Friday 6 November 2009

Dumbing Down of Exam Standards

There has been a great deal of fuss over the alleged dumbing-down of Science Exam standards.

Oddly some of this was aimed at our own Beaker Examining Board.  Some people seemed to think we have abandoned scientific impartiality in order to "target" (whatever that may mean) the Faith School market.  I hope last year's Year 9 Science exam, attached below, will prove this is not true.


Please write only in green crayon and on one side of the earth (the flat side) only.

Section 1 - PHYSICS

1 - "Light is...."
(a) A wave
(b) A stream of particles, or "photons"
(c) Both of the above depending upon your frame of reference and the type of experiment you are carrying out
(d) God's clothing

2 - Why do we not float off from the earth?
(a) Gravitional attraction
(b) Because it's flat
(c) Because it's a giant magnet and we have iron in our bodies
(d) Because God said.

3.  The universe is claimed to be c. 12 billion years old, yet the farthest stars are apparently 25 billion light years away.  Explain?
(a) There's something wrong with the calculation
(b) The expansion of the universe has caused it.
(c) Some stars travel in warp drive.
(d) God set it up so it looked that way, in 4004BC.  He created all the light on its way in at the same time.  This was a very clever trick to test the faithful and fool those who are wise in their own eyes.

4.  The limits on radiocarbon dating are now up to 70 thousand years.  What would this be useful for?
(a) Checking the freshness of food in supermarkets.
(b) Dating mammoths, stone-age humans and petrified forests.
(c) Nothing whatsover.  

5.  Schrodinger's cat is...
(a) A thought experiment
(b) A very cruel experiment, which proves why we should not trust scientists
(c) Demised
(d) Very much still with us
(e) 50% (c) and 50% (d)
(f) Hang on, I'll just open the box.  Oh dear...

6.  Fire is...
(a) The glowing of particles releasing energy after combustion
(b) One of the four elements, alongside water, earth and air
(c) A useful tool in dealing with heresy

Section 2 - GEOLOGY

1- How did fossils come to be in the rock strata?
(a) They're the remains of animals that were caught in the Flood
(b) They were put there by God to test us in our faith
(c) They were put there by the evil one to tempt us to abandon our faith
(d) They were put there by Steve Borthwick to confuse us.

2 - What action caused the creation of the Himalayas?
(a) Plate tectonics
(b) A giant tortoise ploughed into India after an ill-fated freak mutation meant it could fly but not very well.
(c) They're the remains of a dead giant
(d) God made them in 4004 BC

3 - What kind of rock was laid down by the shells of tiny sea creatures in the Cretaceous period, roughly 100 million years ago?
(a) Marble
(b) Limestone
(c) You having a laugh?

Section 3 - MEDICINE

1 - Historically, how would you treat somebody who was suffering from manic depression?
(a) Beat them with sticks to drive out the demons
(b) Chain them up and beat them with sticks on a strictly scientific basis
(c) Medication
(d) Pray for them
(e) All of the above
(f) Offer aromatherapy

2 - What would be your first actions if finding someone who had lost a hand in a road crash?
(a) Pray that the hand would be restored
(b) Phone an ambulance, keep them still and laid down, apply pressure in an attempt to restrict blood flow
(c) Offer aromatherapy
(d) Beat them with sticks to drive out the demons

3 - How would you treat sufferers from Swine Influenza
(a) Antibiotics
(b) Anti-virals
(c) Beat them with sticks to drive out the demons.

4 - What would the best method of dealing with a fever be?
(a) Paracetamol
(b) Cold flannel
(c) A nice warm blanket and hot water bottle
(d) Look, just pass me the sticks, I'll beat them myself.

1 comment :

  1. Oh, yes. I do like the 'beating with sticks' part. But, you make no mention of a suitable 'herd of swine', with whom we share an embarrassingly high percentage of DNA. How very disappointing.


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