Can you answer the GCSE maths question that 100% of parents failed? | Rare Techy


100 per cent of parents failed a GCSE maths question that asked them to solve the area of ​​a polygon – results fell following a summer when schools returned to exam-based marking.

When the task was set via the study resource site Save My Exams, 1,000 parents failed the calculation, with 92 per cent unable to do so and 8 per cent trying to find the correct answer but failing.

Many people scratch their heads when asked to show that the area of ​​a shape – most of its dimensions are given in algebraic notation – is equal to 2x² + 24x + 46.

The solution could be found by dividing the shape into a series of rectangles – but for many this was not a simple endeavor.

100 per cent of parents failed a GCSE maths question that asked them to solve the area of ​​a polygon.

100 per cent of parents failed a GCSE maths question that asked them to solve the area of ​​a polygon.

However, parents were not discouraged by their poor performance

Despite the less-than-stellar results, an average of 75 percent of parents still believe their children will pass their tests – with one in two (52 percent) admitting that their children often don’t understand the homework questions they ask. about

A mother admitted she tries to ease her daughter’s academic stress – but struggles to provide insight into schoolwork.

‘During exams, my support comes more emotionally than academically,’ revealed Catherine Gray from Dublin. ‘Today’s exam questions are often difficult to understand because they are so different to what I did when I was at school, but it’s reassuring to know that I’m doing everything I can to support.’

Still not sure how to fix it? Here’s how to crack it!

This exercise looks to find the area of ​​the entire polygon – let’s label it ‘A’.

To find our solution, we must divide the entire shape into two rectangles, as shown in the drawing above.

The width of the upper rectangle (label ‘B’) will be (x + 1)cm and length 4cm. The bottom rectangle (label it ‘C’) will have width (2x + 6)cm.

The area of ​​polygon A will be the area of ​​rectangles B and C.

So, first let us find the areas of both separately.

Rectangle B:

We know that the area of ​​a rectangle is equal to its width multiplied by its height.

Therefore, to obtain a formula for the area of ​​rectangle B, we must write the following.

Area of ​​B = length of B x breadth of B

B = 4 cm long

B = width of x + 1 cm


Area of ​​B = 4(x +1) = 4x + 4

Rectangle C:

We need to find the area of ​​rectangle C. We know its width, but not its length. So, the first step is to find out what the length is.

Looking at the diagram we can see that the length of C is equal to the length of the left side of the polygon minus four.


Length of C = x + 11 cm – 4 cm = x + 7 cm

We know that too

Width of C = 2x + 6 cm


Area of ​​C = (x + 7)(2x + 6) = 2×2 + 14x + 6x + 42 = 2×2 + 20x + 42

Polygon A:

Initially, we are given an area for polygon A. We also know that the area of ​​rectangles B and C is equal to the area of ​​polygon A. Now all we have to do is prove that they are the same.

Area of ​​A = 2×2 + 24x + 46

Area of ​​B = 4x + 1

Area of ​​C = 2×2 + 20x + 42

Area of ​​A = Area of ​​B + Area of ​​C = [ 4x + 4] + [2×2 + 20x + 42] = 2×2 + 24x + 46

The solution can be found by dividing the shape into selected rectangles - but this doesn't seem like a simple endeavor to many.

The solution can be found by dividing the shape into selected rectangles – but this doesn’t seem like a simple endeavor to many.

When her daughter gets anxious, Catherine breathes and listens to ASMR sounds in the kitchen, ‘she feels calm and safe when she’s studying’.

It found that maths, science, French and English literature were the subjects that stumped parents the most.

The test question and research was commissioned by Save My Exams as part of the launch of ‘Save My Kids’ Exams, a series of free resources to help parents support their children during exam season.

The resource is set up to help facilitate healthy communication between parents and teachers during the pre-exam crisis.

Save My Exams’ Maths Lead Lucy Kirkham shares her tips for dealing with daunting numbers

‘Looking at heavy algebra questions can be intimidating, but breaking them down into smaller chunks will help you work through them more easily.

‘This question gives you a working answer, “How will I ever get there?” It can sometimes get stuck when you wonder.

‘Don’t let this bother you, try starting from step one, you’ll surprise yourself with how far you can go!

‘Even if you don’t get all the way through, marks are awarded for different stages of your work, so you can always try to get a few marks and use our sample answers to see how the rest will fare.’

For more information visit https://www.savemyexams.co.uk.

‘Revising for exams can be stressful for children and their parents,’ said Jenna Quinn, the company’s head of revision resources. ‘Relationships often deteriorate during these periods, often because the parents are unfamiliar with the issue and can’t help it.’

It comes as this summer’s GCSE exams have been condemned as ‘laughable’ after embarrassing typos appeared on students’ result sheets.

The errors included the words ‘separate’ and ‘chemistry’ in the result slips of multiple students at different schools, mainly in results related to AQA exams.

But it appears to be a coincidence as the exam board told MailOnline that all data sent to schools was correct.

The errors include two instances of ‘separate’ spelled ‘separate’ and another instance of ‘chemistry’ spelled ‘chemistry’.

Relatives of a student who received her results spotted an error and told MailOnline the result sheet was ‘almost laughable’.

Meanwhile, this year’s results saw a drop of several percentage points in the top grades from 2021, which was expected as schools move to an exam-based marking system.

But in the statistics — which school experts said represent the impact of the coronavirus on different regions of the country — the north-south divide has grown.

In this year’s GCSE results 32.6 per cent of pupils in London achieved top grades – 7/A or above – compared to 22.4 per cent in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber.

The gap between London and the North East was 10.0 per cent last year and the figure is lower in London at 10.2 per cent.

The divide widened from 9.3 percentage points pre-Covid in 2019, with 16.4 per cent of students in the North East receiving a good grade, compared with 25.7 per cent in London.

Figures published this year by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) – which mainly cover GCSE entries from students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – show that top grades of 7/A fell as expected this year.

They went from 28.9 per cent in 2021, when there were no formal exams due to Covid, to 26.3 per cent this year – a drop of 2.6 percentage points.


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