Education Technology

A Gobbledygook Quiz

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

If you simply guess how well can you actually do on a multiple-choice quiz? Use nonsense questions with randomly-generated answers to help students compare experimental probabilities with expected theoretical probabilities.

Before the Activity

Give the students the following scenerio: You walk into your math class and panic, because all the people in the class are speaking Gobbledygook. You cannot understand a word anyone is saying, and absolutely nothing is making sense. The teacher passes out a quiz. You can see that there are 10 problems on the quiz, and you can see that it's a multiple choice quiz. Other than that, you are completely clueless. You decide to simply guess on every problem on the quiz and hope that you will get at least a 60%.

  • Discuss the following:
  • (1) What is the probability for getting Number One correct?
  • (2) What is the probability for getting Number Two correct?
  • (3) Does getting Number One correct change the outcome for the probability of getting Number Two correct?
  • (4) What is the probability of getting all 10 problems correct?
  • (5) What is the probability of getting at least 6 problems correct?
  • (6) How could we test our ideas?
  • Using the TI-Navigator, force send the file "Gobbledygook Quiz." Have the students take the quiz, then collect the answers. (Note: the "correct" answers to the 10 questions were determined using the random number generator feature on a TI-73 calculator as the quiz was being created.)

  • After the Activity

    After collecting the students' answers, use the powerpoint feature to discuss the results. Possible discussion topics: (1) Did anyone get 100%? (2) Did anyone get 0%? (3) How closely did our experiment match what we had predicted?