Maths teachers call level one exam a 'disaster'

Students who sat the NCEA level one maths exam this week say it was too hard and they walked out frustrated and tearful.

Teachers are complaining to the NZQA, and the Tables, Equations and Graphs, Geometric Reasoning and Chance and Data papers were labelled a disaster.

Kapiti College head of maths Jake Wills joined The AM Show on Wednesday, and said the exam was too difficult.

"There were definitely some questions in there that weren't at the correct curriculum level," he says.

"There were definitely parts that I thought were very unfair on those students."

Mr Wills says it wasn't just a few questions - a large proportion of the exam has received criticism.

"There was probably about a third of the questions we've had complaints through from teachers on," he says.

"I've been speaking to a very large number of teachers and an awful lot of them have concerns."

While some students didn't have any problems, others found it far too difficult.

"There were some who just came out in absolute tears because they were like 'I don't know how to do this'," he says.

"Most of the questions they were having issues with were at a level two level.

"We shouldn't expect our students who are in year 11 to be doing year 12 work."

Mr Wills is taking action to prevent the same thing happening next year. He says he and other teachers are writing to make their concerns heard.

"What me and a bunch of other teachers have started doing is we're drafting an open letter to NZQA with our concerns around the exams," he says.

"If we knew why it is happening hopefully we could do something to stop it happening."