Thursday 25 March 2010

What the kids are studying these days

At Andrew Bolt's urging, I did a 20 question test at the Board of Studies site today. Took me 7 minutes, and I got 17 out of 20. Not bad for never having studied any of the material the questions are based on!

The second question was a pearler - and I got it wrong. Here is the question, and the correct answer. Have a look at the question. My answer was C.

The reason for that is this - although conditions were relatively crap 110 years ago, they are clearly nowhere near as crap today. The standard of living of almost all Australians has increased enormously.

The correct answer as far as the Board is concerned is:

Sydney had limited opportunities for the improvement of people's living and working conditions.

If that is true, why are we so much richer today? Why is that wealth spread through all strata of society? Why are blue collar workers today living in McMansons, owning 3 cars and a speed boat and having holidays in Bali? Surely, if opportunities were limited, only very few people would have been lifted out of poverty in the last 110 years.

Black armband history at its worst.


kae said...

I downloaded flash for that and still couldn't get into the questions.

Karl said...

I don't think you understood the question or the source. The key words are "had" meaning in the past - i.e. 1901 - and "limited", which doesn't preclude improvement at all. Of course things changed. Of course working class people are much better off now, but that has nothing to do with the question.

I can't see how you got your answer at all. The term "working class" is in the first sentence, so you'd have to be a bit backward or blind to then conclude that the description was saying Sydney was classless. Obviously it's been a while since you did a comprehension test.

Boy on a bike said...

Yes, except the book was written in 2002, not 1901. If it had been written in 1901, I could accept that. However, in this case, you've got a modern day author putting their spin on the conditions of the time. That is what annoys me - not the answers themselves. I am more annoyed at the text book.

Karl Mayerhofer said...


That's "spin", is it?

Based on all I've learnt, it seems historically quite accurate. There WERE limited opportunities for the working class back then, particularly if you compare it to today. And I still don't have the foggiest as to how you thought that the passage, whether you agreed with it or not, was best summarised by the C answer.

Ya dumbass.