A long time ago, when I was a schoolgirl, I walked up to the teacher after a class test in Mathematics (or Maths, as they call it in India). I had a question about the marks awarded for a test paper for an incorrect answer, for which I noticed that my neighbor had been awarded marks. So, it was my natural assumption that the teacher had marked my answer incorrectly. The conversation between us went like this.
Sr. N: I can't give you marks for that problem. You did it incorrectly, and that's the wrong answer.
Me: Alright. But if that is the wrong answer, why did S get the marks for that same incorrect answer? If she got that, I should have gotten the marks too.
Sr.N (looking at me with curious pity): You need to understand. You are good at Maths, so if you made a mistake, you have to handle the loss of the marks. But S is a bit weaker than you in Maths, so I gave her the marks to encourage her.
Me : !!!!! (as I walked away muttering to myself, but in Maths, how can this kind of 'encouragement' be helpful. It isn't a subject like say English, or somewhere there can be a subjective interpretation of an incorrect answer.)
Many years later, I finally understand. It's the strange Mathematics of Equity that was applied.