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Re: Trick questions.
Posted:
Sep 10, 2010 11:24 AM


I think 'trick' depends on the assumed expectations of the people being asked to answer it. So, for example, if students are expecting to do a straightforward bit of manipulation but there is a zero lurking somewhere (such as when dividing by an expression, or when integrating to find area) then it is a 'trick' but something they ought to be ready for  maybe a 'trip' rather than a trick.
A similar one is used in the CSMS test on people's understanding of place value. The question is about a peoplecounting clicker device on a turnstile and it reads 6399, so what will it read after the next person has gone through? Whenever I try this out on groups of whatever age and knowledge there are errors  so what can be assumed about people's understanding of place value from this? and what can be assumed about how people rush to conclusions?
Anne W.
Original Message From: Postcalculus mathematics education [mailto:MATHEDU@JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Chris Sangwin Sent: 10 September 2010 16:00 To: MATHEDU@JISCMAIL.AC.UK Subject: Trick questions.
I am emailing to ask for some help in identifying "trick questions" in mathematics.
** Definition:
A mathematics question/exercise/task is said to be a "trick question" if the reasoning required to solve it is applicable only to the solution of that question.
**
I am having some difficulty in identifying "trick questions". For example, the task "Expand (xa)(xb)(xc)...(xz)" felt to me originally to require a trick. But, on reflection, the reasoning is precisely that needed to construct Lagrange polynomials (HINT!).
Can anyone identify a trick question? I'm struggling to do so.
Chris



