In a textbook i use for my AP class, i have come across the following question, "A man enters a tall tower, needing to know its height. He notes that a long pendulum extends from the ceiling almost to the floor and that its period is 15.5 s. How tall is the tower?" Physics classes are rife with these types of questions, yet i think these types of questions are horrible. For one, it is only nominally 'real-world'. My colleague would joke that the smart student faced with finding the height of the building would just ask the building manager. The result is also meaningless, at least to the student. The period of 15.5 s could have very well be 14.7 s, or 13.2 s, or 16.1 s. To me, giving the student a random number tests their ability to use their calculator, more than anything else. Ever since i started teaching, i have been trying to articulate what qualities make up a good question. What makes a good question in your opinion? If this is a well-written question, what do you like about it, and other questions like it? If not, what else makes this, and other questions like it, poorly written?