Exam Howlers

Saturday 1 April 2006 at 10:59 pm | In Articles | 3 Comments

Have you any examination howlers? I don’t mean mistakes made by students but errors in the questions themselves, particularly those which make one wonder whether the examiner understands maths as well as they should.

My contribution is an A level question:

    The function f is defined by \begin{displaymath}f : x\mapsto\tan3x-4x \end {displaymath} and has domain 0\le x \le \frac{\pi}{6}

[That can’t be the tan function we all thought we knew]

The next one comes courtesy of Foostyle:

    x=f(t)=e^{-t}(\sin 2t+\cos 2t). Show where this crosses the x-axis.

[Are you sure it’s the x-axis you want?]

Your turn …


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  1. Find the points of infection of the following functions:

    Comment by Kuldeep Singh — Thursday 6 April 2006 3:49 pm #

  2. the Foostyle does cross the x-axis, what is wrong with the question?

    Comment by guille — Sunday 18 June 2006 8:18 pm #

  3. It’s the horizontal axis they wanted which is usually the x-axis but not in this case.

    Comment by Steve — Sunday 18 June 2006 8:51 pm #

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