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A Question for KS2 maths SATs markers

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Nazard, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. I can't help with this sepcific question, but it is good to see that units appear to be treated as important in KS2 tests. At GCSE it all too often happens that correct numerical answers are accepted even without the units (which means technically they are not correct ... ). On a related note, it bugs me when GCSE questions ask for answers given to, say, 2dp, but "more precise" answers are then accepted by the mark scheme anyway.
     
  2. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter


    This question explains why both 1.10 and 110 should both be marked wrong. Answers of this kind are meaningless if no units are shown. Depending on the amount of work involved, it may be appropriate for mark schemes for such questions to deduct one mark for lack of or wrong units. Certainly in GCSE papers, it is quite comment for a units mark to be awarded separately.
     
  3. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Should a candidate be penalised multiple times for repeatedly failing to apply the same skill correctly? I don't think so. I think GCSE papers handle this sensibly where usually there is one question that penalises incorrect rounding but all other instances are ignored.
     
  4. Often they aren't penalised at all. In particular, though, where the question states a particular precision and pupils fail to provide it they should be penalised.
    As a separate issue, I think it is possible to argue that if pupils are asked to work out the area of a rectangle that is 4m by 3m then the answer "12" is not correct. It needs the units to be meaningful. What do you think?
     
  5. In the same question no, in future questions, yes as it potentially shows they either (i) are not reading the question or (ii) have no idea of the context in which they learn things.
    How long did it take bob to get from A to B...answer 3....3 hours? minutes? seconds?
    How much did 3 bags of sweets cost?.....answer 20.......20 quid?, pence?
    I think as maths becomes more watered down and puched towards more functional applications this has to be a key part to a successful answer as pupils can simply forget all notion of units if you only penalise them once. Pupils knowing this will also lead to less desire to learn, in essence, what are key life skills.

    On the decimal place thing...dont get me started. AFter listening to the Edexcel person rubbish the whole system I have lost faith
     
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter

    In my experience (AQA), most questions have the units on the answer lines, so students can only get units wrong if they try to change units. If units are missing from the answer line, it usually means there is a B mark at stake for getting them right.
     
  7. There's nothing like having your thread hijacked is there? Nevertheless a very interesting discussion and not to worry I've had a very helpful answer from my primary colleagues! ;-)
     
  8. sorry about the hijacking - we are dreadful like that - glad you got more sense out of primary
    to continue on the diversion - i am with you, nazard - in my groups, if it doesn't have units, it's marked wrong - and any unit-missing answer in class is met with 'What - 7 elephants?' so regularly that the other kids tend to join in
    i am aware the outside world often does not follow this - ks2 written maths sats generally have the unit pre-written in the answer - i thought mental maths did too, but i am getting tired and end-of-term
     
  9. strawbs

    strawbs Occasional commenter

    but I suppose it is inconsistent if 110 is accepted but 1.10 is not!
     
  10. waikatoriv

    waikatoriv New commenter

    When markers had the scripts at home only one instance of incorrect notation was penalised as the scripts could be checked but now with emarking this is not possible because the marker only sees questions. I think the exam boards have taken this into account when setting questions/mark schemes etc for emarking. With the SATS this year there were a couple of instances in the mark scheme which I thought were unfair but we had mark consistently. i.e There was a question where the student had to read times from a train timetable. If they had correctly identified the times they then lost both these marks if they then wrote their answers as a pm times. An easy mistake, especially for a child, to make. One mark max should have been deducted and not both marks for a repeated mistake. Luckily I only saw an instance of this in the standardisation scripts and not in the real scripts. Also with money. If they missed a zero off the end of 1.1 after correctly working out some maths then credit should have been given IMO. If the correct answer is £1.10 and one candidate writes an answer of £1.1 and the other £7.80 should they both get zero marks? Clearly we know which candidate has shown understanding of the question and has been able to do the maths and that candidate should get the credit.
     
  11. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    I may but wrong but my recollection is that in recent Edexcel GCSE papers there has always been 1 mark somewhere that is given for correct rounding being carried out.

    This could mean that on a typical Higher tier calculator paper a candidate who is poor at this one skill but sound with the higher level skills the questions are really trying to test (trig, pythagoras, shape problems involving pi etc.) could potentially lose a significant number of marks for repeating the same mistake.


    I think of this issue in the same vein as the rounding.
    There are two things being tested by your question - the numerical part and the units.
    It is obviously right that somewhere in a GCSE paper knowledge and understanding relating to units is tested but would not be right for a large number of marks to be at risk for a candidate who lacks this understanding.

    I am only talking about these issues in the context of an external exam of course - it is important that marks are distributed fairly to all the skills being tested.

    In my classroom a solution is quite simply not correct if the units required for the solution to make sense are either wrong or missing, or a value has been incorrectly or inappropriately truncated or rounded.

     
  12. Sorry for trying to get you started Beta but what are you referring to here about the Edexcel person and who was it (don't expect a name but what was their position?)
     

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