## Welcome to H3 Maths

Blog Support for Growing Mathematicians

### 2x50c = stumped!

November4

A question in a high school maths exam has sparked heated online debate after students complained it was far too difficult.

Australian Year 12 students in Victoria sat the VCE maths exam on October 30 and were faced with a problem that is sure to change the way they look at 50 cent coins forever. And now adults are weighing in on the complexity of the question.

The multiple choice question asked students to look at two 50 cent coins with 12 sides each – which are known as dodecagons – and find the degree of the angle between them.
The question read: A 50 cent coin has 12 sides of equal length. Two 50 cent coins are balanced next to each other on a table so they meet along one edge.

Find the angle between the coins, selecting from:

A) 12 degrees
B) 30 degrees
C) 36 degrees
D) 60 degrees
E) 72 degrees

Many students have spent the days since the exam rehashing the question and have taken to social media to vent about their anguish. Comments included;

That exam wasn’t there to test us, it was to trick, no one could of prepared for that,” one student wrote.

The 50 cent coin question makes no sense to me as it asked us to find the angle, but it gave us no other angles or lengths to enter in the formulas so there was simply no way about it,” said another.

Still trying to figure out the angle,” was another comment.

This seriously took me 10 seconds to solve. Stop your whinging kids!” one wrote on Facebook.

Gimme a break! My Year 5s could have worked it out,” wrote Darren.

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#### Post Support

10 x 9 x 8 + (7 + 6) x 5 x 4 x (3 + 2) x 1 = 2020

NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]