# 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.

Years 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.

You 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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