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pongo

Can you solve the maths question for Singapore schoolkids that went viral?

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Declan, If it was June, Albert wouldn't be able to say "I know Bernard doesn't know". Do you get why?

I read it as both knew the date.

 

Badly written question relying in negatives.

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Douglas, the a answer is Douglas.

 

It's always Douglas.

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Declan, If it was June, Albert wouldn't be able to say "I know Bernard doesn't know". Do you get why?

I read it as both knew the date.

 

Badly written question relying in negatives.

 

You can't really blame the question if you didn't read it properly!

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Declan, If it was June, Albert wouldn't be able to say "I know Bernard doesn't know". Do you get why?

I read it as both knew the date.

 

Badly written question relying in negatives.

You can't really blame the question if you didn't read it properly!

Yes I can.

 

I blame myself if something I write is misunderstood. I don't think question setters should be held to a lower standard.

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I have very strong memories of regularly struggling with the language of maths questions.

 

My children do too and I really encourage them to write something like - "I don't fully understand what I am being asked, but I interpret it as meaning ..."

 

At least then there is a thread of logic visible to the teacher/examiner.

 

I feel ambiguous language can make maths questions really difficult - it is after all a discipline which should totally remove ambiguity.

 

I agree with Declan the sentence "Cherryl tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and day of her birthday respectively" is not a clear sentence.

 

Delcan, how would you reword it to make it clearer?!

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The sentence...

 

"Cherryl tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and day of her birthday respectively"

 

...couldn't be more precise and succinct.

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I agree with Declan the sentence "Cherryl tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and day of her birthday respectively" is not a clear sentence.

 

 

 

The word respectively clarifies it. Made sense to me anyway.

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Perhaps they're better than us at English in Singapore too. As well as math(s).

Edited by pongo

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I really encourage them to write something like - "I don't fully understand what I am being asked, but I interpret it as meaning ..."

 

At least then there is a thread of logic visible to the teacher/examiner.

 

This is a good point, and something I still do myself occasionally. Even at the highest levels of maths, what's clear to the person who wrote the question may not be clear to anyone else, but if you make reasonable assumptions and go forwards from there, you'll still gain marks.

 

In this case though I thought the wording was clear. They could have been a bit more explicit and said "A is told the month, and B is told the day. A knows that B has been told the day, and B knows that A has been told the month. They don't know precisely however what the other knows", but perhaps part of the test is the comprehension of the correct English.

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I agree with Declan the sentence "Cherryl tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and day of her birthday respectively" is not a clear sentence.

 

 

The word respectively clarifies it. Made sense to me anyway.

That's not the unclear bit.

 

I read it that Albert and Bernard didn't know ought, except that the other person knew nothing either, until the girl told Albert the month and Bernard the date.

 

But really the Albert and Bernard's statements were made after the girl told them the info. And that changed the other's understanding.

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I think my method of having a go and then looking up the solution on the internet is endemic of most people now. Tis a good brain twister though!

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Got it -

 

1952, a Wednesday I think.

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I agree with Declan the sentence "Cherryl tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and day of her birthday respectively" is not a clear sentence.

The word respectively clarifies it. Made sense to me anyway.

 

That's not the unclear bit.

 

I read it that Albert and Bernard didn't know ought, except that the other person knew nothing either, until the girl told Albert the month and Bernard the date.

 

But really the Albert and Bernard's statements were made after the girl told them the info. And that changed the other's understanding.

 

 

Do you read bottom to top?

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