Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How good does your English have to be to score well on Pennsylvania math?

To earn full points on the Open-Ended questions on Pennsylvania's assessment tests (the PSSAs), you have to provide satisfactory explanations for your answers.

From the Grades 3-6 PSSA Released Practice Items:

Marco cut his cake into 8 equal pieces. Nikki cut her cake into 16 equal pieces. Niki says that her cake is bigger than Marco’s because it has more pieces.

EXPLAIN why Nikki is not correct.

A "sufficient" explanation:

An "insufficient" explanation:


Barry Garelick said...

As Desi Arnaz used to say: "Lucy, I think you have some 'splainin' to do."

Anonymous said...

The second answer is wrong because it's in cursive, which is, like, soooo yesterday.

GoogleMaster said...

Insufficient data.
1. We don't know whether the cakes were the same size to begin with, regardless of whether or into how many pieces they got cut. From the pictures on the original document at the link, they appear to be the same, but we're always told not to assume that the images are exact.
2. Pedantically, in the real world, a cut between two slices of cake has non-zero size, so if the cakes were initially the same size, Nikki's cake would be missing 16 non-zero slivers, while Marco's cake would be missing only 8 non-zero slivers, so Nikki's remaining cake would be fractionally smaller than Marco's remaining cake.