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2013 Numeracy results. Is 5.00 not a whole number??

Discussion in 'Primary' started by emillers, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Help!

    We have just had our Numeracy papers returned and ,as we had a few borderline scores, we checked through the papers. Can anyone explain why, for question11 on paper A, 5.00 etc is not being accepted as the correct answer for rounding 5.05 to the nearest whole number?

    I am confused!!

  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    5.00 implies that there is accuracy to 2 decimal places, and 5.0 implies accuracy to 1 decimal place. Hence when you round to the nearest whole, you would just give 5, and if you rounded to 1 decimal place you would give 5.1, not 5.10.
  3. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    Understandably so.

    Final zeroes after the decimal point are not placeholders and so are not significant. 5.00 is mathematically exactly the same as 5, therefore 5.00 is a whole number and should be marked correct.

    I'm not a mathematician though, you might want to ask this on the Maths subject forum if you want to be really sure.
  4. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan New commenter

    The marker is wrong. 5 is equal to 5.0000000000000000000000000000000000
  5. And we're talking about 10 and 11 year olds here, not GCSE students.
  6. I'm having this issue too! I have asked for clarification on the 'return of SATs paper' thread. It seems to be the mark scheme rather than our marker - sadly. Utterly ridiculous when the mark scheme says you should accept an equivalent number in any question - 5.0 is exactly equivalent to 5... Who on earth writes these mark schemes? Lunacy! Re-inventing the teaching profession I can 'understand' but reinventing mathematical understanding - may just be a step too far Mr Gove et al.
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I am a secondary maths teacher, and my point above still stands. That's what we teach in secondary. Maybe there should be more leniency on this one at primary level, but then we'd be accused of reinventing mathematical understanding when they reach us.

    It is a slightly tricky concept: yes, for most practical purposes 5.0 is equivalent to 5, but it does convey a greater degree of accuracy.

    Similarly, in the other direction, if you were rounding 5.03 to 1 decimal place, it would not be acceptable to write 5.
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    only up to a point....
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    though nota decimal one, of course...
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Surely whole numbers shouldn't have to make any sort of reference to decimals or fractions?
  11. HSX

    HSX Occasional commenter

    A whole number/integer can not have decimal places. Simple.
  12. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    The mark scheme is technically correct, but I can see your points! How do you teach rounding of decimals though to end up with children giving answers with loads of unnecessary and slightly confusing zeros on the end? If the question had said round 5.05 to 1 d.p. what would they have put? 5.1 or 5.10?

    I don't think this is a case of mr gove reinventing arithmetic. Shouldn't think he reads the questions in a ks2 paper very often. The answer is certainly the way I was taught and marked in the juniors and the way I teach it. But it is purely convention and those children have understood the maths.
  13. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    That's not comparing like with like. If you instruct a child to round to 1 decimal place then the requirement is clear, you've told them how many digits need to be in the answer. But the phrase here is 'whole number' and the requirement is less clear.

    I suspect that whoever set the marking guidelines has been thinking of the rules that apply to the precise mathematical term 'integer' rather than the 'whole number' phrase in the question.

    These are not the same. An integer does not have a decimal point. A whole number does not need a decimal point.

    The children who wrote 5.00 were right and the mark scheme is wrong.
  14. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan New commenter

    Frustrum - it is not a tricky concept. 5.0 is not equivalent to 5 in most cases. They are equivalent in ALL cases. 5.0 is a whole number. If you are not teaching this to your secondary students then you are teaching them incorrectly.
  15. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    What an absolutely irrelevant comparison.

    What does secondary teaching have to do with it? If anything you are just showing that secondary teaching is poor if you can't understand that 5 is equal to 5.00.

    5 is not more accurate than 5.0, 5.00 or 5.000

    They are all the same number.
  16. I have this issue with a pupil who has scored 46 (right on last year's threshold for 4) who has had 2 marks deducted for this question despite rounding correctly.

    She is crucial to 10% of our floor target figures, as we only have a cohort of 10 and this pupil scored 4s in reading and writing! Such a fine line and big impact on our entire school.

    Has anyone had these marks awarded for equivalent numbers? I haven't seen the mark scheme yet but normally it states in general guidance to accept equivalents which 5.00 clearly is (especially when you see prices etc in 'real world' maths).

    Is it worth contesting/sending for a re-mark if say the threshold is raised to 48? Or should I contact Carol Vorderman?
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Mathematically, 5.00 has the same value as 5.

    However, in terms of accuracy, 5.00 is indicating a higher degree of accuracy than is 5.

    With regard to the question in paper A, the whole number lies to the left of the decimal point, and even when indicating accuracy, this is the case, e.g., with 5.00 the whole number is the 5, while the .00 is the decimal component.

    So, the marking scheme is technically and mathematically correct.

    However, for the purposes of a KS2 SATs paper, I think it is unnecessary to have such a fine definition of a 'right' answer.

    It would have been better to have made this a two-mark question, whereby an answer of 5 (the whole number) would have gained 2 marks, and an answer of 5.0 or 5.00 (correct in terms of rounding, but not correct in terms of a whole number expectation) would have gained only 1 mark.
  18. Nomad,

    Thanks for your input.

    It was a 2-mark question with 4 parts to it. My pupil did all the rounding correctly so should at least have 1 mark.

    The key question is - is 5.00 an equivalent of 5 mathematically? The mark scheme general guidance usually states to accept equivalent unambiguous numbers for any question.
  19. pyg2009

    pyg2009 New commenter

    Looking through mine - 2 of my level 5s have had this marked incorrectly because they put 5.00 too!! I think its very pedantic - especially at primary level and to be honest when using a mix of whole numbers and decimals for addition/subtraction questions I actively encourage them to put the decimal point and zeros in as it helps with place value positioning and lining up numbers correctly! This is about wording on my opinion - not about the maths!!!
  20. pyg2009

    pyg2009 New commenter

    At the very least - 1 mark should have been given! Are we due the mark schemes at some point?

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