WitCH 81: Pointed Criticism

This is another one courtesy of Mysterious Michael. We’re not quite sure whether it’s a WitCH, or a PoSWW, or one for the error list, or simply a roll-your-eyes-and-ignore. In any case, it’s a question from the notorious 2016 Methods Exam 2 (report here), and we’ve expanded slightly from MM’s stated concern. (We could’ve expanded to include the entire question, as a Road to Nowhere, but decided not to lose too much of MM’s original focus.)

Have fun.

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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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WitCH 77: Road to Nowhere

If nothing else, people can enjoy a great song.

This one puzzled us when we gave the 2021 Further Mathematics Exams a three-minute scan, but we didn’t bother then to think, um, further. Now, however, since graph theory is likely a mandatory part of Specialist 1&2, and thus also, at least technically, a mandatory part of Specialist 3&4, we have thought a little harder. So, after discussions with John Friend and with a colleague who we shall refer to as Professor Combo, here we are.

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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”

Another Fraction Question

OK, following up on our previous post, we have another fraction question. This one is not new, has appeared in the comments of a previous post, and many readers will have heard us bang on about it. Nonetheless, given the discussion on the previous question, and given the possibility that some new readers might not have yet read Marty’s Collected Sermons, it seems worthwhile giving the question its own post. Here it is:

    \[\color{Mulberry}\boldsymbol{(-1)^\frac26 \overset{?}{=} (-1)^\frac13}\]

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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”

Discussion: VCAA’s Blunt Implement

This is not one we’ve had time to look at but it seems important. We don’t intend to comment but we’re providing this post as a forum for discussion.

In November last year, VCAA released its draft of the new mathematics study design, to begin in 2023. ┬áThe draft is no longer linked on VCAA’s website, but we wrote about the draft here, here and here.┬áThe current study design, ostensibly in operation until the end of 2022, is here. Continue reading “Discussion: VCAA’s Blunt Implement”

Further Exams and Further Errors

By overwhelming demand,* we have decided, much belatedly, to put up a post for discussion of the 2021 Further Mathematics exams. We have no particular plans to update this post, although we will do so if anything of interest arises. We’ll just note the two excerpts below, from Exam 2, the first of which is discussed here, at 5:30. Thanks to Simon and SRK to bringing these to our attention.**

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