Third Grade Math Exam Question by Ed

@ Pleasant Hill, California

Real world problem given to my 8 year old:

Ms. Rooney is teaching 3 children. She gives each of them 2 reading pages and has 4 pages left over. How many reading pages does she have?

  • A: 4
  • B: 6
  • C: 10
  • D: 12

My kid answered 10 and was marked correct.

Read the question again.

I disagree with the correct answer. According to the question (reproduced exactly above), I believe the answer should be 4. The Teacher has 4 reading pages left after handing them out.

Another suggestion is that the answer is 6. This is based on the premise that only 6 (3 x 2) of the pages are identified as reading pages, the others are merely referred to as pages.

Similarly, the answer could be 0. Based on the fact that the Teacher has distributed all of the reading pages to the students and she has 4 pages left over, i.e. these are not reading pages.

I think we can all understand what the question is trying to ask, but it fails and is ambiguous.

This disappoints me. I would imagine these types of questions should be checked and checked again. In this case, one has slipped through the net.

On a plus, I want my kids learn this type of lateral thinking but they shouldn’t have to do it from a poorly written, unchecked and debatable exam question.