We have recently hit a significant milestone at Diagnostic Questions… half a million answers! These have come from students from all over the world.

And what was the 500,000th answer, I hear you ask? Well, it was to the following question on cumulative frequency diagrams:

And it was given by a student called Ben from Cardinal Griffin Catholic College in Staffordshire.

And here is the nice thing, the young man in question actually gave an incorrect answer (B). Looking at the answer (85), we can probably guess why he chose it, but we don’t need to guess as we can read his beautiful explanation: “Because 140 /2=70. scroll until you see the line“.

So, Ben has made a mistake, and a very common one at that. He has halved the highest value on the y-axis instead of the total frequency. But that is okay, because everyone makes mistakes. And now Ben can benefit from reading some of the 100s of lovely explanations given by students from all around the world who got the question correct.

Here are some of my favourites:

Ben can benefit from reading these explanations, just as other students can benefit from reading his explanations to other questions. Everyone is a winner 🙂

Here is a quote from Ben’s teacher, Mr Duffy, about his use of Diagnostic Questions:

My pupils are really enjoying the diagnostic questions, they like how quick and easy they are to complete.  It is great that pupils can read what other pupils have wrote in their explanations as this really promotes pupils sharing their understanding of mathematics.  Thanks Mr Barton for a great resource and what an honour that the 500,000th answer came from one of our mathematicians.

Mr Darren Duffy
Cardinal Griffin Catholic College

And from Ben himself:

By using diagnostic questions I have improved my understanding of different maths topics.  I have also improved my chances of getting the grade I want in the Summer exam.”

A world exclusive, money cannot buy, Diagnostic Questions pen is on its way to Ben, and his school will receive a free set of licences for our brand new GCSE Premium Quizzes for Ben’s class.

Ben answered this question as part of a GCSE Maths Takeaway Quiz. This an excellent way to prepare for your GCSE Maths exam, and is 100% free!

And half a  million answers means the website is rammed full of rich information and data about how students all around the world understand maths. How does the UK compare to Singapore? How do your Year 11 girls perform on straight line graphs, or ratio, compared to other Year 11 girls in your school, area or country? To learn how to investigate all these things and more, you can watch this video:

The next target is 1 million answers. When Apple reached 1 billion downloads from iTunes they gave the lucky person a Mac Book Pro. I think we could probably stretch to a Diagnostic Questions t-shirt.

Thank you to all our wonderful students who give such incredible answers and our talented teachers who write such high quality questions. Together we are identifying, understanding and resolving key misconceptions. in mathematics.