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Pre-U to go

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Skeoch, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

  2. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Taught them for a short time. Thought they were a good exam, as it happens.
  3. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Just the CIE A level under a different name with a different grading system. Private and public schools choose it to give their students even more advantage over their state counterparts whilst claiming the old chestnut 'it's more rigorous'! Ho ho... just like the IGCSE. Lucky Pinocchio does't work in a private school.
  4. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    It was more demanding than the A Levels were post-2000 (as is the IB).
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I've just looked at the Specimen papers. Significantly harder than the A Levels I'm used to, with less recall and much more thinking involved.
    Weald56 likes this.
  6. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Well I can only comment on the maths and say I thought it was fairly standard stuff. I taught the CIE A level for several years and couldn't see any difference. The questions are actually quite nice and very easy to interpret text book style, not the level of problem solving and interpretation required in the new A level.

    The question should be why does it need to exist, is it really because A level doesn't offer enough challenge or is there another reason? Gifted students can do the various Cambridge and Oxford maths entry exams or the Pearson extension award, but if they sit the same A levels as everyone else they can be judged by the same criteria. This is what the elite private schools wish to avoid.

    Unlike most of my old colleagues I'm not a socialist but really we should have an exam system that treats state and private students the same.
    agathamorse and Jamvic like this.
  7. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    So you'd outlaw the IB too?
  8. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    No of course not state students can do the IB.
    agathamorse and Jamvic like this.
  9. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    There was no reason why state schools shouldn't have done the Pre-U. Some did so, I believe.
  10. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Interesting! Perhaps that is why they are now scrapping it. The answer is to allow the state schools to do these exams then a leveling will take place. I am thinking of the IGCSE, the byword for rigor (or rigor mortis).
  11. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Just looked at the CIE pre U maths paper 2 2017.

    The whole thing was less than 2 sides of A4. No question involved any form of higher level interpretation.

    Question 1. equation of a line or gradient of line between 2 points. (GCSE level!)
    Question 2. Simple discriminant question. even tells students how to do it.
    Question 3. Very simple trig equation.
    Question 4. Simple iteration with i.
    question 5. Simple differentiation.
    question 6. Simple separation of variable.
    question 7. Interesting question on parametric equations but doable.
    question 8. simple partial fractions
    question 9. simple integration by substitution
    question 10. interesting question on series.

    Only question 7 and 10 had any challenge. All were just standard textbook style questions presented as just that.
    How on earth they get away with calling this more rigorous than the new A levels I can't imagine. The whole paper would have taken one of my best students about 40 mins then off to the Bullingdon club for a few ginnies with the lads...
  12. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    I have no experience with the pre-U but it appears it can be taken by state schools though very few did so. From the Cambridge Assessment website:
    For reasons of confidentiality, we do not provide lists of schools teaching any Cambridge Pre-U programmes. As of July 2016 we have approximately 170 UK schools registered to teach Cambridge Pre-U. This includes schools from the independent sector and a range of different types of state-maintained institutions including comprehensive schools, sixth form colleges and grammar schools. Approximately 50% of UK schools registered are from the independent sector and 50% are state-maintained.

    Incidentally if your students are members of the Bullingdon Club they must already be at Oxford and probably went to Eton, like Cameron and the Bonking Buffoon.
  13. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Can't think who you could be referring to there...:)

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