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  Reply # 1638351 21-Sep-2016 19:18
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blackjack17: I know a number of students who studied very hard for that exam, did very well in their mocks and walked out stunned.  

 

Sure you need to be prepared for the unexpected but if you have been training for a road race and at the last minute they change it to a cross country, it is hardly fair, especially in a standards based assessment.

 

I think part of the reason is with how internal assessments are undertaken by students during the year. For example in some schools for 91026 numeric reasoning the final task is often a rehash of the practice/mock task with a few names and numbers changed around. Similar with 91029 linear algebra. So the students end up taking the same approach on this MCAT test practising past papers and failing miserably, especially after the changes brought in 2015 (which state a question cannot direct the student to use a particular method and that all questions require some degree of problem solving/be applied to a context). I don't think it's necessarily the teachers teaching to the test, but it is evident there are students who are learning answers to past problems instead of actually bothering to fully learn the methods of manipulating algebraic expressions, solutions to equations/inequations, rules of exponents etc.. in order to apply them in a generalised way.


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  Reply # 1638612 22-Sep-2016 10:12
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blackjack17:

 

Some of the comments I am seeing here are really annoying.  I know a number of students who studied very hard for that exam, did very well in their mocks and walked out stunned.  

 

Sure you need to be prepared for the unexpected but if you have been training for a road race and at the last minute they change it to a cross country, it is hardly fair, especially in a standards based assessment.

 

 

Well, I am curious. I am not a teacher but I am pretty good at maths so I get roped in to help out now and then when a student is struggling with maths. Last year I helped a student prepare for this exam. The core concepts I identified was you needed to be able to:

 

1. Solve quadratic functions via factoring

 

2. Construct equations from a given "real life" description  

 

3. Solve multiple equations through substitution

 

Obviously you need to be comfortable with the basic rules of how to re-arrange equations. If you can do the above things you can probably do 90% of the exam. So to "train" these techniques I would construct a bunch of them and ask the student to solve them so that they become comfortable with the techniques and then "studying" would be practicing these techniques.

 

From my perspective the questions seemed very similar to what I encountered last year. The pyramid question and the kicked a ball function may have been challenging but the rest was pretty straight forward.

 

So how did these students "study very hard" for this and what exactly were the questions they had problems with?


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  Reply # 1638634 22-Sep-2016 10:38
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I agree with a lot of other replies that Algebra shouldn't be taught at this level, its NOT required for everyday living and most people will never use it again in their lives, its something that really only should be taught at University. 

 

 

 

Mind you they teach you poetry at high school and i've never used that again either....


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  Reply # 1638651 22-Sep-2016 10:47
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I think that's a very misguided view.  Algebra is fundamental to the teaching and understanding of most science subjects from year 9 level onwards.  It's also pretty important if you're trying to understand concepts such as compound interest and tax bands.  If you delayed its teaching until university - and then presumably only taught in STEM degrees, you'd have a huge portion of the population who are (even more) functionally innumerate.

 

BTR:

 

I agree with a lot of other replies that Algebra shouldn't be taught at this level, its NOT required for everyday living and most people will never use it again in their lives, its something that really only should be taught at University. 

 

 

 

Mind you they teach you poetry at high school and i've never used that again either....

 


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  Reply # 1638782 22-Sep-2016 14:46
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Mind you they teach you poetry at high school and i've never used that again either....

 

 

Colin Craig found a use for it.


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  Reply # 1638826 22-Sep-2016 16:00
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An NCEA exam that subjected Year 11 students to questions allegedly above their curriculum level has provided a welcome opportunity for smug adults to use the internet to demonstrate how much better they can perform tasks than a 15-year-old child.

 

 

source


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  Reply # 1638853 22-Sep-2016 16:23
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thinus:

 

 

Mind you they teach you poetry at high school and i've never used that again either....

 

 

Colin Craig found a use for it.

 

 

But was it useful?

 

 


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  Reply # 1638880 22-Sep-2016 16:59
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frankv:

 

thinus:

 

 

Mind you they teach you poetry at high school and i've never used that again either....

 

 

Colin Craig found a use for it.

 

 

But was it useful?

 

 

 

 

If it was put in a bottle you could sell it as an emetic.


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  Reply # 1639422 23-Sep-2016 14:06
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shk292:

 

I think that's a very misguided view.  Algebra is fundamental to the teaching and understanding of most science subjects from year 9 level onwards.  It's also pretty important if you're trying to understand concepts such as compound interest and tax bands.  If you delayed its teaching until university - and then presumably only taught in STEM degrees, you'd have a huge portion of the population who are (even more) functionally innumerate.

 

BTR:

 

I agree with a lot of other replies that Algebra shouldn't be taught at this level, its NOT required for everyday living and most people will never use it again in their lives, its something that really only should be taught at University. 

 

 

 

Mind you they teach you poetry at high school and i've never used that again either....

 

 

 

Agree. I've come across many instances in adult life where basic algebra has been surprisingly useful. And many instances where people have failed to see how algebra could be useful to them and struggled because of it.


BTR

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  Reply # 1639455 23-Sep-2016 14:54
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shk292:

 

I think that's a very misguided view.  Algebra is fundamental to the teaching and understanding of most science subjects from year 9 level onwards.  It's also pretty important if you're trying to understand concepts such as compound interest and tax bands.  If you delayed its teaching until university - and then presumably only taught in STEM degrees, you'd have a huge portion of the population who are (even more) functionally innumerate.

 

BTR:

 

I agree with a lot of other replies that Algebra shouldn't be taught at this level, its NOT required for everyday living and most people will never use it again in their lives, its something that really only should be taught at University. 

 

 

 

Mind you they teach you poetry at high school and i've never used that again either....

 

 

 

 

 

I would say the majority of the population have never used it since leaving school. Also why do I need algebra to tell me what tax band I am???  Re year 9 science I don't ever remember using it in science at that level

 

I still think its a waste of time teaching it in school and you would be better teaching students how to do taxes and skills needed for basic living.


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  Reply # 1639480 23-Sep-2016 15:21
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BTR:

 

I would say the majority of the population have never used it since leaving school. Also why do I need algebra to tell me what tax band I am???  Re year 9 science I don't ever remember using it in science at that level

 

I still think its a waste of time teaching it in school and you would be better teaching students how to do taxes and skills needed for basic living.

 

 

You don't need algebra to tell you what tax band you're in - but if you're trying to assess the tax implications of financial situations, or choose the best investment, or countless other financial questions, then sooner or later, algebra will help you.

 

So you never learned Hooke's Law, or Newton's Laws of motion, or any chemical equations, or anything about wave theory etc etc etc...?  

 

Science and Engineering degree courses are complex and quite difficult.  Without a good graounding in maths - including algebra, calculus, statistics, geometry - and the science subjects that are enabled by these topics, a basic engineering degree would take 5-6 years to complete - you'd effectively have to do years 9-13 maths and science first, then start on the degree.


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  Reply # 1639530 23-Sep-2016 16:50
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shk292:

BTR:


I would say the majority of the population have never used it since leaving school. Also why do I need algebra to tell me what tax band I am???  Re year 9 science I don't ever remember using it in science at that level


I still think its a waste of time teaching it in school and you would be better teaching students how to do taxes and skills needed for basic living.



You don't need algebra to tell you what tax band you're in - but if you're trying to assess the tax implications of financial situations, or choose the best investment, or countless other financial questions, then sooner or later, algebra will help you.


So you never learned Hooke's Law, or Newton's Laws of motion, or any chemical equations, or anything about wave theory etc etc etc...?  


Science and Engineering degree courses are complex and quite difficult.  Without a good graounding in maths - including algebra, calculus, statistics, geometry - and the science subjects that are enabled by these topics, a basic engineering degree would take 5-6 years to complete - you'd effectively have to do years 9-13 maths and science first, then start on the degree.



Totally agree with. When I work on financial spreadsheets I often need to know how to rearrange equations so that cell calculations produce the right output. Often when people find these things (algebra, trig etc) too difficult they call it quits, google how to do it or call a friend or family member who knows how to do this stuff. I'm not saying everyone needs to know how to do these things but there are industries, professions and hobbies where these things are vital.

Try to derive the Black Scholes option pricing model without a grounding in calc, probability theory, stats, logs. Even using the model requires a pretty good handle on these things.

I would love for journo's to have a better handle on stats so statistical significance was considered before writing about trends over 2 data points......

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