This morning, Twitter was doing its Twitter thing about a maths problem again. Most people were linking to this BBC story, “Crocodile maths question ‘was challenging'”.
Apparently this year’s Scottish New Higher maths exam contained a question which a lot of people found hard. You could remove the word “crocodile” from that headline and obtain a perfectly acceptable statement about a maths exam, but that’s not what people are complaining about.
I had nothing better to do, so I decided to try the question and see if I could make any sense of it. Here’s what happened: (please excuse my terrible handwriting, I was drawing with my finger)
It’s just occurred to me, after making that video, that plotting the function $T(x)$ might be illuminating, so here’s that:
The SQA has put the whole paper online, along with the marking scheme, in case you want to have a look at it yourself. Interestingly, this question has no “commonly observed responses”!