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difficult non-calculator paper - Edexcel

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by warriorprincess, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Anyone else had kids in floods of tears after the paper yesterday? I've never had such an awful reaction to the exam as yesterday. Both Higher and Foundation papers had some difficult questions- particularly when you consider that they were doing these under time pressure. Seriously thinking of moving from Edexcel if they don't adjust the grade boundaries!
  2. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I thought June's paper was worse. As demonstrated by the June grade boundaries these are adjusted to reflect that.
    Our kids were either brilliantly prepared or missed all the difficulties. Some of the brightest Higher tier students said it was difficult and that they missed questions. I had a student say that about June though and still come out with an A*.
    Our Foundation students were happy in the main. I doubt that they all ended up with the right answer on some of the harder questions but hopefully they have picked up some method marks.
  3. I thought our kids were brilliantly prepared too, but some of the questions were much harder- more wordier etc. I agree that june's paper was hard too so will wait and see what happens with grade boundaries. I went through and tried to figure out how many method marks the kids would have picked up, but kids usually know where they've lost marks.
    Guess i'm going to cross my fingers for Monday and then everything else for Jan.
  4. DM

    DM New commenter

    I didn't think it was ridiculously hard but some of the students on TSR are moaning about it. The probability tree diagram and the angles in a circle were tricky but I think the overall difficulty was about the same as June. C grade boundary in the 20s again I think!
  5. I had kids crying, I thought it was awful (we only did Higher).
    We spent a day working on the first six pages of loads of past papers, so that the first thing the students saw would be something familiar. Apart from the first question this paper bore no resemblance to any other paper.
    Where were the D grade questions? Where were the straight forward questions not designed to have a little trip up in them?
    My students went on a revision day in half term and NOTHING on the revision day matched a single question. They are feeling gutted, because they did revise hard.
  6. Also, why was there a functional question in there when the specification doesnt change until the June sitting?
    I know thats the way things are going, but am I mistaken? Has the specification already changed?
    It seemed like a trick to me.
  7. DM

    DM New commenter

    Are you absolutely sure your students were ready for early entry Chloe? The evidence suggests otherwise.
  8. I'm devastated for my students. I have a C/D borderline group who have worked so hard. They have done so much revision and a large number of past papers. They came out of the exam completely demoralised and I'm not sure some of them will even want to turn up for the second paper.

    In my eyes, it can't be down to Edexcel being told off for too many easy exams because the new spec modular exams were significantly easier. From what I can see, there are a lot of schools who have been frightened off the new spec earlier in the year and so departments have reacted by mass entering into linear old spec. Not so good for Edexcel's profits if current year 10, 11 (and 9 in some cases) have already passed and don't have to do repeated modular resits.

    I can cope with exams being difficult but it's the complete lack of consistency from one paper/spec/year to the next which makes it almost impossible to prepare students, let alone predict grades.
  9. DM

    DM New commenter

    I can't accept these conspiracy theories. It really wasn't THAT hard.
  10. In the same boat Louise!! My borderline students were pretty upset and a few couldn't be asked to attend revision for paper 2. They had a tough time and I could sense their enthusiasm for revision had faded away.More able students could grapple through most questions but the major issue remains the C/D students who needed more understanding and application of quickly rushed through topics. DM you must be teaching a better cohort.
  11. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Kids in tears? Get a grip. This was no more difficult than June's offering which, there can be no doubt, was more challenging than what went before. Any teacher worth their salt would have prepared students accordingly. I for one am glad that there is now more than the token question for a* students to think about. As for revision days: read the specification. They could ask anything from it. They did. What do people want from past papers? Identical questions with the numbers changed?!
  12. briceanus

    briceanus New commenter

    I'm with DM and Googol, fairly standard and fair paper. I think some just expect papers to get easier and easier. In real terms, there was nothing difficult on it. I'd expect a similar paper on Monday.
  13. Many centres switched to Edexcel because this was what was happening. Now in the last 2 exams it has changed. I don't feel sorry for the teachers taking that decision but I do feel sorry for the pupils.
  14. DM

    DM New commenter

    Unfortunately that is exactly what many people want.
    I strongly support Edexcel in their mission to produce capable and resilient mathematicians. Can I suggest that some of you download the Linked Pair Applications 1 paper? It really was a lovely exam with a nice balance of accessible questions and others that offered stretch and challenge.
  15. I am very pleased if Edexcel are on the mission you describe, it is just a pity that it has taken them so long to start. They were definitely not on this mission over the last 5 years or so when their exams, particularly Higher tier ones, were offering no stretch and challenge to the more able candidates.
  16. DM

    DM New commenter

    Unfortunately setting slightly more challenging questions just results in embarassingly low grade boundaries. I really hope the C does not end up even lower than 47 out of 200 this time.
  17. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    To be honest, I would sooner have an exam that students feel happy and confident with and a high grade boundary than ones where students come out upset and demoralised. Like the June paper virtually no students will get some particular questions right (e.g the translation one). Therefore wonder why they set the question.
  18. DM

    DM New commenter

    Students will notice that counting squares takes the shape off the grid and this will prompt them to read the scale. It may halve the number of students who would have got full marks but it won't reduce it to virtually zero.
  19. Why are these students sitting the exam in November? Presumably these are early entries and not resits?
  20. I look at GCSE Maths papers as a stepping stone to a career. We must be testing pupils on straight forward skills and applied skills. But should a paper, that goes from E grade to A* really be skewed towards B grade. Do I really want a Primary Teacher, teaching my children, with a C Grade of 23%. Definitely not. Make the Foundation up to B grade and start the Higher at D Grade. ( a C at 50% is surely more suitable). What do you think?

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