A Look At Some Sample Math Test Questions For A Local Math Assessment

in Education8 months ago

Hi there. In this education & math post I cover some sample test questions for a local math assessment. In my area there is this regional math assessment called the EQAO exam. Grade threes, grade sixes and grade nines all have this assessment to do. It is mandated by the Ontario provincial government to determine how well students are doing in mathematics.

As I type this out it is a day before this EQAO assessment day. When this is posted it would be a several days later.

Note: This is a long post. Screenshots taken from the EQAO grade nine sample test.

Pixabay Image Source


  • Recent Math Curriculum Changes In My Region
  • Grade Nine Sample Math Testing Questions - Stage One Questions
  • Stage Two Questions
  • Concluding Thoughts

Recent Math Curriculum Changes In My Region

In the province of Ontario there has been a major curriculum change in the mathematics curriculum for grades 1 to 12. This change has been implemented in 2020 for grades 1 to 8 and for grade 9 in 2021 for during lockdowns and online learning (I think). The changes mostly affect grades 1 to 10. The provincial Progressive Conservative government wanted to implement topics such as coding & programming to those as early as grade 1. There is also financial literacy with topics like budgeting, profits, revenue, sales, basic banking concepts, simple interest and compound interest. These financial concepts are taught more for grades 6 to 9.

One big change in the recent curriculum is that algebra being taught one or two grades earlier. Stuff like solve for x in 6x = 12 and solve for x in 2x + 1 = 6x -7 are taught around grade 6 and 7 instead of grade 8 and 9.

The topics look good on paper in my opinion. Some major problems I see is that amount preparation time given to teachers to change their lesson plans. Teachers from grades 1 to 8 are mainly generalists that teach all subjects but a teacher would stick with one or two grades. Teachers in high school grades 9 to 12 are mainly specialists that teach one subject only and for different grades. These teachers have to add programming, coding, financial literacy and algebra topics in their classes in which they most likely not have any exposure nor expertise in. One more thing to note is that I don't think there is an official guide to teaching the new curriculum topics. The teachers have to create their own lesson plans.

Curriculum Grade 9 Source: https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/secondary-mathematics/courses/mth1w

Recent Curriculum For Math Grades 1 to 8 (2020): https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/elementary-mathematics/grades-list


Some Grade 9 Sample Math Testing Questions

The grade nine sample test is in two stages. I do show some screenshot images. Doing all the questions with screenshots would be too much.

Stage One


Question One is a solving proportions question. Nothing too crazy.



With question two this is a writing algebraic expressions question. This word problem is somewhat confusing. There are n benches where a maximum of two people can sit on one bench. There are also 8 people walking in the park. I think the question should ask what is the maximum amount of people in the park in this time? The answer is 2n + 8.



The recent math curriculum includes personal finance topics for middle school & high school students. This question here is more of a personal finance question than math. Cose of housing & cost of food are more important than movie streaming and video game costs for a family household.



Question seven contains pseudocode. Students in my area are now learning programming because of the recent math curriculum changes. Given an input number of 5 what do you get from the display StepTwo line?

Step one would take the input 5 and square that number. The square of 5 would be 5 x 5 = 25. This number of 25 from step one would be the input for StepTwo. StepTwo would take 3 x 25 - 4 to get 71.



In Question 8, the grid is kind of hard on the eyes. Option 1 is a positive sloping line and option 2 is a flat line at Total cost of 70. This multiple choice question is not that easy for a grade nine student in my opinion. I would evaluate and check each option. The bottom option of For more than 7 visits, Option 1 is more expensive is the right answer.



For question 11, ten numbers are shown. The screenshot does not show the four answer options but you are required to specify which quartile the number 142 is located in. The number 142 is in the bottom half of the numbers but it is not in bottom quarter of the 10 numbers. This would be between the first quartile and the second quartile.



Question 12 is more of a finance question. Appreciation would apply to the price of a house doubled in 10 years. The other two would go with depreciation.



Inequalities are not typically taught to grade nines in my area I think. Some grade nines struggle with solving linear equations so having inequalities may complicate things. To answer the question of which point satifies the inequality, check each point and see if the inequality holds.


Stage Two Questions

There is a stage two to this assessment. There are another 13 or 14 questions.



Question one is kind of theoretical. Students in grade nine are taught the number system a bit earlier than in the past. Between the numbers 6 and 7, there are infinitely many real numbers.



This one is finance based. Options 2 and 4 would help earn Karl earn more money in his savings account. A higher interest rate helps savers/lenders and makes borrowing more expensive. Putting more money in the account helps with increasing savings.



Question four is an algebraic word problem. It is a little bit on the harder side. Nancy would have x books. Braveen would have 3x + 5 books. Carl would have double the number of books Braveen has which is 2(3x + 5). You do need to do distributive law, combine like terms to obtain the correct answer.



This question is based on linear equations. The hourly rate is $60 and the fixed fee is $30.



I am not sure about this question. It is 2D vectors which is not that bad. I am not sure if grade nines are taught 2D vectors even though they should be okay with negative numbers. Assuming that the right direction is positive do 73 + 102 - 52 - 106 to obtain 17. Luca is 17 metres right of his initial position.



Here is an interesting task. The latest math curriculum wants students grade nine and under to learn some coding topics along with math. They put in a loop question. The pseudocode is written to compute the average of five numbers a user enters in. Understanding a loop in coding is not an easy topic for adult beginners let alone those in grades 5-8.

The first blank is set Result = 0. Next blank is calculate Result = Result + Number. Before display Result it is calculate Result = Result / 5 to computer the average of the five inputted numbers.


Concluding Thoughts

When I was in grade nine I do not recall doing questions like some of the ones above. Coding was not in my grade 1 to nine curriculum. Financial literacy topics were taught to me more in introductory accounting courses, a few times in math courses and sometimes in history and geography courses. Coding & programming topics are typically taught in high schools as early in grade ten or in first year university.

There is a push I think to get more coders and programmers in my area. This push also includes to teach coding at a young age for all in the region. One big question is Is it too much at a young age? I think it is better to teach young ones how to type and use the computer before getting into coding at grade one, two or three. What do I know I am not a policy maker!

For the reader what do you think of the sample test questions? What do you think of the recent curriculum changes for math in my area? Do you like it?

Thank you for reading.



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