I missed three, but did the whole thing in my head (expect for one of the quadratic functions that was a bit much for me to do in my head - I just used the Windows calculator for some of the calculations).

Kevin, given that, I was embarrassed by how long it took me to remember how to do some of the questions. I have code to do most of my math for me now. And, besides, most of what I do is arithmetic anyway. One big black hole + another big black hole = an even bigger black hole.

The things I missed are the things I always missed in math classes. I had to repeat Algebra II. I'm one of THOSE people...math only makes marginal sense to me, unless someone shows me a neat mnemonic device for them. Otherwise, I'm screwed.

The Algebra had a lot of stuff I never studied. In my school the "figure out what's on the line" stuff qualified as Pre-Calculus, which I never studied. Anything involving figuring out what X or Y is I did pretty well at.

So, I forgot some, but not as much as my score suggests....

I missed 2. One was a equation that I just couldn't get straight in my head. I don't remember what the other was. But even my kids haven't done algebra for 15 years..

I got 11 wrong for a score of 31% and was lucky that I got a three correct just by totally guessing so it should have been 14 wrong...
My math-skillz suck and I was "C-laned" from Jr. High onward - the California practice of educational discrimination!
The last Algebra I did was 33 years ago. My 11th grade Algebra teacher had really incredibly horrible dizzyingly bad halitosis - you never wanted to raise your hand and ask a question because he might come down the row and breathe on you which could cause tears and fainting and other extremis. I got a "C" or a "C-" that year.

Unix-Jedi - I know enough to know that the domain is the value on the X (horizontal) axis. Heh. I got that question wrong, though, because...well, I don't know why. I was looking at the region or something instead. Boo.

what the heck is an opposite number? They seem to mean that a positive number is opposite to the same number if it is negative, but that is meaningless and new terminology.

Anon, that's the definition of opposite numbers. See here for more. Also, DJ, yes I had the same problems with fractional lines. I noticed that B and D were the same in question 15, but picked the right one so it didn't make a difference for me.

Yes, Kevin, if you picked any answer that was correct, then you answered it correctly. Fair is fair, right?

At university, I made it a game to look for problems that could not be answered, given what was stated, or, for multiple guess questions, that I could show had no correct answer listed. Some teachers rose to the challenge and some got really bent. The class always loved it.

DJ: It's the same in Opera, half of the horizontal lines were missing. And I spent an extra minute on #15, trying to see a difference between answer B and D...

Um, the test itself is bogus. There's no such thing as an opposite number in pure math. There's either a reciprocal or an additive inverse, but no opposite number.

Interestingly, although Wikipedia describes "the additive inverse, or opposite, of a number", Penguin's Dictionary of Mathematics" contains no such definition. I was taught the term back in the stone age. So, who gets to decide such things?

I got a 69%, but I made some stupid mistakes (notably on the line-intercept problems and didn't think through FOIL) and I screwed up on 15 as well, selecting "D" instead of "B". I figure I got an 85% if I hadn't made those errors.

I did alright. Missed one, but that was due to faulty complete the squares...

I lurve Math!

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## JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/06/what-did-you-learn-in-high-school.html (35 comments)

Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.Markat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 13:49:41 +0000In answer to your question, Kevin: Enough to know when I'm out of my depth.

benat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 14:44:33 +0000I got two wrong. One because I computed 240/60 = 8 in my head, and the other because I didn't think about the definition of a function in advance. :p

For the record, I got 49/60 on that civics test.

Williamat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 15:37:05 +0000Missed one, but I spent a lot of time on some of them due to the fact that I didn't have paper or pencil handy. Thank you, Saxon math.

Andrew Upsonat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 15:38:17 +0000I missed three, but did the whole thing in my head (expect for one of the quadratic functions that was a bit much for me to do in my head - I just used the Windows calculator for some of the calculations).

Sarahat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 16:01:36 +0000I missed one -- how to complete a square. :-P

Kevin Bakerat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 16:17:53 +0000That's one of the ones I missed.

And I don't even have a PhD in Astrophysics! 8)

Sarahat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 16:24:00 +0000Kevin, given that, I was embarrassed by how long it took me to remember how to do some of the questions. I have

codeto do most of my math for me now. And, besides, most of what I do is arithmetic anyway. One big black hole + another big black hole = an even bigger black hole.Squeaky Wheelat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 16:34:31 +0000The things I missed are the things I always missed in math classes. I had to repeat Algebra II. I'm one of THOSE people...math only makes marginal sense to me, unless someone shows me a neat mnemonic device for them. Otherwise, I'm screwed.

FabioC.at Fri, 13 Jun 2008 16:47:22 +000094% with no paper even. But hey, I do have a PhD!

Stephen Rat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 17:05:05 +0000I got a C on the civics quiz. :

The Algebra had a lot of stuff I never studied. In my school the "figure out what's on the line" stuff qualified as Pre-Calculus, which I never studied. Anything involving figuring out what X or Y is I did pretty well at.

So, I forgot some, but not as much as my score suggests....

deadcenterat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 17:59:31 +000052/60 in civics, 15/16 in math. have to admit trying to remember some of the factoring rules was giving me a headache.

Davidat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 18:07:10 +0000I missed 2. One was a equation that I just couldn't get straight in my head. I don't remember what the other was. But even my kids haven't done algebra for 15 years..

DirtCrashrat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 18:21:25 +0000I got 11 wrong for a score of 31% and was lucky that I got a three correct just by totally guessing so it should have been 14 wrong...

My math-skillz suck and I was "C-laned" from Jr. High onward - the California practice of educational discrimination!

The last Algebra I did was 33 years ago. My 11th grade Algebra teacher had really incredibly horrible dizzyingly bad halitosis - you never wanted to raise your hand and ask a question because he might come down the row and breathe on you which could cause tears and fainting and other extremis. I got a "C" or a "C-" that year.

BenDat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 18:21:47 +000054 out of 60 civics, missed 5 on the math. There is a reason I went from a Phyics/Math double major to a History Poli Sci...and it shows!!!

Unix-Jediat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 18:30:08 +0000I got a 63% on the algebra.

Which ain't too shabby considering it's been 20 years since I learned it?

And I've got a major block on math learning in my brain. Heck, I think I got a C, with an excellent teacher, when I took it in high school.

So a 63% has me pretty stoked, since I missed the domain (what's a domain?) that I'd have known if I was doing more with it on a regular basis.

Squeaky Wheelat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:02:48 +0000Unix-Jedi - I know enough to know that the domain is the value on the X (horizontal) axis. Heh. I got that question wrong, though, because...well, I don't know why. I was looking at the region or something instead. Boo.

DJat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:03:32 +0000ACE!C'mon, you slackers, did you notice the flaws in the answers?

For question 11, the correct answer was "D", but it was missing a "+" sign between terms on the left side.

For question 15, the correct answer was "B", but answers "B" and "D" were identical.

I took it using Firefox, and a whole lot of fractional terms were missing their horizontal lines. Anyone else have that problem?

at Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:18:16 +0000Guest (anonymous)what the heck is an opposite number? They seem to mean that a positive number is opposite to the same number if it is negative, but that is meaningless and new terminology.

Williamat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:27:09 +0000Anon, that's the definition of opposite numbers. See here for more. Also, DJ, yes I had the same problems with fractional lines. I noticed that B and D were the same in question 15, but picked the right one so it didn't make a difference for me.

Kevin Bakerat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:33:40 +0000I picked the wrong one. Does that mean I only missed

two? ;)benat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:36:33 +0000Yep, DJ, I had the same problems. I got those ones right though.

Sarahat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:39:13 +0000I took it using Firefox, and a whole lot of fractional terms were missing their horizontal lines. Anyone else have that problem?I had the same problem. Took me a sec to realize the lines were missing.

DJat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 20:05:09 +0000Yes, Kevin, if you picked any answer that was correct, then you answered it correctly. Fair is fair, right?

At university, I made it a game to look for problems that could not be answered, given what was stated, or, for multiple guess questions, that I could show had no correct answer listed. Some teachers rose to the challenge and some got really bent. The class always loved it.

FabioC.at Fri, 13 Jun 2008 21:00:37 +0000Unix-jedi,

I've never been really good at maths myself. I've failed more than one mid-year test at high school and barely passed exams at the university.

Still, it seems I learnt and retained enough of the basic concepts.

Sarahat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 21:09:44 +0000What's your Ph.D. in, Fabio?

Regolithat Fri, 13 Jun 2008 23:16:49 +0000I'd take the test, but my brain is still fried from the discreet math final exam I took yesterday. :P

(For the record, I got a 96% on that one. It covered the Binomial theorem, various bits of graph theory, induction, and truth tables).

markmat Sat, 14 Jun 2008 03:38:18 +0000DJ: It's the same in Opera, half of the horizontal lines were missing. And I spent an extra minute on #15, trying to see a difference between answer B and D...

Mikeat Sat, 14 Jun 2008 06:54:25 +0000Damn it! I missed question 11. Got all the rest, though. Nothing but paper and pencil, and what's left of my brain cells after 44 years.

FabioC.at Sat, 14 Jun 2008 08:27:14 +0000In Chemical Engineering, Sarah.

karrdeat Sat, 14 Jun 2008 13:42:53 +0000While, I got #15 wrong (because of two apparently-identical answers), and one other (might have been the one with the misplaced sign...).

The only one I had to dig out a paper and pencil for was #14.

I think I missed less than 5 on the Civics test; one was due to me skimming the question and misreading a quote.

ravenshrikeat Sat, 14 Jun 2008 17:47:15 +0000Um, the test itself is bogus. There's no such thing as an opposite number in pure math. There's either a reciprocal or an additive inverse, but no opposite number.

Kevin Bakerat Sat, 14 Jun 2008 18:19:45 +0000Ravenshrike:

It's a test the students of the LA school districts

must passthough...DJat Sat, 14 Jun 2008 20:53:44 +0000Interestingly, although Wikipedia describes "the additive inverse, or opposite, of a number", Penguin's

Dictionary of Mathematics"contains no such definition. I was taught the term back in the stone age. So, who gets to decide such things?Anonat Sat, 14 Jun 2008 23:53:44 +0000I got a 69%, but I made some stupid mistakes (notably on the line-intercept problems and didn't think through FOIL) and I screwed up on 15 as well, selecting "D" instead of "B". I figure I got an 85% if I hadn't made those errors.

Lessat Mon, 16 Jun 2008 15:25:26 +0000I did alright. Missed one, but that was due to faulty complete the squares...

I lurve Math!

## Note: All avatars and any images or other media embedded in comments were hosted on the JS-Kit website and have been lost; references to haloscan comments have been partially automatically remapped, but accuracy is not guaranteed and corrections are solicited.

If you notice any problems with this page or wish to have your home page link updated, please contact John Hardin <jhardin@impsec.org>