Plausible reasons to be fearful 3

April 22, 2005

According to Ron McLone of Ucles, the only plausible interpretation of a picture of a cone, cylinder, sphere and a TV is that, "television has become fundamental". If you don't think that, then you don't just have a different point of view, you are wrong and perhaps unsuited to enter higher education. He adds that these are shapes (the cone, cylinder and sphere), "we meet in everyday life, everything is made up of them". If this were the case, then why is the answer "geometric shapes are behind everything, even the television" one of the wrong answers?

This would be amusing if it were not so serious. Are universities really going to select students through questions testing half-baked plausible reasoning? Perhaps even more depressing is the fact that the other sample Ucles question involves elementary arithmetic, yet it is supposed to provide more discrimination than A levels.

John Thompson

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