Friday, October 9, 2009

Of chocolates and sweets - stumped by the PSLE

The PSLE exams are in the news again, and parents are up in arms over the difficulty of the maths exams. Unbelievably tough, they say!

And I am asking myself if the Ministry of Education's expectations for this examination for Primary 6 students are realistic, or not? For goodness' sake, these are barely 12 year old kids.

An example of a question that stumped many was something like this:
"Jim bought some chocolates and gave half of it to Ken. Ken bought some sweets and gave half of it to Jim. Jim ate 12 sweets and Ken ate 18 chocolates. The ratio of Jim's sweets to chocolates became 1:7 and the ratio of Ken's sweets to chocolates became 1:4. How many sweets did Ken buy?"


I didn't even bother to try it....certainly not before my morning 'teh see'. Not sure if the question was correctly reproduced, but it seemed to me that someone couldn't make the distinction between buying, possessing and eating.


Melissa said...

Ken bought 68 sweets. Admittedly, this takes up 12 lines of working to get to.

gigamole said...

ahhh..... but did he eat the ones he had?

angry doc said...

I think it's sad how parents are 'up in arms' over difficult exam questions. It's like they expect their children to be able to finish all the questions on time and get all of them right; if 50% of the children score 100 marks, then what good is the paper at *grading* students?

Reminds me of this time in school where the paper was so difficult they had to "moderate" it by giving everyone extra marks... and the top girl scored an impossible 103%.

gigamole said...

Sounds like that might be a good question to ask for the PSLE maths paper. :)