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Context in Mathematics questions

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Greatorex, Jackie 


For at least two decades educationalists have debated whether Mathematics examination questions should be set in context. The aim of this article is to revisit the debate to answer the following questions: 1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of examining Mathematics in context? 2. What are the features of a high quality context? Initially several taxonomies (categories or classification systems) of context are reviewed and the research methods for evaluating the effects of context are considered. Subsequently, the advantages and disadvantages of using context in Mathematics examination questions are explored, focusing on research about public examinations in secondary school Mathematics in England. The literature is used to make recommendations about context in Mathematics questions.



Assessment design, Psychology of assessment, Evaluation of assessment

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Research Matters

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Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

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