Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Easy = Difficult

Recently weeks there are discussions on a difficult mathematics examination paper in this year PSLE.
It seems that some questions in it were difficult.

To me, there is not much different if an easy or a difficult question is set. If it is easy, then most will probably score. If it is difficult, then most will probably not score. Overall, it doesn't really affect my score/grade. Rather, I dislike easy question because I must make the efforts to do and get it right, whereas for a difficult question, I may choose to skip it but my score for it may be the same with many who spent time doing it yet didn't get it right.

Furthermore, I am one of those [selfish ones] who when spotted a faulty question will keep quiet and move on, since eventually the teachers have to void that question. I hate it when at later times, especially near to the end of the given time, someone raise the issue and the teacher announce an correction to the question. I think that is being unfair by making correction half way through an examination.

What matters is when a question is easy or difficult only to you or a small group of students. Otherwise, no problem.

Thinking further, I suspect it was the nice but unrealistic pictures that parents/teachers have given to students that causes some of them to be annoyed by not being able to score 100% due to some out of scope difficult question. I think this is an issue that should be addressed. The over ideal system in school is harmful in terms of getting students ready for the world. People who grew up in system-less environment probably have much higher ability to adapt and excel in the real world.

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