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He's nervous, but he's ready! --- Results are out! (post #71)


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#1 lewelma

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:51 PM

update in posts #22, 26, 27

 

The Australian Math Olympiad starts tomorrow.  And somehow this year matters so much more to ds than previous years.  He is actually a bit nervous.  He has studied so hard for the last 2 weeks, hours and hours of work each day.  I keep telling him he is ready, but he really wants to do at least as well as last year -- and last year was a silver, so it will be a pretty big ask. Luckily he is taking it with a friend in the same location as last year so there will be that sense of familiarity which I think will help with the butterflies. This is the exam that really matters for team selection, and he *really* wants to go to Rio.  He is taking today off and is still in bed at 10.  I think his plan is to play video games and his violin, and to generally stay distracted.  :thumbup1:

 

Ruth in NZ


Edited by lewelma, 08 March 2017 - 01:48 AM.

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#2 JoJosMom

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:58 PM

We were just thinking about him, Ruth.  Please tell him that my DD is rooting for him (she sent an email, but it sounds like he is wisely staying unconnected).  I'll be praying for peace and clarity for him, as well (I don't know how you all feel about that, but it certainly can't hurt!)


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#3 quark

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 04:21 PM

We are here. You have this and he will do his best. Please tell him we are all cheering on.


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#4 lewelma

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 04:48 PM

(she sent an email, but it sounds like he is wisely staying unconnected).  

 

You tell her that he wanted 'something to occupy him' today, so even though he read her proof last night, he 'saved' his comments for today.   :001_smile:



#5 JoJosMom

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 05:31 PM

You tell her that he wanted 'something to occupy him' today, so even though he read her proof last night, he 'saved' his comments for today.   :001_smile:

 

Oh, that was nice of him!  I told her that he would be too busy until his competition was over, so I'd ask for an extension this time. What does mom know! :laugh:

 

I'm sure Jo will be glad to know that she was of help to an Olympiad participant!


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#6 maize

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 05:39 PM

Good luck to your son! I have always enjoyed the things you share about his math experiences.
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#7 TranquilMind

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:02 PM

Good luck!


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#8 regentrude

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:16 PM

Good luck!


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#9 epi

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:27 PM

Generally people improve from one year to the next. I know you don't want to be too complacent and take anything for granted, but it should be okay.

 


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#10 Kathy in Richmond

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:27 PM

Good luck!! Cheering for him from Richmond!!
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#11 dmmetler

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:50 PM

We'll be cheering for him :).
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#12 SeaConquest

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:07 PM

Rooting for him from San Diego!
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#13 lewelma

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:22 PM

Generally people improve from one year to the next. I know you don't want to be too complacent and take anything for granted, but it should be okay.

 

Yes, generally people improve. That is definitely a plus!  But each test is so different, and with only 8 questions, you can definitely get lucky or unlucky!  It is just part of the competition.  So he knows he is better this year, but that does not mean that his score will actually improve. 

 

Only 100 kids from Australia and 12 from NZ are invited to take the exam.  They mark them all in one weekend, so we should hear pretty soon. 


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#14 quark

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:56 PM

Happy to see thread title update! :)
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#15 Selkie

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 08:45 PM

I hope he has a wonderful experience and all his hard work pays off! 


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#16 Lilaclady

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 12:58 AM

All the very best.
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#17 Laura Corin

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:40 AM

Good luck!


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#18 Grover

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 03:34 AM

cheering him on!


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#19 mumto2

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 07:17 AM

Good Luck!
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#20 daijobu

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:48 AM

:hurray:  :hurray:  :hurray:

cheering him on!


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#21 dmmetler

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:21 AM

DD says "may the Tuatara be with you" (she loves her three eyed dinosaur :) ).

off topic, the 2020 World Congress of Herpetology is in NZ. DD has decided she wants to go as her senior trip :) (except that she'll barely be in high school by age...)
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#22 lewelma

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 06:56 PM

Well the first day was a success!  He got all 4 problems!  The difficulty was that he did not have time to write them all up!!! ARRRRG! In the end he had to make strategic decisions as to how to gain the most points, and it sounds like he handled it very well.  I can only imagine how difficult these types of decisions must be when you are working super fast solving problems, and then having to make judgement calls as to how to represent your solutions by considering not just how best to write your proofs to explain your solution but also how best to write them so that it gains you the most points when you *know* you don't have the time to write it up fully.  I'd be like  :willy_nilly:   And then he came home sooooo hungry. :D  He told me that "well, you know that your brain is 40% of your energy expenditure."

 

One of the interesting things he discussed with me this morning as we walked over for the *second* 4 hour exam, was that it was big leap on his part to do something risky like writing 2 full solutions and 2 almost complete solutions as a way to maximize points, instead of something safer like writing up 3 solutions in full.  I think this is the first time he has tried it, because it is the first time that he has been good enough that there was more to write than he had time to write.  He told me that he prefers to be 'safe' than use a more risky strategy, and he is interested to find out if it was a good choice.  We went over worst case scenario and it looks like he would still be 1 point above a score with 3 full solutions. So we will see. 

 

He also told me that all he needed was 30 extra minutes to get full marks.  That tells me that in the end there is very little difference between gold and silver when it comes to math competence on the AMO.  This surprised me given his experience last year.  Last year he got a silver by solving 5 out of 8 problems over 2 days, but he always had time for the write up.  This year he might be able to solve 7 or 8 out of 8, but when you solve more, you have to write more. And 30 minutes more is all he needed. So the next thing he needs to do is study what he can *leave out* of his proofs and still have them be correct and complete enough.  I certainly can't advise him, but I think he should contact the AoPS graders of the WOOT exams and see if they can help him shorten the proofs. 

 

Overall, he was so UP yesterday afternoon.  By evening, he started to stew a bit on his choices, and this is where the mama can help!  I convinced him not to relive, not to second guess, and to believe in the young man who made the hard choices at the time. 

 

Will be interesting to see how it went today.  He is done in 5 minutes!!! I have bought him sushi as a treat, and he is taking a 4 day weekend to relax!

 

Ruth in NZ


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#23 Grover

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 07:27 PM

wow, that's fantastic... maybe he needs a course in speed writing (I'm kidding!)  It's interesting to hear the kinds of decisions he's having to make in order to be strategic. 

 

Can't wait to hear how it went!!


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#24 epi

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:20 PM

Told ya it should be okay. :)

Although I'm puzzled how this "what to write up" dilemma happens. I would think that as soon as you can solve a problem, you write it up straight away.


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#25 Kathy in Richmond

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:21 PM

Solving too many AMO problems?!! Sounds like a great problem to have! :D Hoping today went as well, and I'm glad he's done and able to catch his breath for a few days.  :) 

 


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#26 lewelma

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:24 PM

He got 3 more COMPLETE solutions plus a start on the 4th problem! That's 7 1/4 problems out of 8!  WhooHoo!!

 

Apparently, he had a small panic for about 20 full minutes thinking he could only solve 1. :huh:  And during those minutes he said he could not do any problem solving at all because he was so worried.  But he turned it around, solved 1 more which triggered some thinking to solve 1 more after that.  Then, there was still time to go for the last problem.  What a day!!  

 

And his Grandparents arrive tomorrow! :willy_nilly:


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#27 lewelma

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:34 PM

Told ya it should be okay. :)

Although I'm puzzled how this "what to write up" dilemma happens. I would think that as soon as you can solve a problem, you write it up straight away.

 

Well, some of the proofs can be 2 to 4 full pages long.  And his friend who got a bronze last year at the IMO is taking up just as much space, so ds is not just too wordy.

 

As for the strategy of the 4 hours, he likes to problem solve for the first 2 hours, write for an hour, and then solve/write whatever problem is left in the final hour. This way, he feels good about solving so many up front, and he is problem solving mode so thinking super quickly.  Also, this means that if he finds during the write up in hour 3 that he made a mistake, he still has time to fix it by using the last hour. We came up with this strategy a couple of years ago and it works for him.  Because if you start writing too soon, you can think you have more time than you do and write too much or too slowly, leaving not enough time for more problem solving.  Apparently, at the IMO he also used strategic bathroom breaks because it allowed him to walk.  :001_smile:

 

What happened in the first day is that problem 1 had what ds considered a trivial solution, so he thought he was wrong. (I guess this is a good problem to have?!?! He's getting so good that the solution was trivial?) So he solved problems 2, 3 and 4, then started writing them up.  When he had finished writing up 2 and 3 and started writing problem 4, he found a computational error which affected a huge portion of the work because it was a bashy proof.  So he decided to loop back to #1 and write it up even though he thought it was likely wrong.  He found it was correct, but it still took him 2 full pages to write up (apparently, same for the other boy).  So he needed to start cutting corners so he could get back to problem 4 and try to fix it and then write it up. So he *chose* to sacrifice some points on problem 1 by writing a less complete proof, so he could finish up problem 4; rather than abandoning problem 4 and writing a perfect proof for problem 1. Plus, he had to make the decision in a just a few seconds. He is hoping that this strategy will gain him 3 points. It is just really really tricky to find the right balance between a absolutely perfect proof, and one that is complete but a bit holey, and having enough time to get through 4 problems in 4 hours.


Edited by lewelma, 14 February 2017 - 08:44 PM.

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#28 maize

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:34 PM

Told ya it should be okay. :)
Although I'm puzzled how this "what to write up" dilemma happens. I would think that as soon as you can solve a problem, you write it up straight away.

I assume the proofs are rather long and involved--they're going to take time to write out. So--x amount of time spent thinking through a solution, only y minutes left for writing. It would be like needing to write four essays but only having enough time to get through three. So he has to strategize--write out three completely, or write two completely and settle for partial write-ups of the other two to garner at least some points for each.

It's not like just setting up an equation and solving it or doing a simple geometry proof.

Edited by maize, 15 February 2017 - 06:39 AM.

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#29 maize

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:35 PM

Oops, cross posted with Lewelma who of course has real information :)
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#30 lewelma

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:43 PM

I assume the proofs are rather long and involved--they're going to take time to write out. So--x amount of time spent thinking through a solution, only y minutes left for writing. It would be like needing to write four essays but only having enough time to get through three. So he has to strategies--write out three completely, or write two completely and settle for partial write-ups of the other two to garner at least some points for each.

It's not like just setting up an equation and solving it or doing a simple geometry proof.

 

Well said.  And shorter!!


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#31 daijobu

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 10:18 PM

Where you are, do they have a similar multi-step process as they have in the US: AMC to AIME to USAMO?  Does he need to qualify to take the AMO every year? 


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#32 Twigs

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 11:30 PM

Just now reading this, I'll send best wishes anyway.
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#33 lewelma

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 11:57 PM

Where you are, do they have a similar multi-step process as they have in the US: AMC to AIME to USAMO?  Does he need to qualify to take the AMO every year? 

 

NZ is too small to need so many tests.  Also, because there are fewer kids, ALL exams in NZ are proof based ones, so no multichoice or numerical answer style as seen in the USA.  So you have to be able to write proofs to start the process.

 

So here is the run down:

 

Step 1: Math Camp Selection problems (this is a take home exam like the USAMTS): gets you into maths camp of 24

 

Step 2: If you make the camp, you take the Squad Selection test and BMO1 (British math olympiad round 1) which gets you onto the squad of 12

 

Step 3: If you make the squad, you take the BMO2 (British math olympiad round 2), AMO (Australian math olympiad), and APMO (Australia/Asian Math Olympaid) which gets you onto the team of 6 for the IMO

 

+++++++

 

So the NZ olympiad committee has worked hard to get access to other country's tests with these entrance criteria:

 

The BMO1 has entrance criteria based on an earlier exam for kids in the UK.  All kids invited to the NZ camp are allowed to take it.

 

The BMO2 invites the top 100 scorers on the BMO1 and the top 12 students in NZ (some from Ireland too but I don't know how they are selected)

 

The AMO invites the top 100 scorers on the AMC (Australian math contest) and the top 12 students in NZ

 

The APMO is seriously hard and helps in selection for most of the Pacific Rim countries.  The USA enters kids.  I don't know how many or if the USA uses the scores to help choose the team.

 

++++++

So DS has already taken 5 out of the 6 exams required to get into the team for the 2017 IMO.  The APMO is in 3 weeks, and last year we heard about team selection couple weeks after that.

 

So the main differences compared to America are 

1) fewer kids!

2) All proof based exams and no numerical answer style exams

3) International exams rather than national exams used for team selection 

:001_smile:


Edited by lewelma, 15 February 2017 - 02:43 AM.

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#34 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:47 PM

The biggest jump for me when I started attending CalTech in the summers was how seemingly tiny everyone's proofs were. They were elegant and mine felt so clunky! I was just inexperienced and self taught. Within very little time, I started seeing the numbers flow differently. It was a good experience and I gained so much.

I am really glad that I developed my own way of seeing things first (it has helped with teaching and it helped with creativity), but the humbling experience of seeing what formally instructed students could do made me understand there was another world.

Edited by EndOfOrdinary, 15 February 2017 - 04:48 PM.

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#35 Lilaclady

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:27 AM

I think I like the New Zealand way of qualifying as it does prepare you for the IMO. The U.S. one feels like doing lots of sprints to qualify for a marathon.

#36 epi

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:43 PM

I think I like the New Zealand way of qualifying as it does prepare you for the IMO. The U.S. one feels like doing lots of sprints to qualify for a marathon.

 

There is the problem of finding someone to read about a million pages of handwritten solutions to tough mathematical problems.

 

ETA There's a blog post making your point here.

http://blog.tanyakho...-contradiction/

 


Edited by epi, 16 February 2017 - 04:25 PM.

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#37 lewelma

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 12:32 AM

There is the problem of finding someone to read about a million pages of handwritten solutions to tough mathematical problems.

 

 

Interestingly, you can pay to take the BMO2 if you don't qualify with your BMO1 score.  I wonder if American could do something similar with the USAMO.



#38 Lilaclady

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 11:16 AM

There is the problem of finding someone to read about a million pages of handwritten solutions to tough mathematical problems.

ETA There's a blog post making your point here.
http://blog.tanyakho...-contradiction/


Interesting read thanks for posting.

#39 kiwik

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:55 AM

Good luck!



#40 lewelma

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 04:14 AM

OMG, they've lost his papers.



#41 Laura Corin

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 04:48 AM

OMG, they've lost his papers.

 

Fingers crossed


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#42 maize

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:12 AM

Oh no!

Just his?
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#43 Grover

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:22 AM

no


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#44 mumto2

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 07:06 AM

Oh no! I hope they turn up.

Total curiosity but was it a well known delivery service that lost them? They lost Dd's SAT subjects one year. Apparently they decided the prepaid postage was incorrect and returned them somewhere that doesn't exist. Unfortunately they didn't notice until after scores were released and I was demanding hers. Two language exams for languages she had quit the minute the exam was done.....
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#45 dmmetler

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 07:33 AM

I hope they find them! I had a hiccup in grad school with my NTE (they were supposed to score my book, not my answer sheet, and ended up sending the book to be shredded) and had to do a special retest, but that was only a 6 hour exam.
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#46 Kathy in Richmond

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 08:03 AM

Oh my goodness, Ruth!! Hoping that they find them pronto!


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#47 Black-eyed Suzan

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 08:06 AM

Ack!!! I hope it is temporary!
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#48 epi

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 09:21 AM

OMG, they've lost his papers.

 

Did the person responsible for sending them scan/copy the papers before snailmailing them?


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#49 JoJosMom

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 09:33 AM

Oh, no!  I'm hoping that this can be quickly sorted out.


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#50 lewelma

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 01:32 PM

Oh no!

Just his?

 

Sigh.  Yes.  They are marking all 115 of them this weekend, and when sorting out the New Zealander's exams, they could not find DS's. This morning, we are going to contact the Head of Maths who administrated the exam and mailed them to see if he made a copy or sent DS's separately from the other student's. Will know soon, I'm guessing.


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