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Higher Level GCSE advice request

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by durgamata, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Hi guys, I am an RE specialist and my son is an actor. As most people know, actors have stretches in between acting jobs when they need to get other work and my son has been finding his normal 'standby' work drying up as unemployed graduates and many others compete, so he has gone back to College to improve his qualifications. When he was in year 10 and 11 he was acting so he didn't take his GCSE's at that time.

    The course he is doing at College is for people who have missed out and it teaches five GCSE's in 6 months. These include Maths and English. As you can imagine, that is quite intense. But today he found out that they only enter for the lower options in the GCSE's. He and another student asked their teacher if they can sit the Higher paper as they are both quite good at Maths and don't want to be limited to C grade maximum.


    Their teacher has said that they can sit past Higher GCSE paper on Thursday, so they have just one day to try to prepare for it. (At the start of term they sat a diagnostic test to see which 'stream' to follow, only those who did well in that could even try for the Lower GCSE Maths paper. My son scored 100% - so he has a fair knowledge. What I want to know is if anyone can advise him on what things to concentrate on for Thursday's test and what books will be best to help him prepare for the actual Higher exam. The teacher made it clear that she will not be able to teach the extra Maths as her work is cut out to get the class through the lower paper.


    One question my son just asked me, the meaning of the three dots, like a n equilateral triangle sitting on its long side. I seem to remember that this is the sign for 'therefore' but my own maths skills are really rusty. Then he asked what the symbol is when the dots are the other way up, so the triangle they form is on its point. I've not got a clue.


    Any suggestions or advice welcome and if any Maths teacher lives in the Cambridge area and might consider giving him a bit of tuition in the new year, if the teacher does agree to enter him for the higher level paper, please give me a PM. He is putting so much effort into this that I want to do my best to support him.

    /p>

    thanks
     
  2. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Hi guys, I am an RE specialist and my son is an actor. As most people know, actors have stretches in between acting jobs when they need to get other work and my son has been finding his normal 'standby' work drying up as unemployed graduates and many others compete, so he has gone back to College to improve his qualifications. When he was in year 10 and 11 he was acting so he didn't take his GCSE's at that time.

    The course he is doing at College is for people who have missed out and it teaches five GCSE's in 6 months. These include Maths and English. As you can imagine, that is quite intense. But today he found out that they only enter for the lower options in the GCSE's. He and another student asked their teacher if they can sit the Higher paper as they are both quite good at Maths and don't want to be limited to C grade maximum.


    Their teacher has said that they can sit past Higher GCSE paper on Thursday, so they have just one day to try to prepare for it. (At the start of term they sat a diagnostic test to see which 'stream' to follow, only those who did well in that could even try for the Lower GCSE Maths paper. My son scored 100% - so he has a fair knowledge. What I want to know is if anyone can advise him on what things to concentrate on for Thursday's test and what books will be best to help him prepare for the actual Higher exam. The teacher made it clear that she will not be able to teach the extra Maths as her work is cut out to get the class through the lower paper.


    One question my son just asked me, the meaning of the three dots, like a n equilateral triangle sitting on its long side. I seem to remember that this is the sign for 'therefore' but my own maths skills are really rusty. Then he asked what the symbol is when the dots are the other way up, so the triangle they form is on its point. I've not got a clue.


    Any suggestions or advice welcome and if any Maths teacher lives in the Cambridge area and might consider giving him a bit of tuition in the new year, if the teacher does agree to enter him for the higher level paper, please give me a PM. He is putting so much effort into this that I want to do my best to support him.

    /p>

    thanks
     
  3. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Which board? The best thing he could probably do is find a past paper or two and work through them.
     
  4. Hi Durgmamata
    Higher level statistical work is often more accessible than other higher things - so maybe looking up creating and reading cumulative frequency graphs, using them to find median and quartiles and, box plots (may be known as box and whisker plots) might be good. Histograms and probability might also be good to look at if he wants.
    (this does depend on the paper being one that includes statistics... I'm assuming it might be a past linear paper - if not then this only applies if they are doing a past statistics module)
    Really understanding fractions, decimals and percentages (including reverse percentages) would be good for a number paper, and of course the big difference between Foundation and Higher is the much greater amount of algebra in Higher, so some of solving equations, expanding brackets, factorising, and plotting graphs would be good.
    There are several shape topics that might be quite accessible, eg trig, but these would require some practice with a teacher.
    You are right about the three dots meaning "therefore". the same symbol upside down (triangle on its point) means "because" - and is much less commonly seen.
    I hope some of this helps...
    Liz
     
  5. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Edexcel linear. Thanks
     
  6. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter


    it certainly does help a lot. Many thanks for this.
     
  7. If he got 100% on a Foundation paper I don't think he'll have much of a problem getting grade B on the Higher. Concentrating on the statistics (Cumulative Frequency, Histograms and Tree Diagrams) is good advice for a day's worth of prep. I was going to suggest Quadratics and surds as efficient ways of gaining more marks, but in hindsight if he isn't familiar with the topics he won't recognise to use them.
     
  8. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    PM me with an email address and I'll send you a couple of files.
     
  9. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    My son had the test today. He only had an hour's sleep last night - and little enough any other night this week, as he was preparing so hard - but he said the test didn't cover the topics he had been learning. It was all from the section for which calculators are not permitted - which he had not covered - and he is quite slow in mental arithmetic. So he's a bit gloomy. He won't know the results until next term as they break up tomorrow but he said he just ran out of time.


    All we can do is wait and pray and try to achieve 'cheerful surrender' so he can accept the results without being too disappointed if they are not good enough for his teacher to agree for him to sit the higher paper. At least he knows that he did his best.


    Many thanks to all of you for your advice and help. In the unlikely event that he is given the go-ahead to take the Higher Level paper, I am sure I will be back with more questions next term.


    Have a very happy Christmas - and a good rest. Best wishes DurgaMata
     
  10. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Thanks for this. I will pass it on to him. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope you all have a great holiday and a good rest.
     

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