There is no trusted source of examination papers to cover school-level mathematics education for the various grades. Whereas the national Department of Basic Education (DBE) has a collection of old exam papers for the Grade 12 level, and also the ANA examination papers, there is no online source for other grades. Such a resource will be a useful resource for educators, and also for learners and parents, as part of teaching and learning practices, and for researchers in mathematics assessment who wish to explore trends in summative assessment practices.
The primary goal of this programme is create a repository of past examination papers and to make this available. A secondary goal is to provide analyses of the problems and questions on these papers to support the quality of assessment questions, in terms of differentiating between good vs bad questions. A good question helps the assessor as a valid and reliable evidence of learner proficiency; a bad question provides little or no such evidence – where the responses cannot be relied on.
The repository will be structured by Grade, by Source (examining body, school, etc.), by Date, and by Curriculum basis.
The primary outcome of this programme is a sustainable repository of examination papers, with the intention of creating a historical archive.
A secondary outcome is a set of norms and standards concerning the evaluation of individual questions and full papers papers in terms of the following evaluation criteria:
- validity (does this measure the constructs which it is intended to measure)
- reliability (will this produce similar results in similar circumstances)
- timing (how long a paper should take to answer, is this too long, too short, or just right),
- language (is the natural language used in the examination suited for the learners)
- pre-requisite knowledge (does this assume too much prior knowledge, such as notations which the learner may not be familiar with), and
- level (is the mathematical level at the right level for learners at the given grade).
Examination papers are not readily available and the actions will be to research possible sources and to accession as many as possible. Thus our actions in achieving the programme goals will be larger pro-active, identifying sources, and requesting access to their own archives of examination papers. As part of this we will offer to digitise these papers which exist mostly in paper form, so that they can restart their life as digital objects.
Donating your Examination Papers
If you have a collections of examination papers which you would like to donate to MUMA these will be greatly welcomed. We can take originals on paper, scanned copied in PDF, or Word documents. For each we will need the following information to ensure that these can be catalogued properly:
- Grade – at which this examination we set (using either Grade R-12, or Standards 1-10)
- Purpose (final examination, mid-year, etc.) – at this point we are not looking for mathematics tests, only examinations which are primarily summative in nature, or which are major formative assessments within the year.
- Source – the examination authority, or which school etc.
- Rights – who owns the rights in this, since we need to know what we are allowed to do with this, since are proprietary to a specific examination authority and are not for reproduction, such as the international TIMSS papers.
- Curriculum – which curriculum was this based on
- Date – when was this used
- Usage Extent – was this used only within a single school, province, etc.
Please examine our Donations Policy and Procedure for further information on how to donate.