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More 2009 Exam Comments

May 15, 2009

Following my original thoughts on the 2009 (at the first link here; https://adriandingleschemistrypages.com/AdrianDinglesChemistryBlog/nfblog/?p=198), I wanted to add the following thoughts.

Question 2:

The use of torr seems to have upset a few people. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest since the conversion has always been included in the data packet, HOWEVER I AM confused by the reaction to this in some circles for this reason; it’s strange how torr would upset people, when, in the past, people are quite happy to let the ancient nomenclature of acetic acid usurp the more useful (and modern) nomenclature of ethanoic acid – that makes NO sense to me.

We need a separate lab exam if we are to test lab skills. PERIOD.

Question 3: 

My angst at fractional orders showing up is based purely in the non-descriptive nature of the course description. I’ve been speaking and writing about this for years and if you would like to know more take a look at this document –https://adriandingleschemistrypages.com/gisa.pdf In a nutshell, a more prescribed syllabus is ABSOLUTELY necessary for a standardized test since it shows one what can and can’t be on the exam. Most American teachers make the mistake of thinking that a heavily prescribed syllabus dictates what you do in the classroom – nothing could be further from the truth – http://www.rod.beavon.clara.net/salisbur.htm

Question 4:

The general ease of the net ionics of late, coupled with the RIDICULOUS hints (“reduced completely” (2009), “decomposes” (2009), “forming a complex ion” (2008), “oxidized” (2008), “an oxidizing agent” (2007), “a reducing agent” (2007)) being included is beginning to invalidate this question completely in my opinion.


  1. franknbrock

    I agree about the generally low difficulty in this free response exam. It took me just under 30 minutes to get solve all 6 questions. I was especially shocked at how INCREDIBLY simple Q 4 was. I am not sure how an easy exam like this affects students scores. Do you think this means that students will have to score even more points this year to make scaled cutoff for a 3,4,5? Or will there just be more passing scores this year?

  2. webmaster

    Grade boundaries generally move up when the exam gets easier. In recent years we’ve gone from low 60’s scoring 5’s up to around 70% being required.


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