It’s a busy year for my two sprogs, one in Year 11 and the other in Year 12. It seems as if one just finishes one lot of exams and then the other one’s in the middle of another set, and then there’s all the HSC assessment tasks to keep on track. It’s all a bit stressful, but we’re generally managing.
Still, a question raised by one examination experience reported to me today:
When one particular question on an exam paper is literally incomprehensible for the whole class when they compare notes afterwards – not just one or two students, but every single one of them agreed that they had no idea what the jargon used in the question even meant – is it the students’ problem that nobody understands the question, or is it the teacher’s problem that nobody understood the question?
For what it’s worth, I also studied this particular subject for my HSC, and I found the particular jargon quoted entirely incomprehensible as well. No doubt the theories and related jargon surrounding this subject have changed somewhat in the intervening decades, but still.
Interestingly, the rest of the questions on the paper were “easier than expected” for my particular sprog, who is one of the students who regularly gets some of the highest marks for this subject, and most of sprog’s peers agreed that the exam was not too difficult overall. There was apparently not quite enough time for about half the students to completely finish the final essay, but otherwise not too bad. The incomprehensible question seems to have been very much an outlier.