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Regents Recap — June 2013: Writing ‘Engaging’ Questions

Here is another installment in my series reviewing the NY State Regents exams in mathematics.

An all-too-common pastime among math teachers is laughing at the absurd, contrived contexts employed by textbook and exam writers to make problems real-world and engaging.  Here are two examples from the June 2013 New York math Regents exams.

2013 June A2T 37Years ago, thinking of the triangle as a garden or corral was enough to make finding its area sufficiently real-world.  But I guess now it needs to be kicked-up a notch, say, by taking it to the Australian Outback!

Here’s another classic example.

2013 June IA 24You know what really gets students engaged in math problems?  The word RAP.  The best part is that the set A isn’t even used in the question.

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