Common elements included a two-part 4-point financial math question that calculated interest and a 4-point question that asked students to calculate the area of a decagon based on its perimeter. One of the more puzzling questions was a 5 point statistical problem.
Can you do the joint content?
These questions provide data to the NSW Education Standards Authority and Universities Admissions Center to better compare student performance between the two subjects.
Parramatta High student Manya Jain, who took the new advanced exam, said she felt relatively prepared despite the lack of previous work. “It was definitely a challenge, but it has to be the first year,” she said.
But standard math student Rasheel Tannous from St. Mary’s had a very different experience. “This test was one of the most difficult tests I have come across,” she said. “During my reading time, I really thought that the papers with advanced and standard were mixed up.”
She felt that most of the common questions were too advanced for her to know and regretted that she had not fully understood some of the topics taught during the lockdown earlier this year.
The male student Lydia Virgo agreed. “The last thing I expected was that NESA would make the exam ten times more difficult than last year. Some questions used terms that I had never heard of before, ”she said.
“I had to read and reread some questions at least five times to finally understand them. And then there were just a few questions that I couldn’t even address. I am extremely disappointed. ”
Karen McDaid, president of the Mathematical Association of NSW, said teachers reported that general questions were not well received. Standard students found the 5-point statistic question, which was the penultimate one in their exam, to be particularly difficult.
“Some teachers say that their students are very upset and that the standard paper was tough,” said one teacher. “The students are upset that they didn’t know what to expect,” said another.
A NESA spokeswoman said the agency had “received feedback from a number of students and parents that today’s Maths Standard 2 exam was difficult.”
Dr. Julie Greenhalgh, director of Meridan, who usually excels at math, shared a similar view. “The standard paper was more difficult than before, but not inadequate,” she said.
“The advanced paper covered a wide range of subjects and many questions were accessible, especially those related to the new curriculum content. There was an appropriate mix of routine, familiar questions from the old format interspersed with the new. “
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Natassia is the education reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.
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