I don't think exams need to appeal to the masses. Exams are a way of someone demonstrating they have certain skills and knowledge. By attaching maths to contrived contexts (to make it more interesting) you detract from the beauty of maths itself. You want applications of maths? Sit physics or tech studies. The worst thing that could happen to higher maths is for someone to attempt to model a ladder leaning against a wall with a straight line equation. eg "The ladder is an angle of Pi/3 radians to the horizontal. Given that the window the ladder reaches is at the point (0,5) state the equation of the line the ladder lies on" I'm not being trite here. I know that there are real applications of the applications of higher maths, but most of the skills learned exists within pure maths with no practical use in the real world. Straight line graphs, for example, have little use in the real world, but understanding them is essential to understanding Cartesian geometry and functions in general. Same with circle and translation of functions. Maths for Maths' sake. If examiners were under pressure to attach contexts to maths exam questions, what you'd see are examples like I gave above - same as what happened when they tried to attach contexts to Standard Grade. Pointless problems which cause needless difficulty for the reader in trying to figure out what planet the examiner is on if he needs calculus to work out how quickly a ladder is sliding away from the wall.