Regents Recap — June, 2016: Reused Questions

Published by MrHonner on

When I looked at performance data from the June 2016 Common Core Geometry Regents exam, I noticed that students did exceptionally well on one of the final multiple choice questions.  It didn’t take long to figure out why:  it was virtually identical to a question asked on the August 2015 exam.

2016 June GEO 20

Just a few words changed here and there.  All the specifics of the problem, and all the answer choices, are exactly the same.

The most basic quality control system conceivable should prevent questions from being copied from last year’s exam.  It’s hard to understand how something like this could happen on a high stakes exam that affects tens of thousands of students and teachers.

Issues like this, which call into question the validity of these exams, are what led me to originally start asking the question, “Are these tests any good?”

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Jerome Dancis · July 27, 2016 at 2:15 pm

This is a mental math problem. (Hopefully, calculators are not permitted.) Just round pi down to 3 and round 62.4 down to 50; then the calculation simplifies to
2/3 x 3 x 125 x 50 = 2 x 125 x 50 = 12500.
This is mildly less than choice (1). The other choices are not even close. Choose (1)!

    MrHonner · July 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Calculators are permitted on all Regents exams. In fact, schools are obligated to make them available to students.

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