Can you finish an exam in the time allocated? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 7, 2002
Messages
720
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A
At the 2008 MANSW conference hundreds of maths teachers had to endure quite a stark confusing message from the Board of Studies.

On the one hand, Chris Thompson, a high ranking official from the Board of Studies said quite clearly that it is, always has been, and always will be a Board of Studies policy that every exam must be able to be completed within the allocated time, and that exam committees are expected to construct exams with this in mind.

Then an Extension 2 Mathematics HSC Judge (Rodney Miller) got up and said he has never been able to complete an Extension 2 paper in the time allotted, and on average it takes him 6-10 hours to complete such an exam.

So when you do a past paper, can you finish it on time?

And BTW, whose side are you on, Chris's or Rodney's?
 
Last edited:

vds700

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
867
Location
Sydney
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
no i always run out of time, lately though, i havent been doing them under timed conditions, just working on them parts at a time.

The 6 days I have free before the MX2 exam, I plan to do a paper in the tihe 3 hours, so hopefully I can improve on this.

Definitely agree with Rodney
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2002
Messages
720
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A
In recent years this has also become controversial in the 2 unit paper, so much so that the Chief Examiner was given extra-ordinary permission from the President of the Board of Studies a few years ago to publish in the Daily Telegraph a defence of the length of the 2 unit paper. (Usually Chief Examiners are forbidden to make public comment without such extra-ordinary permission, which is very rarely granted)

I rang Jim Coroneos a few months before he died to discuss the matter and he also said that the papers thesedays are too long.
 

Js^-1

No tengo pantelonès
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
318
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
I can get most of it done in the time allotted, but I make mistakes and usually can't get most of the last question out.
 

midifile

Na Na Na Na Naa
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
1,146
Location
Sydney
Gender
Female
HSC
2008
Yeah. I can finish the paper in 3 hours, leaving out about 10 marks or so, not coz I run out of time, but because I dont know what to do :S
 

Elephants

Banned
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
56
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
Hold on. Is it the 2U or 4U exam that is too long?

AND CORONEOS IS DEAD!?!?! That's really sad. He was a great man.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2002
Messages
720
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A
Elephants said:
Hold on. Is it the 2U or 4U exam that is too long?
Many would say both.

Elephants said:
AND CORONEOS IS DEAD!?!?! That's really sad. He was a great man.
He died a few days after his 80th birthday in 2005.
 

Elephants

Banned
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
56
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
buchanan said:
Many would say both.



He died a few days after his 80th birthday in 2005.
I never really thought about the 2U exam as being long, but now come to think of it, it does seem a little lengthy.

And
Coroneos: RIP.

He will always be remembered.
 

independantz

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Messages
410
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
The top students can generally finish it pretty fast like 2:30, but the rest of us can't. In saying that, it's not due to time constraints, rather lack of ability to answer certain questions. But maybe if we had more time to think about the dificult questions then yeah... i suppose you could say time is a factor. However, in recent years the exams have been getting easier...

Hope this means that this years exam will be even easier :p
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2002
Messages
720
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A
They changed the exam committee recently so the 2006 and 2007 papers have been easier, but even still, Rodney is still saying they are too long.

Many teachers are horrified by this and would support Chris when he says the exam should be able to be completed in the allocated time.
 

ronnknee

Live to eat
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
474
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
Well I would have enough time to climb all the way to question 8 and attempt it
But I won't be able to achieve full marks?

The only exception of the papers I've done is 2001
I finished the first 7 questions in three hours
The eigth one required an extra half an hour
 

independantz

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Messages
410
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
buchanan said:
They changed the exam committee recently so the 2006 and 2007 papers have been easier, but even still, Rodney is still saying they are too long.

Many teachers are horrified by this and would support Chris when he says the exam should be able to be completed in the allocated time.
When you say the exams should be able to be completed in the allocated time slots, do you mean by the average student? or just completable by a minority. If the latter then i reckon it's already possible. Even for the average student it is completable, like most people can complete the exam but they are unable to 100% complete it due to a lack of ability to get some of the harder questions. Also ext 2 is supposed to be a challenging course, it's already been watered down, i don't think it needs to be watered down anymore.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2002
Messages
720
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A
independantz said:
the average student? or just completable by a minority.
a minority.

This is where the clash lies between Chris and Rodney. Chris would want at least some students to be able to complete the paper in the allocated time, whereas Rodney would expect that NOBODY can complete it in time.

I'm on Chris's side on this issue. I don't want a paper to be so long that nobody can complete it in time!
 

namburger

Noob Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
228
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
buchanan said:
Then an Extension 2 Mathematics HSC Judge (Rodney Miller) got up and said he has never been able to complete an Extension 2 paper in the time allotted, and on average it takes him 6-10 hours to complete such an exam.
holy moley. thats like 1 hour per question xD
 

Trebla

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
7,354
Gender
Male
HSC
2006
I believe the exam has definitely been "finished" in the time allocated every year, usually by the top few percentage of students, at least in recent years anyway. I mean, some of the state ranked people of Mathematics Extension 2 in 2006, that I knew of, managed to complete it in 2 hours. By "finished", I mean attempting every question, not necessarily getting them all correct (though these state ranked students got most of the exam correct in 2 hours). Even I managed to attempt every question within the 3 hour time frame (though I did not get many correct lol).

Even if the paper is a bit more difficult than 2006, then it would be at about 2 and half hours for the top percentage of students. Therefore, I think there is no problem with the exam in its current form in terms of time allocations. The average students cannot "finish" the exam because they usually cannot penetrate the harder questions, not because they are short on time.

I am curious to know why Extension 1 isn't brought into the same discussion, because the same thing happens in Extension 1 (i.e. the average student usually cannot "finish" the whole paper due to inability to penetrate harder questions).

The 2 unit exam on the other hand, is "long" in the sense that too much time is allocated, in my opinion. Most people are able to "finish" the paper with significant amounts of time to spare. The top percentage of students usually finish the paper in 1 hour and 30 minutes out of the given 3 hours.
 
Last edited:

I-Love-Jesus

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Messages
78
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
Yeah, I can never finish extension 2, but I think the time allocation is pretty spot on. There are some people who can complete it, so there is no real need to lengthen the paper. I think having the time constraints as they are helps to differentiate between students a lot more effectively than having a paper that can be completed by lots.
I usually only get to spend about 5-10 minutes on question 8, but I don't think I'd get a whole lot more marks on the last question even if I had more time.

Extension 1 is also a good length because there are plenty of students who can complete it. It is usually merely the difficulty of the last question/s that prevents people from finishing.
 

conics2008

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
1,228
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
hmm yeah i cna finish the paper in 3 hours... leaving me about 5 min to check over my answer but no hope xD

keep note i do leave some question along the way and if i leave them i never have time to come back for them =[
 

duy.le

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
137
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
i like it the way it is because i get about 45-60 mins on q 7&8 and that means i can sufficiently try out most question and get the "give away marks." i would hate it if they changed it so that most people could be able to finish the paper as it would take away this slight advantage over the rest of the cohort. also there is plenty of time already, most of the people i know can finish up to 7 in about 2 hours so there really isnt any problems...

i dont know how it takes u an average of 6-10 hours to do an ext2 exam (however this did happen to me before DAM U INDP. 2006!, although if i was to time my self i would of been different and i would of went faster)

i would say that 3 hours is a good time limit, makes u go fast and think even faster.

i think that if u "ran out of time" then u
a)havnt prepared well enough
b)it was a long test (ie the questions took generally longer to solve, lots of algebra bashing or conics)
c)it was just a dam hard test and everyone will fail.
 

friction

Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
494
Gender
Male
HSC
2008
If i can get the whole paper out it usually takes me about 2 hours 45 - 3 hrs (well recently)

If i cant get a few questions it usually takes me 2 and a half hours then i have time to fiddle at the last questions that i cant get until i cant get them in a different way :).
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top