Example from the P5 maths thread:
PSLEguru wrote:mikyway wrote:Abel, Ben and Calvin completed a project together in 13 days.For the first 6 days, Abel and Ben completed 1/3 of the project. For the next 2 days, Ben and Calvin completed 1/6 of the project together. For the last five days, Abel, Ben and Calvin completed the rest of the project together. They were paid a total of $1800, which was distributed among them according to the amount of work they did in this project. How much money should be given to Ben?
6 days, Abel and Ben completed 1/3 of the project
1 day, A and B completed 1/18 of the project -- (1)
2 days, Ben and Calvin completed 1/6 of the project
1 day, B and C completed 1/12 of the project -- (2)
5 days, A, B C completed (1-1/6 - 1/3) = 1/2 of the project
1 day, ABC completed 1/10 of the project. --(3)
in 1 day, C would complete 1/10-1/18 = 2/45 of the project
in 1 day, A would complete 1/10 - 1/12 = 1/60 of the project
in 1 day, B would complete 1/10-2/45-1/60 = 7/180
in 13 days, B would complete 91/180 of the project. He should be given 91/180 of 1800 = $910.
6 days, Abel and Ben completed 1/3 of the project = $600
1 day, A and B completed $100 -- (1)
2 days, Ben and Calvin completed 1/6 of the project = $300
1 day, B and C completed $150 -- (2)
5 days, A, B C completed $1800 - $600 - $300 = $900
1 day, ABC completed $180 --(3)
(1)+(2)-(3) = 100+150-180= 70
70*13 = $910
Now, I am sure PSLEguru was giving the correct, orthodox answer. But my issue lies with the question. In particular, why is the answerer expected to assume that each of A, B and C generates output at exactly the same rate each day? A, B and C are not robots, are they?
The idiotic me, having been out of school for apparently far too long, thought that, in the absence of specifics, the answer was much simpler:
At various intervals,
(1) A & B completed 1/3 of the project = $600. Each earned $300.
(2) B & C completed 1/6 of the project = $300. Each earned $150.
(3) A, B & C completed 1/2 of the project = $900. Each earned $300.
So, B should be given $300+$150+$300 = $750. Number of days spent on each stage of completion was irrelevant.
My question is, are such ambiguous maths questions common in the actual PSLE (then I may have to worry), or do they only pop up in individual schools' tests, outside assessment books or tuition centres (in which case, I don't have to worry)?
Another example, this time from the P1 English thread:
sean wife wrote:Hi which one of the following do u think is the correct one for a question on rearranging words?
The sheep were in the field eating grass.
The sheep were eating grass in the field.
According to the parent who posted this, the first one was marked correct while the second one was marked wrong.
And idiotic me could come up with a third variant:
The sheep in the field were eating grass.
Not to mention a 4th (arguably questionable but not grammatically wrong despite the absence of a hyphen because there is no ambiguity) variant:
The grass eating sheep were in the field.
All four arrangements are sound, albeit each places emphasis on a different element.
Then, there is that infamous rolling ball question in the P6 science thread.
Any views? Is it the PSLE, or are parents made to run around like Chicken Little because of bad questions in school tests, outside assessment books or tuition centres? Should we just chill because funny questions like that do not actually appear where it matters?