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Did I miss something.... an Edecel question

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by oakapple, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. One of the pupils I tutor brought her recent exam paper to the lesson and I am confused about one question. It should a picture of a man standing under a large telegraph pole.
    Q1 What is average height of a man (metres)?
    Q2 What is the height of the telegraph pole?
    I can understand that they want the idea of proportion to work out the height of the pole ... but what is the average height of a man and how was she suppsed to know. (Her response... well my brother is 6ft...I know it needs to be metres..about 1.80m)
    What did I miss?
     
  2. One of the pupils I tutor brought her recent exam paper to the lesson and I am confused about one question. It should a picture of a man standing under a large telegraph pole.
    Q1 What is average height of a man (metres)?
    Q2 What is the height of the telegraph pole?
    I can understand that they want the idea of proportion to work out the height of the pole ... but what is the average height of a man and how was she suppsed to know. (Her response... well my brother is 6ft...I know it needs to be metres..about 1.80m)
    What did I miss?
     
  3. You missed an x in edexcel [​IMG]
    Seriously, I think that it is probably OK to ask Q1 as long as the mark scheme accepted quite a wide range. Q2 should then have a mark scheme where it follows through whatever answer they gave in Q1. Both parts should really ask for estimates.
     
  4. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    This sort of question is as old as the hills on a foundation paper. Frankly, I'm astounded you need help with this.
     
  5. Bit harsh googol. There are different levels of experience and knowledge out there.
     
  6. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Depends how much they're charging...
     
  7. It's a straightforward question. Just requires a pupil to be able to visualise a metre so they can estimate the height of a man.
    Of course - that's where things get interesting. Pupils seem to know their height and weight in feet and stones - but when you get them to put actual figures (metric and imperial) to real things, that can get "interesting".
    You should try it - just get your class to write down - or actually show visually various lengths,weights and volumes. How far is 6 miles? How long is the room? Height?

     
  8. So what is the average height of a man?
    [And typing quickly so missed the X - no need for the sarcasm!]
     
  9. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    A childhood spent collecting Panini football stickers means I always had a fair idea of the height of an average man.
    1.70 or 1.80 would do just fine but to be honest, if they're asking for an estimate in metres, 2m would be correct to the nearest metre for (nearly) all adult men....
     
  10. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    IIRC the mark scheme allowed something like the range 1.5m to 2m
     
  11. DeborahCarol

    DeborahCarol New commenter

    My sympathies are with oakapple and the student.
    In maths we are used to having to give exact answers. IF the question says 'estimate' or 'approximately' we know we are allowed to estimate. This question didn't.
    I don't know the average height of a man myself. If I was asked to estimate, I think I'd say 1.7m off the top of my head (as I think I'm 1.6m).
    I can quite understand that students, in an exam situation, would be thrown by this. Very poorly-worded question.
     
  12. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    If you are quibbling about wording, I think we'd need to see the original question in context. For starters, the question, as presented by the OP, has presumably missed out the article 'the' in the first question. What else has been missed out?
    If the question says:
    Estimate the average height of a man in metres.
    Use your answer to estimate the height of the pole in the picture.

    What's the problem....!?
    Personally, I inferred all of that from what the OP wrote down. So would the vast majority of students.

     
  13. DeborahCarol

    DeborahCarol New commenter

    Sure, if the question said that there would be no problem! (BTW inserting 'Use your answer' would be too kind to candidates, as surely the point of the q. would be to deduce one from the other.)
    My point, as perhaps I failed to explain clearly, was that the question did not say 'estimate'.
    So, no, I didn't work on the assumption that the OP had not transcribed the question properly.
    Does anyone have the paper?
     
  14. I have some examples of this type of question from Edexcel papers.

    From an Edexcel specimen paper:

    The picture shows a man standing next to a telegraph pole.

    The man and the telegraph pole are drawn to the same scale.

    (a) Write down an estimate for the height, in metres, of the man.

    ..........................

    (1)

    (b) Estimate the height, in metres, of this telegraph pole.

    ..........................

    (3)


    From a 2008 Edexcel foundation paper.

    The picture shows a man standing next to a flagpole.

    The man is of normal height.

    The man and the flagpole are drawn to the same scale.

    (a) Write down an estimate for the height, in metres, of the man.

    ................................. m

    (1)

    (b) Work out an estimate for the height, in metres, of the flagpole.

    ................m

    (2)


    Looking at complete questions, they look fine.
     
  15. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    True I'm no great fan of edexcel but, knowing their questions as I do, I find they go out of their way to present such a question unambiguously. I'd be really surprised if the OP had given us the full wording of this question.
     
  16. DeborahCarol

    DeborahCarol New commenter

    Hmm...
    Calling oakapple, are you there...?
     
  17. I'll get the exact wording next week.
    I could see what the question was getting at but it seemed a badly worded question!
     
  18. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    If worded as Anna-Luise quotes, it's clear, and if students have done any past papers, they will have encountered similar questions, so should not be thrown by a question requiring an estimate rather than an exact answer. Their teachers are likely to have shown them the range of answers permitted by the marckscheme, so that they do not panic too much about whether their estimate is close enough. And it's fairly easy to collate a list of "known measurements" to make estimating easy: I reckon that knowing that a door is about 2m is very useful.
     

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