Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's Not Just a Multiple Choice Test!

Years ago, most standardized math tests were using rather low complexity questions. That's not to say that the questions were easy. Some may have been very difficult, but knowing what to do was pretty straight forward.

A test might have asked simply asked for the sum of 3/8 + 1/6, and then given four possible answers.

Today, the state of Florida is putting a heavier emphasis on the cognitive complexity level of questions on tests like the FCAT.

As an example, a test might ask how much pie was eaten if the shaded portion of the first pie represents the pie before dessert, and the shaded portion of the second pie represents the amount after dessert.

This turns a very simple problem into a more cognitively challenging problem.

So, what fraction in its lowest terms represents how much pie was eaten?

A. 4/12 B. 7/12 C. 1/4 D. 1/3