Why Wrong Ah: Marking of Science Questions Raise More Questions than Answers

The marking of these science questions have raised more questions than answers.

Students were asked to study the items in each of the groups, circle the item which is the “odd one out”, and give a reason for their choice.

For the Group B question, the student circled “Honey”, among “Chocolate”, “Lemon”, “Honey” and “Cake”, explaining that is a liquid.

However, that answer was marked wrong – the correct choice should have been “Lemon” because “lemon is sour”.

For the Group C questions, the choice of “Pizza” (because it is the only edible item) among the items “Photo Frame”, “Plate”, “Button” and “Pizza” was marked wrong.

“Photo Frame” was the right answer because it is “a square”.

The “model answer” marking method has raised questions about the rigidity of marking, and how this would affect students’ learning.

Said Alice Phua, who has a daughter in primary school:

“Like that might as well just memorise textbook answers, what for try and be so smart?”

Dad Cai Yiwen believes that teachers should exercise flexibility when it comes to marking:

“If a student can think out of the box, then he shouldn’t be penalised for it. In this case, it is confusing because the answer given by the kid is logically correct.”



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