# common early maths exam mistake

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mhether, Dec 11, 2011.

1. ### mhether

I am looking for an example of a child misinterpreting the 'show how you worked it out' box beneath a maths question by drawing a picture of themselves thinking rather than writing down their sums. I am told that this is quite a common misunderstanding for children to make and I would like to try and get hold of a picture to use in a mathematics presentation?

2. ### mhether

I am looking for an example of a child misinterpreting the 'show how you worked it out' box beneath a maths question by drawing a picture of themselves thinking rather than writing down their sums. I am told that this is quite a common misunderstanding for children to make and I would like to try and get hold of a picture to use in a mathematics presentation?

3. ### DMNew commenter

I haven't heard this one before. I suppose you must be talking about very young children? If you do find an example, post it here.

5. ### strawbsEstablished commenter

One of my year 6's drew a beautifully detailed diagram of a calculator to "show his working" even going so far as to show the answer on the display screen.

Thankfully he got the answer right!

10. ### AnonymousNew commenter

Sarah says any number in the 2x table is an even number. Is she right? How do you know?
Yes, she is right. How do I know? My teacher told me.

A die has 6 sides. It is numbered 1 to 6. What is the probability of getting a 6?
50 / 50. You can or you can't.
Taken from a year 5 paper I recently marked,

Mind you, I shouldn't laugh. My 6 year old son did a comprehension paper and ticked the answers that he knew - he finds writing difficult!!

Oh, I've had "because Mrs CV likes teaching maths so we did this last year" when asked a "how do you know" question
and quite a few seem to think " I just know" is a pretty reasonable explanation!

( Mind you, one of my brighter Year 6's, when asked in a comprehension paper why he couldn't have been a photographer in 1820 replied "because I'm only 11 so wasn't alive then" I give up sometimes )

12. ### DoitforfreeStar commenter

But these are nearly all perfectly good and reasonable answers. I would say 'ask a silly question'... Maybe questions need to be worded better.

13. ### AnonymousNew commenter

Yes - the "My teacher told me " is a perfectly good answer. Worthy of a mark!
Not sure about the 50/50 probability for rolling a die and getting a 6.

14. ### DMNew commenter

Christmas avatar robyn?

15. ### AnonymousNew commenter

Like I never get cards with those on!!!

16. ### Kez101

My daughter had an English SATS paper as a year 4 test (it was an original paper about an African girl who ran a lot - sorry about the momeory my daughter is year 11 now!). The teacher called me in because basically every answer was wrong but written with such confidence.
It turned out that my daughter was answering from real life knowledge (she was a member of a running club at the time).
We also had a funny in Maths with my son. He was insistant he couldn't do the homework because it was impossible:
Question something like 100km = x m
He couldn't answer it because he didn't needed to know more - two of the values k, m or x!
Week before he'd been doing algebra!

18. ### markussOccasional commenter

Re the following:
"Mind you, one of my brighter Year 6's, when asked in a comprehension paper why he couldn't have been a photographer in 1820 replied "because I'm only 11 so wasn't alive then" I give up sometimes"

Why give up? That's truly a bright answer.
(It's the wording of the question that's not very imaginative.)

20. ### bgy1mm

He's right, of course. If you don't know what the k stands for, you can't answer that question.