Level 2

Mathematics and Statistics clarifications

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91259: Apply trigonometric relationships in solving problems

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

At this level the trigonometric relationships for triangles involve non-right angled triangles.

Solving problems

The evidence from calculations involving any of the methods from Explanatory Note 4 must be in the context of solving a problem and so need to have a purpose (for example determining a total area that will be subdivided).

The problem needs to provide sufficient scope for students to demonstrate and develop their own thinking. If there are parts to the problem, all of 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 that the opportunity for students to demonstrate all levels of thinking will be compromised.

Expected evidence for Achieved

For Achieved, the requirements include selecting and using 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 grades there is a requirement relating to the communication of the solutions.

At Achieved, the result of a numerical 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 their solutions need to be linked to the context.

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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