Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SUMMER!!!...Again...*sighs*...

Yep! Now that my NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) exams are over, I'm on summer vacation! Now if only I was enthusiastic about it as I was half a year ago. I've got Christmas coming up here, but it's going to be really REALLY different. I mean, it just doesn't seem so nice to have Christmas decorations and lights and such without the accompaniment of snow, crisp air, a warm coat, and seeing your breath slightly condense in front of you. There'll be a really long day on Christmas day, and that also just doesn't seem as good as having a nice Christmas dinner while a fire is crackling in the living room and/or there being a nice thin (or preferably thick =D) coat of unblemished snow outside... I deal much better with colder temperatures than hotter ones, as much of my family and friends know, and that's also why I'm not as enthusiastic. Finally, I'm quite nervous as to the results of my NZQA's, since I have no idea whether they will count for anything whatsoever back home, and whether my getting an A, M, or an E will change into any other school grade. I'm quite worried on that front as if an A translates into a C or something, then my physics won't do very well since I can barely manage an A with the lack of knowledge that I have.

By now, you're probably wondering what I mean by A M and E. Well with the NZQA's, they have standards-based assessments. Certain questions merit only part of an A (Achievement), while some harder ones merit an M (Achievement with Merit) if done fully, and there are also some still harder ones that merit an E (Achievement with Excellence) if done fully. Now I find there are a few problems with this system. First, it's possible to get all of the Excellence questions fully correct, but still only get Achievement because you didn't answer enough Merit questions fully. That is because of this grading system (The numbers change depending on the exam, I'm taking this from an old Spanish listening exam that we took in class):

A: Any 9 correct answers
M: A + 4 other correct answers, 3 of which must be Merit-granting (meaning you must have answered a question to achieve the Merit standard for that question, whether you fully answered a Merit one or managed to reach the Merit standard on an Excellence question)
E: M + 3 other correct answers, 2 of which must be Excellence-granting

If you add this up, at minimum for E you need: 11 Achievement questions, 3 Merit questions, and 2 Excellence questions. However, if you got say...12 Achievement, 1 Merit, and 4 Excellence, you would only get Achievement, not even Merit let alone Excellence. A tad messed up wouldn't you say? So it's like saying "You got all of the really hard questions fully right and got every one of the easy questions right but missed a part of 2 medium questions, so I'm giving you a C." So you see why I'm worried?

Anyway, yeah I've got summer again. I like winter though, so I'm not as excited. Though I do like playing pool here and I'm going to go swim in the Waikato University pools soon. Apparently one of them has a diving board, so that'll be fun. But that's just about all I have to say for now, except...

Fun Fact: Did you know Hamilton, New Zealand and Cordoba, Spain, are direct antipodes of each other? That pair is one of only 7 pairs of direct antipodal cities in the world! Want to know what an antipode is? Look it up. You're only getting 1 fun fact out of me per post =D.

Thanks for reading!

6 comments:

Shirlee said...

Enjoy your summer, Andy! We will be thinking of you when we are freezing with gray skies and slushy roads! Take good care, and keep in touch. Love, Shirlee

Bogdaddy said...

I know that you have done just fine. KP recipe is in your inbox! Let me know if you have questions

kiersten said...

hey there i hope you keep having fun, hopefully we can talk soon...

scott said...

ahhh yes grasshopper, but what if, as you have postulated, that one needs to proceed THRU merit achievement to attain correctness on excellence questions. that would mean for each E completely correct, you would also be credited for an M correct? which means having 4 excellence questions correct would equate to 4 merit correct and therefore the minimum standard for M level (?) ahhaaa...yuk yuk yuk! glad to see that you are using your noodle! thanks for the posts...... as a famous italian mentor of mine always said...keepa go. scott
ps. and now for something completely different: eric idle is making old monty python skits available on a dedicated youtube channel if ever you find a need for a good chuckle. you can find it here: www.youtube.com/montypython g'day mate

mom said...

Like Scott said... hmm, that's quite a system. Keep us posted about the outcome and know that whatever it is you can always take physics again here :-)!

It's too cold even to ski here today -- wind chill of 7... brrr; so enjoy the warmth and sunshine. I thought of you as I decorated for Christmas today. It is different when it's warm, yes? Enjoy the novelty!

Love, Mom

Andy Scherch said...

I'm not really sure if E can count for M or not. It would make sense, but with these annoying standards with precise requirements, I don't know if that would be allowed.