Chapter 701: The difficulty of Zhang Ye's questions!
Translator: Legge Editor:
The next morning.
The day before the deadline for the submission of the exam questions, everyone woke up and ate the breakfast delivered to them. Every team's question setters were called to a meeting by their respective team chiefs to begin another day of work, to compile and summarize everyone's questions, then analyze and discuss it as a group.
"Oh, you're here?"
"Everyone has arrived."
"Uh, Teacher Zhang is not here yet."
"You haven't seen him since yesterday?"
"That's right, I did not see Professor Zhang since the night before yesterday. I think he stayed in his dorm the entire time, then I heard he went to get more information and past exams."
"The deadline's tomorrow, so we have to finish the rough draft of the Mathematics exam today, or else it'll be too late. Get someone to call for Professor Zhang."
"Alright, I'll go."
Right at this moment, Zhang Ye walked into the office from outside.
Dean Pan looked over. "We were just going to get you. So how is it?"
Zhang Ye came in with a stack of documents. "It's more or less done."
"How's the difficulty of the questions?" Dean Pan asked immediately with great interest. He truly intended to utterly depend on Zhang Ye's help this time for the Mathematics exam. Although Pan Yang was one of the supervisors of the Mathematics team, his expertise did not really lie in the area of algebraic geometry at the high school level.
Everyone gathered around them as well.
Zhang Ye said, "The difficulty should be good enough. Didn't you tell me that the more difficult it is, the better?"
"Yes, it'd be good if it's more difficult." Dean Pan said, "We already have a lot of of questions that are just moderately difficult, so we don't need to come up with any more of those. What we're lacking are the extremely difficult ones, so let me take a look at what you have."
Zhang Ye passed the documents over to him. "There's multiple choice, fill in the blank, and short answer, all of which I've proposed quite a number of. Why don't you all go through them first. I still have more if they're not suitable."
A person said, "Professor Zhang's really efficient!"
A middle-aged man said, "I want to see what you've got there too."
They pulled a whiteboard over.
Then Zhang Ye's questions were placed on it and held up with a magnet while everyone gathered around the whiteboard to take a look. They scanned it once over from the first question to the last, all the way down.
Finally, when they finished reading the last question, all of the teachers from the Mathematics team were stunned for a while.
"Ah? This question..."
"Let me do some calculations for it!"
"This isn't right. This is not a question for high school students at all!"
"This requires an advanced math formula that will only be learned in university to solve, no? It even uses a formula that will only be taught in the second year of university! Why's there even calculus in this?"
"This question won't do!"
Next to them, a female teacher went to a whiteboard and began solving the problem. She used a total of three minutes to solve the problem. It was very fast because the problem was not difficult to her at all, but the problem solving process required used at least two formulas that weren't taught in high school textbooks.
Putting down the marker, the female teacher said, "This is not something that a high school student can solve at all!"
After staring at the problem and solution for a long time, Dean Pan looked at Zhang Ye. "Teacher Zhang?"
Zhang Ye laughed. "The problems I have proposed are all solvable through the knowledge found in high school textbooks. None of them exceed the scope of a high school exam. This problem might look difficult and complicated when you read it at first. I see that this teacher used several formulas to solve the question just now, even using higher mathematics formulas, but it's actually not necessary at all." He picked up the marker and started writing on the whiteboard. "If you adjust your mindset first before attempting to solve the question, you would not be tricked by it. The actual, correct, and most simple way to solve this is to start from here. If you bring this specification over here to the front, then it would become simplified and you can then apply this calculation, like this, like this..." He put down the marker. "The answer can be derived easily this way."
When everyone from the Mathematics team saw this, their jaws dropped!
Easy your sister!
This problem was way too tricky! After they knew about the problem solving process, it did not look difficult anymore. Indeed, even though they could use algebraic geometry knowledge to solve it, it was almost impossible for anyone to have that train of thought for the solution when faced with such a question! Even this group of math teachers did not figure it out at the start! Let alone the students!
Dean Pan laughed. "This problem is interesting!"
That female teacher wiped the sweat off her forehead. "How many high school students can possibly solve the problem with that kind of thought process? The way I look at it, at least 99% of the examinees will be stumble at this question!"
Zhang Ye said, "That might not necessarily be true. Even if this problem solving process is not easy to think of, there are still at least two other ways using normal methods to solve it." He wrote out another two solutions on the whiteboard using high school algebraic geometry formulas which could be used to solve the question, even if the process was more complex and needed constant calculation and application of formulas.
The teachers of the Mathematics team were all convinced after seeing the solutions written out by Zhang Ye.
Dean Pan decided, "This problem is good. It's different from all the problems we've ever had in our Beijing college entrance Mathematics exams. Let's see the next problem then."
The next one was a multiple choice question.
This was an extremely tricky question and if there was just a lapse in concentration, the examinees would be deceived by the four given answer choices and make unnecessary assumptions about the question. Even if they used the wrong answer that they derived in the first place to work backwards, the answer would still stand, which made it even trickier. Among the question setters of the Mathematics team, when they were all studying this question, there was one of them who got the answer wrong due to being misled by one of the wrong multiple choice answers. When he finally found out what the correct answer was, the teacher who answered wrong facepalmed and coughed, flushing with embarrassment. He even wished for a hole to open up so that he could crawl in and hide. It wasn't that he wasn't smart, but rather he had a lapse in concentration and subconsciously fell for the trick question!
This question was wicked!
Professor Zhang understood too well the mindset of the examinees and had purposely set this trap for them. If it was in accordance with how other Mathematics multiple choice questions were solved, then there would be 5 out of 10 examinees falling for this trap!
The third question was similar!
The fourth question...
The fifth question...
The tenth question...
One by one, the questions were discussed and attempted. The more times the teachers from the Mathematics team attempted the proposed questions, the more frightened and depressed they felt. There were even some questions that left them with a lingering sense of a headache when they attempted to solve it. But the more they felt this way, the more they were convinced by Zhang Ye's ability.
After going through the last question.
Dean Pan looked at Zhang Ye and couldn't help but smile. "If I was given such an exam 30 years ago during my high school days, don't even mention getting full marks, if I could pass, I would thank the heavens for sure!"
The other teachers laughed at Dean Pan's exaggerated comparison, but they truly had a similar reaction to it as well. These questions were all too insane! This wasn't even a question of difficulty anymore. Many of the questions were just goddamn traps laid for the examinees!
A female teacher didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Isn't this too difficult?
Dean Pan smiled and said, "I think it's appropriate enough. Since the higher-ups want a reform and are calling for an increase in the difficulty of the Mathematics exam section, then these questions by Teacher Zhang are obviously the most suitable to help achieve that!"
Someone said, "We're going ahead with them?"
"Yes, we are!" Dean Pan decided and approved.
A young mathematics teacher wearing a complicated expression said, "When the examinees see this exam, they will definitely be cursing all 18 generations of ancestors of the question setting team!"
Another teacher laughed loudly. "That's doesn't matter. The difficult ones have all been proposed by Professor Zhang. We were only responsible for the easy ones."
Zhang Ye said, "...so you're all putting the blame on me now!?"
Finally, after another round of deliberation, the first edition of the Mathematics exam was roughly confirmed. Zhang Ye was not going to bother with the remaining work left to be done and just let Dean Pan and the others handle it. Zhang Ye excused himself and headed to the Chinese Literature team with another set of documents.
At 10 AM in the morning.
Over at the Chinese Literature team, a fervent discussion was also taking place.
"But this question is very good."
"The board says that it's too traditional and not innovative enough."
"I've already changed the style, so it's no longer a traditional type of question anymore."
"That won't do, Chief Yu has rejected it. It's the same for those questions of mine, none of them pass, so I will have to start all over again. Hai, I don't think we'll be able to make it on time."
"The Board is asking for too much this time."
The door opened and Zhang Ye walked in straightaway without knocking. "Is Chief Yu around?"
Seeing him arrive, Su Na said, "Teacher Zhang, you're here? Let me get him for you." She knocked on the office door. "Chief Yu, Zhang Ye is here."
Chief Yu came out of his office. "How's the question writing going?"
Zhang Ye said, "All done."
Chief Yu immediately said, "Good. Everyone, let's study these questions."
Su Na was the most curious about the questions and quickly took the papers from Zhang Ye's hand to pinned them to the whiteboard.
When Liao Qi, Li Rui, Ma Qi, and the other Chinese Literature team teachers saw, they came strolling over as well. A few of the teachers did not seem to care too much, as they had always been biased against Zhang Ye and did not like or appreciate him much, feeling that his abilities had been over-exaggerated too much by everyone else.
However, when they laid eyes on the first question, those teachers looked like they nearly vomited blood!
Su Na burst out into laughter!
Chief Yu stayed quiet and did not say a word for a long time!
Liao Qi: "..."
Li Rui: "..."
Ma Qi: "..."
Then at the second question, everyone vomited blood!
The questions Zhang Ye had written out were questions they had never come across before. They weren't even things they had ever even thought of. All the questions could be described as totally unexpected, yet when they carefully thought about them, the meanings behind those questions were very interesting!
Zhang Ye went forward and gave a simple explanation of his questions' answers and thought processes. "The first question's answer is a little more flexible. It's mainly to test the examinee's thought, logic, and values. If the answer is logical and the arguments are valid and in a positive light, then we can give full marks for it. Next, we have the second question..."
One by one, he explained all of the questions to the teachers.
After that, Zhang Ye made an excuse that he had something else to attend to and left. He did not stay longer than necessary at the Chinese Literature team as he knew that a few of the people there did not have good opinions of him, so he didn't want to bother with them either. In the Chinese Literature team, he wasn't the lead question setter and did not have much say. Therefore, after he supplied them with the questions, he just handed them over to Chief Yu to let him make the final decision.
After he left, the Chinese Literature question setting team turned silent!
At this moment, everyone had actually wanted to shout:
Are these even high school level questions? Can it get any more wondrous than this!