# Thread: Thousands of German students protest against maths exam deemed 'too difficult'

1. Originally Posted by Themius
so then yo believe knowing the underlying reason of why things work isn't important if it just works..

this is like saying "I don't need to know how applications run if they just work" - said by application developer

Everyone uses math... common core forces you to train your mental math skills.

32-15

round down to 30

half of 30 is 15

17
old way is... add ten to 12 and take 1 away from three. What the fuck does this even mean? Why does this happen? no one cares they just know it works..
Im sure the new way works as you say if you are taught it. I can see it I understand what its doing I just dont think I can calculate that way even if I tried.

But to one of your earlier statements we were always taught you were borrowing from columns, so you drew lines down vertically

6|7
-2|8

So in essence you are borrowing from the tens column once, to make the top number greater than the bottom, so the tens column, the 6, loses 1 and becomes a 5, the ones column, the 7 gains from the tens column so 10+7 = 17 then you do 17-8 = 9, with what was left in the tens column you have 5-2 is 3 so the answer becomes 39. When you put it out like that the old system seems about as stupid as the new if you look at the method of teaching objectively.

What im getting at is everyone is right from different perspectives. I dont solve subtraction using either of these methods so eh.

2. Originally Posted by Teph
How is that new way even supposed to work? I passed some math classes in university and don't get what's the logic there. I'm feeling really stupid right now.
Is it just "any way to get from 12 to 32 and then add it"?
Originally Posted by Vargulf the Happy Husky
i cannot wait to pick my kid up from school early one day because she told the teacher this is fucking stupid. she will get a treat that day.
Originally Posted by GreenJesus
Wtf is that??? Hahahahahah thanks Obama!
Originally Posted by Xath
What is this mess?
Personally I don't put much faith in sourceless jpegs randomly linked off the internet whose intent is to cast some form of mealy-mouthed aspersion.

Originally Posted by Ivanstone
I'd like to know who put up this piece of propaganda.
Nice to see one guy gets it.

3. Originally Posted by Themius
there is more thinking in common core.
I agree, it throws out practicality for double handling with abacus style math. It is definitely more work hence more thinking. Good thinking it ain't, but who cares. You are still just potentially blindly following a method. I really don't see how this is providing you with a learning advantage at all unless you literally do not understand a base 10 counting system.

I am sure it it will deliver us great new standards.

4. Here's a video that explains it a bit.

Frankly it works closer to how most people use math.

5. Originally Posted by AryuFate
We in the U.S. are too stupid to even demonstrate.
There is no need to provide a good education to the people in the US. Because most of the smart people around the world migrates to the US.

6. Too difficult my ass. I did that maths exam myself and passed it without even studying much for it. And I hated math. And yes, I did it in Bavaria, which is notorious for being much harder than in other regions of Germany. I don't even want to think about how goddamn easy those must be.

It's not any more difficult than other subjects, I daresay I found it easier than some others.

These kids just want everything handed to them, nothing else.

7. Originally Posted by Sangris
Too difficult my ass. I did that maths exam myself and passed it without even studying much for it. And I hated math. And yes, I did it in Bavaria, which is notorious for being much harder than in other regions of Germany. I don't even want to think about how goddamn easy those must be.

It's not any more difficult than other subjects, I daresay I found it easier than some others.

These kids just want everything handed to them, nothing else.
They said many of the tasks, particularly concerning geometry and statistics, had not been seen before in class by students, and were "more difficult" than previous years.
This would bit a bit of a problem.

8. Originally Posted by Themius
This would bit a bit of a problem.
Then this is an issue of the respective teachers sucking at teaching what they're supposed to, not the exams themselves.

9. I just leave that here, because it is funny:

They essentially wrote, how the test was not "that" hard, posted the solution, and miscalculated. :P

10. Heh my electrical engineering class did the same to our math teacher, but to be fair he was assigning stuff outside the scope of the program and skipping things we were supposed to cover.

11. Originally Posted by Flurryfang
Yeah, not everybody wants to be engineers or rocket scientists. Just because they pay well, does mean people see themselves happy in those positions xD

That's fine...but being just what makes you happy is not what it is always the best for you. If your kid wants a candy because that would make him/her happy would you just stuff it with candies all the time? Or you would feed him/her some healthy food as well no matter how hard does it object?

Being payed well doesn't have to do anything with being happy. Whole point of studying is developing who you are. Some people want to develop who they are and work on themselves and that makes them happy. Those very same people find challanges in studying and learning and others don't. Others rather find a challange in who would look on the outside "more happy" and then judge the people who get payed well how they are "too serious" but they are just smart.

Originally Posted by THEORACLE64
There’s a bit of a leap between being able to do basic maths and then the level required to be an engineer or a rocket scientist. The main issue here doesn’t seem to be that it’s just hard, but the fact that there was elements included in the test which hadn’t been included in the curriculum they were taught and that there was too many questions for the allocated time. If that is the case then that is unfair, despite and which angle you look at it.
If that's the case, yeah.

The article is very poor with the translation. We are talking in reality about secondary school here that is meant to prepare you for academic level of education such as universities, one that is meant to grant you a certificate permitting you access to it (also called Abitur). Not sure why this article waffles about high-schools.
I was wondering the same because it is hard to tell what is the reall roblem in the article. My experienice with the high-schools or gimnasium is that...when I was thinking about going to academics, I knew the story of "you will see when you go to university 90% of people give up by the end of the first semester" so I was like "nah that can't be true" but to my shock the kids who were finishing high-schools or gimnasium already gave up just went with "3 kids and shitty jobs" mode right after high-schools ended while objecting that preparations for universities are "too hard" and arguing with professors how it "works agains them".

12. Originally Posted by AIBot
High school, gymnasium, secondary school are the same thing, but they are focusing on different subjects. In gymnasium you are going to learn the basic subjects on a higher level. In highschool (for example IT High School) you are going to learn programming, networking, english and the basic subjects.
Maybe "high school" seems confusing for you.
In my coutry you start in elementary school (8 years) then you can go to secondary school/gymnasium/highschool (we call it "middle school") or vocational school (if you want to be a workman).
After the final exam in highschool, if you earned enough points, you can apply for college/universities.

I thought the same system works in Germany.
We have the Grundschule for 1-4 grade.

Then it decides if you go to the Gymnasium or the Mittelschule/Realschule, where the Gymnasium is the higher learning school.

Gymnasium is 6-8 years from 5-12 grade (depending on the state) and Mittel/Realschule is 6-10 grade.

13. Originally Posted by Saucexorzski
So...they want the government to dumb down tests? Didn't work so great for the US fyi.
Phew...you would have to look at the test in question....not at a general "Lol...idiot students" - but yeah...while why have some crazily hard tests (IMHO), we also have in other areas a "no child left behind" mentality. Somebody is in for a rude awakening at some point.

I admit: o this day I don't know why you have to take 13 (or for now 12) years of maths in my country. Especially since it gets to a level where it just blows many people's mind. I made my degree at a time where I could still ditch maths at grade 11, provided I got at least 3 out of 15 points. Barely managed.

I still find math fascinating, but I just couldn't wrap my head around these problems, and even less I could wrap my head around the "why do I need to do this?" as in: where will be the use for it in all of my following life. There was zero chance that I would study anything that remotely requires this. In fact, I considered studying biology, but the school system was so fucked up that we severely lacked chemistry and physics teachers and I would have to educate myself on those issues on my own.

That pretty much was an even bigger gripe with it all: The system behind it and maybe the question that you get no satisfying answer: Why teach stochastic, when tax laws would definitely be more helpful to 99.9% of the pupils in class.

14. Originally Posted by Themius
This would bit a bit of a problem.
Actually, that is a requirement for all tests in Germany.
On third of the points is awarded for problems not seen before.
You aren't just supposed to demonstrate you can repeat what you did in class, you are supposed to demonstrate you can repeat it, demonstrate you did understand it, and demonstrate you can adapt it. Those are the tree parts.

What is a problem is that the test wasted time on unneccessary texts and didn't offer additional time to compensate.

15. Originally Posted by AIBot

I thought the same system works in Germany.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Germany - if you want to wade through a long article.

Originally Posted by Mendzia
I was always sad to me that math and especially physics are considered to be 'hard'.
It was always sad to me that people couldn't draw, play an instrument or suck at learning a language

Originally Posted by OneWay
Those links do nothing for me when I have zero knowledge of German language.
That is the biggest underlying problem, because also the article that OP linked did a poor job at describing the situation and just invites people to go "Lol, idiot lazy students".

But really you can run into trouble because not least of what we call the https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zentralabitur - where they final exams are not prepared by they school, but by a ministry of the federal country where you take the exam. Could happen that you didn't learn the things at school that you are tested in.

16. Originally Posted by AIBot
I thought the same system works in Germany.
When Germans hear "highschool" they think of "Hochschule" (lit.: "highschool"), which is a college or university.

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Originally Posted by Hilhen7
Isn't it irrelevant how difficult the exam is, since your results would be compared to those of the other students?
Your results will be compared to students from other years, too.

17. Originally Posted by Mormolyce
It's not meant to be a practical way to subtract, rather it's a way to test that the children understand how to work with numbers rather than simply blindly following an algorithm. It's something that's difficult to do in schooling.
It tests that they're not blindly following an algorithm... by having them blindly follow a different algorithm.

18. Originally Posted by Slant
Edit:

Not sure if they were posted before, but here are exerpts from the actual exam you're discussing:

https://www.spiegel.de/media/media-44422.pdf
https://www.spiegel.de/media/media-44423.pdf

I suck at maths, I physically detest it, so I'm not even qualified to comment on them or make a proper translation. Perhaps someone with more affinity for fucked up cryptic bullshit can do it so you guys can figure out if you think it's really outrageous or if it should be solveable.

Here's a German maths dude discussing it (in German obviously):

Well I looked trough it. Nothing too hard I would say. Most Questions have clear cut answers, like full numbers or not fractioned functions in case of analysis or curve discussions. Stochastic questions are the same, but then again my math is at university tier and i studied information technologies... So no, i don't think the students are right to complain. But don't know what level you should have at the abitur...

19. Originally Posted by det
That is the biggest underlying problem, because also the article that OP linked did a poor job at describing the situation and just invites people to go "Lol, idiot lazy students".

But really you can run into trouble because not least of what we call the https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zentralabitur - where they final exams are not prepared by they school, but by a ministry of the federal country where you take the exam. Could happen that you didn't learn the things at school that you are tested in.
It's not really the biggest problem. You just need to find one guy who is a mathematician to tell you "it's doable" and it will make thousand of students to be actually that "idiot lazy students". I understand that system of Zentralabitur. I had the same but then the question is how the school gets licence to operate if they are not teaching students for the central system?

20. Originally Posted by PL-Cibo
But don't know what level you should have at the abitur...
From following the discussion on german news sites, even the 16 federal states don't seem to know this...and don't know it over the years. Apparently it is easier in some years, harder in others and also harder / easier depending what federal state you take it in. You are probably really screwed if your family moves from one state to another in the year when you take the exam

Though I mostly remember the discussions and the reform that went on years ago when I took my exams.

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Originally Posted by OneWay
I had the same but then the question is how the school gets licence to operate if they are not teaching students for the central system?
I don't even know if there is such a thing a "licence to operate". There will be guidelines what to teach...but with thousands of schools, teachers etc, things are bound to get messed up here or there (not least because we forever had the problem of too few teachers, sick teachers, classes being cancelled and some subjects just not being taught as in depth as they should .

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