This Exam Question Reduced Some Students To Tears – Can You Solve It?

The question was put to teenagers in New Zealand and will have you scratching your head.

Jackie Chan looking very confused.
Confused? You should be.

A super-tricky exam question posed to students in New Zealand has been causing a furore and could leave you feeling equally flummoxed.

The question was put to Level 1 students taking the National Certificate of Education Achievement paper in maths and statistics. Level 1 is the equivalent of year 10 in the UK, i.e. kids aged around 15, but teachers have since claimed the question was geared more towards students at the end of their Level 2 (Year 11) exams.

Though New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hopkins has called for a full report into the exam, most people are just keen to see the question for themselves. The question, first reported by News.AU, concerns geometric reasoning in problem solving – no, loaded has no idea what that is either.

More specifically, the question was based around parabolic curves. Again, we’re drawing a blank. So students were given a diagram of a rope swing and asked to calculate the distance between the holes in the seat of the swing. They were given other key measurements

One question provided a diagram of a rope swing in the shape of a parabolic curve and asked students to calculate the distance between the holes in the seat of the swing, given other key measurements.

News.au
News.au Image News.au

Now, it’s worth noting that another teacher highlighted how the question was essentially asking students to ignore what they knew about how swings work – he seat would pull the rope in a U-shape rather than a parabola.

In any case, the question has not gone down well with kids or parents with The New Zealand Herald reporting that they have been inundated with complaints.

Is it really that hard? Do you know the answer?

If you fancy yourself as smarter than the average 15-year-old, why not take this tricky 20-question back to school quiz and find out.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.