Math provincial exam

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Jodi F. (Grade 12)

In general, students at Garden Valley Collegiate (G.V.C.) who wrote their provincial math exam in the first semester did not do as well as expected. The G math students did considerably better in their course than the S math students.

The exam mark is worth 30 per cent of the overall math mark this year, as compared to June of 1997 when it did not have an effect on the math mark. Math teacher Irvin Peters had predicted that the exam would raise students' marks this year, but in the first semester at least, this did not happen.

Mr. Peters feels that both the G course and S course exams are fair. Students also indicate the exams are fair. There are a few "trick questions," they say, but much of the exam covers the basics of what they have learned throughout the course.

The provincial exam gets students used to writing an exam prepared by someone other than their local teacher. This prepares the students for university. Mr. Peters agrees with this approach and thinks the exam is both useful and necessary.

About 30 per cent of the students who took the S math course in the first semester are taking it again in an effort to raise their marks. One student who is repeating the course in order to raise her mark said: "I expect that taking the class over for the second time will raise my mark considerably. I can focus more on my problem areas because I am confident with the basics." This student felt that she "blew the exam" because she did not start studying soon enough and left it to the last minute.

The G.V.C. statistics showed that in the S math course, the first semester exam lowered students overall math marks. However, Mr. Peters expects better results in the second semester, and reports he can already see progress being made. Those students who are repeating the course know the basics of what is involved, and those who are taking it for the first time are not waiting for the end of the semester to learn the material.

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