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A level Use of Maths

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by MathsCL, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. MathsCL

    MathsCL New commenter


    I am considering replacing the A level Maths course with A level Use of Maths. It seems much easier, and counts for the same number of UCAS points as the 'proper' A level. The students at our school find A level so difficult, and we frequently end up with some U grades.

    Does anyone have experience of teaching this, and has anyone got any feedback on making this change?

  2. auntiemaisie

    auntiemaisie New commenter

    U of M is great for some students but should not be seen as a replacement for Maths as it is less rigorous and not sufficient preparation for those going on to do Maths, Physics, Engineering etc especially at 'good' unis. We run U of M for the weaker students, plus those who like the sound of an applicable approach, who see their future in social sciences or non-numerate careers.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Same number of UCAS points, but only if they're applying for a course which will accept Use of Maths. It's not just insufficient preparation for some courses: some entry requirements specify Maths, and Use of Maths will not do instead. I've also seen a maths degree where they do accept UofM, but the grade has to be higher than if they've done maths.

    If you are able to offer both, UofM may suit many of your students better. If you only offer UofM, you should need to be willing to advise students to go elsewhere if they might potentially be applying to courses that might need Maths. I suspect that there might be pressure from management to avoid losing your ablest students.
  4. I taught it for a year in my old school. It was harder in a lot of ways for weaker students. Ours were boys, who didn't get on with the coursework element AT ALL and the two of us teaching it felt that they would have coped better (and got more respectable grades) if they'd done C1, C2 and S1. But of course we were both inexperienced and feeling our way with it, perhaps in the hands of someone with experience of the course it would have gone mroe smoothly.
  5. Hi,

    I taught AS UoM (AQA) for one year and I would not recommend it. I respect the intention from the exam board of creating a course for students where AS Maths is not suitable for them, however I think they completely missed their target audience. Certain aspects of this course are very challenging indeed, and would trouble the most able AS students!

    Perhaps there's an enrolment issue? Nationally there's been a huge push recently to increase the number of students studying AS Maths, however it's not for everyone (and nor should it be)! The majority of AS Maths is abstract problem solving - I think students need to understand this when signing up for AS Maths.
  6. If you would like to keep A-Level Mathematics in the school and at the same time want to attain better grades then you may like to introduce foundation A-Level Course.

    i.e. you prepare some workbooks which students use through out the year with classwork, homework and assignments included. After the year is finished they sit a C1 exam only. (So you prepare them for Core Mathematics)

    In that exam students will probably attain a grade E or D and then you enroll them for AS Levels if and only if they pass C1.

    Though the argument can be that why don't students study Higher GCSE instead so its for students who have GCSE Higher and want to study A-Level Mathematics yet are unable to achieve good grades.

    P.S. The course can be run for 6 months. e.g. September - December or January - Summer.

    There are a lot of ways to keep running A-Level Mathematics as well as to attain good grades. I personally would not switch to A-Level Use of Mathematics. Specially if you are switching to attain better grades then it won't make any difference.

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