Real life problems


“Lewis played a game of space invaders, he scored points for each spaceship that he captured.

He scored 140 points for his first spaceship, 160 for his second and 180 for his third. The points he scored formed an arithmetic sequence.”(C1 paper, Edexcel, Jan 2013)

This question is a great example of the stupidity that has crept in with “real life questions”. It’s ridiculously convoluted and is not real life at all. Firstly, space invaders was old in the 1980s, and my pupils hadn’t heard of it. Secondly, when you play space invaders, or other such games, the computer works out the scores for you! You play to get the highest score, not to try and reach a specific number of points. And even if you did, the computer would do the maths for you.

This example is not the only one, that c3 paper had the ridiculous question…

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