Trick Questions

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  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Alex Hatfield.
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    Mark Rouleur

      I understand that quiz questions are designed to ensure that the student is focused and engaged, and most of them are worded precisely to do so.

      The critcism I’m making applies to the questions that lead me to wonder “Is this a trick question?” while I’m selecting the answer(s). For example, the question in the “Umbrella of Direction” quiz that asks about a rider slowing for an unfamiliar corner. The “answer” I missed peculiarly involved “remembering that corner.” I was stumped. Who’s to say the rider would ever see that corner again? Yes, the rest of the answer referenced adjusting speed and/or lean angle for “next time,” which is correct, given there’s a “next time.” But the question itself was about UNFAMILIAR CORNERS. Soooo… it wouldn’t be unfamiliar then, right? Otoh, every corner off the track is unfamiliar in that conditions are constantly changing (weather, road surface, traffic, etc), so relying on memory alone is unsafe, as there may be an unusual obstacle that is otherwise absent.

      This question left me trying to figure out what the test writers wanted me to say (is remembering a corner bad or good?), rather than testing my understanding of the presented material (there were two “right” answers; I selected one).

      Again, I understand that the quizzes are designed to elicit engagement, and that’s a good thing. But questions that leave me wondering what word is a “gotcha” despite my understanding of the material are counterproductive.

      Alex Hatfield

        Hi Mark!

        Even if we’re riding a road we’ve ridden every weekend for years, we approach each corner as if we’ve never been there. We want to rely on technique and process, not rote memory. One of my favorite nuggets of random information is that the vast majority of accidents happen within five miles of the involved party’s home. Our brain switches onto autopilot and we typically stop scanning, stop paying attention, and do so all without noticing.

        To answer your question directly, yes, that question was designed to be a bit of a trick question and force you to analyze how you’d ride into an unfamiliar corner. Remembering something you’ve never seen before is impossible, thus that is not the correct answer.

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