HC Deb 21 December 1888 vol 332 cc968-9
MR. HUBBARD (Bucks, N.)

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether, in the Army Preliminary Examination, on 13th December, Question 5 was set in the Algebra Paper, which is incapable of solution— Write down all the seven factors common to xy (x4−16) (y2−9) and x4 (x+4) (y−3); why Question 12 was set in the Arithmetic Paper— If 1 cubic foot=.028 cubic metre, and if 1 kilogram=2.2 lbs., find the number of ounces in 1 cubic foot of water"— a knowledge of the metric system not being required by the syllabus; and, if his attention has been drawn to the two letters in The Standard newspaper, of 18th December, signed by "C. C. T. P." and John H. Robson, which seem to throw doubt on the accuracy of Algebra Question No. 5, and on the suitability of the whole Algebra Paper for a preliminary examination?


In the earlier part of Question 5 candidates were asked to define a factor; and I am informed that, according to the correct definition of a factor, there are seven factors common to the two expressions. As regards Question 12 of the Arithmetical Paper, I am informed that there is no such syllabus as is implied in the hon. Member's Question, and that the metrical system is included in the well-known text-book, Colenso's Arithmetic. A general statement is made as to the knowledge of arithmetic required from candidates; but the strict interpretation of it desired by the hon. Member would exclude a knowledge of the English as well as of the metrical system of weights and measures. The hon. Member has kindly forwarded me the letters from The Standard to which he refers; but I do not think I need comment on them, as, so far as I can see, they answer each other.