Regents Recap — June 2016: Still Not a Trig Function

Published by MrHonner on

I don’t know exactly why, but fake graphs on Regents exams really offend me.  Take a look at this “sine” curve from the June, 2016 Algebra 2 Trig exam.

2016 June A2T 33

Looking at this graph makes me uneasy.  It’s just so … pointy.  Here’s an actual sine graph, courtesy of Desmos.

2016 June A2T 33 -- desmos graph

Now this fake sine curve isn’t nearly as bad as these two half-ellipses put together, but I just don’t understand why we can’t have nice graphs on these exams.  It only took me a few minutes to put this together in Desmos.  Let’s invest a little time in mathematical fidelity.

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Ben Bradley · August 5, 2016 at 1:52 pm

That looks remarkably like an op-amp running at its slew rate limit. I first saw this on a 741 op-amp with an oscilloscope in a college lab assignment, circa 1977. But then, I’d guess the person who drew that has never seen such, but was just being lazy and/or unknowledgeable.

Here’s a description of slew rate limiting, with (correct) graphs:

Evelyn · August 5, 2016 at 4:34 pm

These fake graphs are just so disrespectful. They’re asking test-takers to take the test seriously, and there are high stakes attached to the outcome, but they won’t be bothered to do what is, as you pointed out, a minimally difficult task and make graphics that are accurate. They also just assume the test-taker won’t notice the problem. Not a good look at all, Regent’s Exam.

Joshua · August 6, 2016 at 11:16 am

Even easier, they can keep the graphic and just edit one word, changing “sine” to “periodic.”
Does that change, however, push such a question out of the scope of a trigonometry exam? It shouldn’t, but I don’t know the boundaries that are imposed for subjects in the Regent’s exams.

Singh Garewal · March 14, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Maybe this issue has been resolved since 2016 but it seems to me that the graphics the exam is providing are machine generated (not even hand-drawn). So if they can get a device to spit out the wrong graphic why not instead use a correct one?

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