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Mathematics and Statistics clarifications

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91032: Apply right-angled triangles in solving measurement problems

Updated December 2014. This document has been updated in its entirety to address issues that have arisen from moderation.

Solving problems

For the award of the standard students must apply right-angled triangles in solving problems. The problem needs to be in a real life context.

The problem needs to provide sufficient scope for students to demonstrate and develop their own thinking. If there are parts to the problem, all the parts need to contribute to the solution.

A task with a number of discrete questions based on skills and straightforward calculations is not appropriate for students to demonstrate evidence of the required levels of thinking.

Students need to make their own decisions about what to do and how to solve problems. Where an assessment task has a series of instructions that lead students through a step or a sequence of steps towards the solution, it is likely the opportunity for students to demonstrate all levels of thinking will be compromised.


The assessment must include students carrying out a practical measuring task to get the measurements that will be used.

Students need to choose the measurements required, take these measurements, and then use them to solve the problem that has been given.

It is intended that ‘measuring at a level of precision appropriate to the task’ will be one of the three methods. Students need to demonstrate that they can measure accurately and have an understanding about the accuracy of the measurements. It is not acceptable for the measurements to be taken from a scale diagram or for students to be told the measurements to take.

Expected evidence for Achieved

For Achieved, the requirements include selecting and using a range of methods.

To be used as evidence, a ‘method’ must be relevant to the solution of the problem.

The ‘methods’ also need to be at the appropriate curriculum level for the standard.

Communicating solutions

At all levels there is a requirement relating to the communication of the solutions.

At Achieved, the result of a calculation only is insufficient, working is expected and students need to indicate what the calculated answer represents.

At Merit, students need to clearly indicate what they are calculating, and the results of any calculations need to be linked to the solution of the problem.

At Excellence, the response needs to be clearly communicated with correct mathematical statements, and students need to explain any decisions they make in the solution of the problem.

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