Why?”

Critique of the 2023 Victorian VCE Mathematics Exams

Sorry guys, it ain’t gonna happen. Burkard’s and my 2022 critique was time-consuming and exhausting and stressful. We’re not doing it again. Ever. So, for this year the Discussion posts (here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and the Errors post will have to do. Continue reading “Critique of the 2023 Victorian VCE Mathematics Exams”

A Student Petition on the VCE Exams

A group called High School Activate has launched a petition, to the VCAA and the Victorian Minister for Education, on the VCE errors business. I obviously agree with and support plenty (but not all) in the letter. But just to be clear, I have no idea who HSA are, and they definitely aren’t me or associated with me.

Presumably the intention is for the petition to be signed by current and finishing school students, but it’s up to you/HSA.

Continue reading “A Student Petition on the VCE Exams”

Tony Guttmann’s Letter on the VCE Mathematics Exams

Tony Guttmann, AKA Mr. Very Big, is a legend of Australian mathematics and of Australian mathematics education. He is a fellow of the AAS and pretty much everything else. Tony was the hero of Curriculum War 1 and was on the front lines of Curriculum War 2. Tony signed the recent mathematicians’ open letter on the errors in the 2022 VCE mathematics exams. Last week, Tony also submitted a letter to The Age, which The Age has so far declined to publish. Tony has given us permission to post his letter here. Tony’s letter follows.
Continue reading “Tony Guttmann’s Letter on the VCE Mathematics Exams”

What Are the “Errors” on the 2023 VCE Mathematics Exams?

Given the wide interest, I think it is worth compiling all the “errors” on this year’s six maths exams. (See here, here, here, here, here and here for the discussion posts.) So, please list whatever you believe to be an error, and please indicate whether you regard each error as “major” or “minor” (see below). Justification is not required but may be helpful. Then, soon, I’ll try to update the post with a summary. Continue reading “What Are the “Errors” on the 2023 VCE Mathematics Exams?”