HSC Maths Exam Gets an F for Failing Our Students (1 Viewer)

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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Personally, I didn't choose Biology, cause I wasn't interested in it, and was always told that it was rote learning. Is this true for the subject in the HSC? If the answer is 'Yes', why make their pay so high, what are they being paid to do? (or was that clearly a joke and I'm getting r/woosh ed)
Yes i was kidding.

However, Biology as a subject has a lot of memorisation. Obviously, this would be stupid to make an exam made of memorisation. NESA actually did a master class when creating the biology HSC. They made the exam 90% understanding instead of memorisation. Where you are given stimulus-based questions that get you to apply to your knowledge rather than spew out memorised jargon.

Writing super difficult exam questions in itself is a skill in biology. The really phenomenal thing about biology is unlike the other sciences. Even if your truly an expert there will always be a way a question is twisted that even you can't answer. There's an infinite number of possibilities

For example, if you take a look at this exam, https://hivatutoring.gumroad.com/l/hivabiologyexam
It incorporates some of the most difficult questions possible from the hsc syllabus
 

carrotsss

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Well, just letting you know, stress really is a choice, you just have to understand what I really mean when I say that.
Forget everything you know, and reflect on your pure self during childhood, (if you can remember. And if not, then try and grow a level of sensitivity/empathy to feel the emotions of anyone you see - which is possible - so that way you can live as a child through another child. Simple observation.).
I completely understand that to an extent however I also understand that the majority of the population doesnโ€™t understand that and will experience stress, and hell even if you do understand that its impossible to entirely prevent stress from occurring, you can only mitigate it so much as stress is a chemical thing which is not entirely in the control of your conscious mind
 

carrotsss

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Yes i was kidding.

However, Biology as a subject has a lot of memorisation. Obviously, this would be stupid to make an exam made of memorisation. NESA actually did a master class when creating the biology HSC. They made the exam 90% understanding instead of memorisation. Where you are given stimulus-based questions that get you to apply to your knowledge rather than spew out memorised jargon.

Writing super difficult exam questions in itself is a skill in biology. The really phenomenal thing about biology is unlike the other sciences. Even if your truly an expert there will always be a way a question is twisted that even you can't answer. There's an infinite number of possibilities

For example, if you take a look at this exam, https://hivatutoring.gumroad.com/l/hivabiologyexam
It incorporates some of the most difficult questions possible from the hsc syllabus
The shameless promo ๐Ÿคฃ
 

Nedom

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Yes i was kidding.

However, Biology as a subject has a lot of memorisation. Obviously, this would be stupid to make an exam made of memorisation. NESA actually did a master class when creating the biology HSC. They made the exam 90% understanding instead of memorisation. Where you are given stimulus-based questions that get you to apply to your knowledge rather than spew out memorised jargon.

Writing super difficult exam questions in itself is a skill in biology. The really phenomenal thing about biology is unlike the other sciences. Even if your truly an expert there will always be a way a question is twisted that even you can't answer. There's an infinite number of possibilities

For example, if you take a look at this exam, https://hivatutoring.gumroad.com/l/hivabiologyexam
It incorporates some of the most difficult questions possible from the hsc syllabus
Nah, *crying*, the link is to a paid resource. All good, I understand your point cause a person I know told me about how some of the biology questions are like English in that there can be multiple solutions (something like that), where there isn't just one specific answer, and it is hard to actually predict/determine your raw mark as opposed to the other sciences which there is a more specific rubric/criteria.
 
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Yes i was kidding.

However, Biology as a subject has a lot of memorisation. Obviously, this would be stupid to make an exam made of memorisation. NESA actually did a master class when creating the biology HSC. They made the exam 90% understanding instead of memorisation. Where you are given stimulus-based questions that get you to apply to your knowledge rather than spew out memorised jargon.

Writing super difficult exam questions in itself is a skill in biology. The really phenomenal thing about biology is unlike the other sciences. Even if your truly an expert there will always be a way a question is twisted that even you can't answer. There's an infinite number of possibilities

For example, if you take a look at this exam, https://hivatutoring.gumroad.com/l/hivabiologyexam
It incorporates some of the most difficult questions possible from the hsc syllabus
Bro tried to swipe $5 ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Im done. But fr keep up the grind bro i havent seen any more passionate bio teachers here as of far
 

tgone

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Just because you 'feel' that emotions are important, doesn't mean it is for everyone.
I was going to read through this whole discussion without replying to anyone, because I find the topic quite interesting. This, however, I can't ignore. You simply cannot say that emotions are not important for everyone. Emotions are innately what we are, they define how we feel, how we experience, what we want in the world. If we do not have emotion, if we do not have arts, personality, what are we but clinical, robotic cogs?

This is coming from someone who aspires to be in the STEM field, and does the chem/phys/4u combo. In regards to this, the sciences should be far more in depth than taught, but, to an extent, I find the syllabus a nice canvas. While it is not difficult at the mandated level, it certainly provides a way for more enthusiastic students to showcase this and delve into university-level concepts and perhaps even further. I prefer this system overwhelmingly to the homogeneity and honestly, stupid, stress imposed on people in the education systems you praise.

Also, being uninterested in something you regard as 'hobby' does not devalue its worth. If you took the time to pay some attention to the artistic or literary 'hobby,' you might notice that while your view may suit you - fine - it is inherently your view, and you can't use this lens to make judgements about other fields. Feel however you want about it, it doesn't objectively devalue anything.
 

Nedom

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I was going to read through this whole discussion without replying to anyone, because I find the topic quite interesting. This, however, I can't ignore. You simply cannot say that emotions are not important for everyone. Emotions are innately what we are, they define how we feel, how we experience, what we want in the world. If we do not have emotion, if we do not have arts, personality, what are we but clinical, robotic cogs?

This is coming from someone who aspires to be in the STEM field, and does the chem/phys/4u combo. In regards to this, the sciences should be far more in depth than taught, but, to an extent, I find the syllabus a nice canvas. While it is not difficult at the mandated level, it certainly provides a way for more enthusiastic students to showcase this and delve into university-level concepts and perhaps even further. I prefer this system overwhelmingly to the homogeneity and honestly, stupid, stress imposed on people in the education systems you praise.

Also, being uninterested in something you regard as 'hobby' does not devalue its worth. If you took the time to pay some attention to the artistic or literary 'hobby,' you might notice that while your view may suit you - fine - it is inherently your view, and you can't use this lens to make judgements about other fields. Feel however you want about it, it doesn't objectively devalue anything.
2 am brain vomit, so probably has many language mistakes:

As I mentioned previously, I don't believe in people forcing things on others (it's somewhere in this thread). And so, if it's inherently my view, why is it not ok for me to express my opinion which only appears to be offensive or demeaning because it completely/mostly opposes what you yourself believes in, and so you feel intimidated and feel the need to keep saying "No, you can't say that. You're wrong". (Ultimate Edgelord *Alert*!!!(if you see it as that)) Am I wrong that humans are quite shit? (Said something on this before in this thread) So, no, I don't care for those emotions and arts and whatever you like so much that define you as a human rather than pavement for a better future (utopia's are unachievable, so every descending generation will be pavement in this sense). So, yes, I am that person who wants to be a cog, oblivious to people's feelings and only want to help function the constructs already established. Sheep in simpler terms. I also talked about it before, about how belief gives power. People believe in the benefits of STEM, and so it gained presitige and demand, and so value (= pay for people who work in it) (don't do commerce so this concept could be completely wrong/flawed) and so there is a stigma in going into arts and the devaluing of it, even though it might be important, but relatively, it's not as important as STEM etc.. Sure, my singular opinion/view does not devalue anything, but when there are many other people who believe in the same thing, this collective effect does.

Personally, I don't know if this is a point or not, so you can tell me. If it is add it to my fore-mentioned points, if not ignore it:
- Isn't the entry ATAR/Selection Rank for arts and humanities degrees lower than STEM and Med for this reason?
 

tgone

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2 am brain vomit, so probably has many language mistakes:

As I mentioned previously, I don't believe in people forcing things on others (it's somewhere in this thread). And so, if it's inherently my view, why is it not ok for me to express my opinion which only appears to be offensive or demeaning because it completely/mostly opposes what you yourself believes in, and so you feel intimidated and feel the need to keep saying "No, you can't say that. You're wrong". (Ultimate Edgelord *Alert*!!!(if you see it as that)) Am I wrong that humans are quite shit? (Said something on this before in this thread) So, no, I don't care for those emotions and arts and whatever you like so much that define you as a human rather than pavement for a better future (utopia's are unachievable, so every descending generation will be pavement in this sense). So, yes, I am that person who wants to be a cog, oblivious to people's feelings and only want to help function the constructs already established. Sheep in simpler terms. I also talked about it before, about how belief gives power. People believe in the benefits of STEM, and so it gained presitige and demand, and so value (= pay for people who work in it) (don't do commerce so this concept could be completely wrong/flawed) and so there is a stigma in going into arts and the devaluing of it, even though it might be important, but relatively, it's not as important as STEM etc.. Sure, my singular opinion/view does not devalue anything, but when there are many other people who believe in the same thing, this collective effect does.

Personally, I don't know if this is a point or not, so you can tell me. If it is add it to my fore-mentioned points, if not ignore it:
- Isn't the entry ATAR/Selection Rank for arts and humanities degrees lower than STEM and Med for this reason?
I don't 'feel intimidated' by your view, I do pretty well academically and am very invested in STEM fields, where I am intending to take my life to. As I noted, you're allowed to have your own view. And, as I said, I am the chem/phys/4u type, and am not particularly interested in pursuing artistic fields (though I have to appreciate the beauty of it, it really does help bring meaning to life). I also have somewhat of a problem with the 'cog, pavement for a better future' line that disregards emotions. What is the point of working towards a better future as a machine in the system if we are not there emotionally to experience it? What is the point in all the vast technological advancement from STEM if not to enhance human life and emotion? STEM and art fields do not necessarily need to be separated into practicality/hobby, they are a nexus in which advancement in the former allows ventures into the latter, which I find a wonderful thing.

But, do understand that if this is your personal view, I take no issue with it. If it is your wish to just function to help society advance, that is very noble and I thank you. I just find it hard to accept such a dimensionless life, although scientific advancement certainly is a core part of what I want to do with my life as well. Enjoy your day :)
 

Pethmin

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Jesus Christ, this year's math was controversial as hell! Even my maths teacher felt deflated and got irritated after the news.
 

Nedom

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From my own perspective, and many of my friends, the MX1 test was really not hard, maybe the slightest amount harder, if not the same difficulty level of the previous two years (I didn't do the 2019 paper). However, MX2 was definitely hard, more specifically the last few questions. Without the jump in difficulty in MX2, I would say it wouldn't really be that controversial. Looking at my friends' reactions, I saw that people who did MX2 didn't really feel the difficulty in MX1, and those who did MX1 didn't feel the difficulty in advance. Even though the content is different, the mathematical skill/ability does reflect in which course they take. I don't believe NESA has the obligation to make an easy test, and a curveball when people least expect it is what's going to differentiate people who try to grind for the test, and not gain a mathematical understanding across the whole syllabus for a well-rounded skillset in maths. There are people that are like, "there wasn't much integration, and that's unfair", but integration is objectively the easiest to do in MX1, where you can just do thousands of questions or just follow a method, and eventually, you will get to an answer (i.e. 'u' sub, t-formula, trig identities, or just use the data sheet (f'(x) and f(x) reversal shiz) (Try one of these and you will find the correct path eventually)). People just don't give stats that much attention (I was guilty myself) and so it felt harder to a lot of people, but that's only a subjective thing, and not really something you can say is a determinant of the scaling that will occur for the MX1 test.
--> So when the scaling is not as high as people expected, I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, it really wasn't that much harder in an objective sense.
 
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ZakaryJayNicholls

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Schoolteachers and students often take the exams too seriously. The main thing exams tell you is if you worked hard enough leading up to it, because you get a rank the overall difficulty is irrelevant as long as it produces a clear distribution.

In addition, the HSC exams are simply an opportunity for you to demonstrate how good you are at mathematical problem solving in a closed, exam based, scenario. BOS tends to assume that performance correlates with effort.

If you do well, that's great, you are reasonably prepared for continued study (assuming your future study aligns with the subjects you took). If you don't do well, that's ok too, but you should expect to work a little harder in future to succeed at future study.

Vocational teachers, university tutors and lecturers don't tend to care about your marks all that much they care that you have good understanding of the prerequisite content (having formally or informally learnt the content at some point between school and your course), but entry to programs will tend to use them as a reasonable indicator of program suitability.
 

011235

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and herein lies the problem with the ATAR/HSC system

"assuming your future study aligns with the subjects you took"

The primary pathway into university from high school for most of the more "prestigeous" universities/courses (for worse, imo), is ATAR.
ATAR has no concept of the subjects you study, and you need to do well in all of your subjects, not just the most relevant ones

I fully agree that the above is what the HSC exams should be but the reality is that a fair chunk of students (maybe not so many on BOS) couldn't really care less about the actual content being tested and just see them as a minmax for their ATAR
 

ZakaryJayNicholls

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but the reality is that a fair chunk of students (maybe not so many on BOS) couldn't really care less about the actual content being tested and just see them as a minmax for their ATAR
That's fine though, because all subjects (to some extent) are concerning problem solving, so a good ATAR (let's call good 70 and above, and bad 30 and below) really just shows the kid could solve some simple problems in some number of selected subjects (by university standards all HSC subjects are quite simple, even EX1/EX2 courses). A kid that is good at solving some collection of problems is a good candidate for higher education.

That said, it's great for kids to take subjects that they might do later at university/tafe, but they don't need to. The university system prerequisites are useful but can be corrected with other courses or self-study, so if you took 6 subjects completely uncorrelated to your future studies, you fix that by taking bridging units and self-learning in the first year or two at university (doing bridging units and having graduation postponed by a year or two is insignificant in the grand scheme of things).

A number of professorial staff I know (in math and physics) actually value student interest and creativity more than they value existing training, some of these folks would even argue that the subjects completed in HSC are completely irrelevant, they just want kids who can prove they're capable of putting effort into a selection of subjects and by virtue of interest and effort they can fix missing knowledge as they go along.
 

dasfas

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Ehhh, hard papers isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as scaling ensures it ends up being fair, then it doesn't really matter imo.
 

Run hard@thehsc

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Ehhh, hard papers isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as scaling ensures it ends up being fair, then it doesn't really matter imo.
fax - thing is, people in year 10 and lower choosing subjects do not really understand the logic of alignment, so they get demotivated and hence do not choose the harder maths subjects (atleast thats what the article was arguing i think)
 

carrotsss

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fax - thing is, people in year 10 and lower choosing subjects do not really understand the logic of alignment, so they get demotivated and hence do not choose the harder maths subjects (atleast thats what the article was arguing i think)
I think part of the solution may be better education on how this system works, rather than simply easier tests. Although I suppose that is more of a school level thing than a state level thing
 

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