Author Topic: Is this Common Core math question the worst math question in human history?  (Read 1170 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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Offline Rapunzel

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« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 10:13:49 PM by Oceander »

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She knock sumbody white upside dey haid, take all dem damn stickers.

Yo, knockout, sucka.

Onliest damn math we needs, is da free rent, da free food, da free phone, da freedom from responsibility fo da chirrens we make, etc.

Den we be eligible fo college, loans, scholarships fo sports, etc. Den Obama, he forgives da loans.

"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline flowers

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I dont kneed no dam math, i giv ma stickers to ma dop dealer!


Offline AbaraXas

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I hate to say it, but there actually is a correct answer and the question does make sense (although I do admit it is poorly worded).

The variable is the number of friends (X). She has the choice of either 4 or 6 bags (number of stickers in each unknown but we'll assume each bag has the same amount) according to the instructions so the answer is either of those. The challenge is to make sure that no matter what X is, there are no stickers left (no remainder).

If X is an even number, 4 or 6 will work as you can divide an even number by them with no remainder.
If X is an odd number, only 6 will work, you can divide an odd or even number by 6 with no remainder.

The correct answer is 6. No matter what X is, 6 will have an amount divisible by that without any remainder.

Example. If she has 2 friends, if she has 4 bags each get 2. If she has 6 bags each get 3.
However, if she has 3 friends, if she has 4 bags, each would get 1 with a remainder of 1. If she has 6 bags, each get 2.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 07:22:06 PM by AbaraXas »

Offline AbaraXas

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BTW, this is a standard pre algebra, polynomial fair division type problem. More info on this type of problem and how it is used:

http://www.colorado.edu/education/DMP/fair_division.html

Offline Oceander

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I hate to say it, but there actually is a correct answer and the question does make sense (although I do admit it is poorly worded).

The variable is the number of friends (X). She has the choice of either 4 or 6 bags (number of stickers in each unknown but we'll assume each bag has the same amount) according to the instructions so the answer is either of those. The challenge is to make sure that no matter what X is, there are no stickers left (no remainder).

If X is an even number, 4 or 6 will work as you can divide an even number by them with no remainder.
If X is an odd number, only 6 will work, you can divide an odd or even number by 6 with no remainder.

The correct answer is 6. No matter what X is, 6 will have an amount divisible by that without any remainder.

Example. If she has 2 friends, if she has 4 bags each get 2. If she has 6 bags each get 3.
However, if she has 3 friends, if she has 4 bags, each would get 1 with a remainder of 1. If she has 6 bags, each get 2.

Pretty good; however, the question itself is missing sufficient context to clue in the typical reader.

Offline Chieftain

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Offline AbaraXas

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Pretty good; however, the question itself is missing sufficient context to clue in the typical reader.

It is pretty poorly written if taken at face value, however, we don't see the context of the page to add more to it. However, on the Twitchy page, people are going the other way and reading way too much into the question.

The question can be broken down like this.

We have 1 unknown variable, the number of friends (X)

We have 3 unique factors. 1. She purchases either 4 or 6 bags (the part people are goofing on trying to factor in more bags than the question says she is choosing from). 2. Each friend receives an equal number of stickers. 3. There is no remainder.

Some of the factors not described in the question as written but we should take to the logical conclusion for argument's sake. 1. Do each bag have an equal number of stickers (assume yes, bags are equal groupings of stickers)? 2. Can you divide a sticker itself into smaller parts (assume no, rational, whole number answers are all that is allowed). 

Offline Oceander

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It is pretty poorly written if taken at face value, however, we don't see the context of the page to add more to it. However, on the Twitchy page, people are going the other way and reading way too much into the question.

The question can be broken down like this.

We have 1 unknown variable, the number of friends (X)

We have 3 unique factors. 1. She purchases either 4 or 6 bags (the part people are goofing on trying to factor in more bags than the question says she is choosing from). 2. Each friend receives an equal number of stickers. 3. There is no remainder.

Some of the factors not described in the question as written but we should take to the logical conclusion for argument's sake. 1. Do each bag have an equal number of stickers (assume yes, bags are equal groupings of stickers)? 2. Can you divide a sticker itself into smaller parts (assume no, rational, whole number answers are all that is allowed). 

I agree with you on the analysis; it's a good question, just very poorly presented.


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