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Super A* remember all those jokes about A** etc...

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by afterdark, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13808371
    for crying out loud....
    So UK students taking GCSE can be pipped by international students with a super IGCSE A*.
    When the universities are tied by the A level results and go back down to the I/GCSE grades.

     
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13808371
    for crying out loud....
    So UK students taking GCSE can be pipped by international students with a super IGCSE A*.
    When the universities are tied by the A level results and go back down to the I/GCSE grades.

     
  3. chrisa86

    chrisa86 New commenter

    It's all one big joke really... Not that I can think of any to support this comment but I'm sure some UK schools do take the IGCSE...

    I must say I wasn't aware of a pre-GCE course for Further Maths until I saw this article last night!
     
  4. I had an email from AQA a couple of weeks back about their GCSE in Further Maths. I'm assuming that this is a response to:
    a) Smart kids not being stretched by the ever more dumbed down GCSE specs.
    b) Too many kids being entered for GCSE early and then having nothing to do.
    c) Another opportunity to flog textbooks and exam entries in oder to make more money.

    I'm not surprised by any of this any more. It won't stop until someone makes learning a cornerstone of society's aspirations, and I've no idea how to get back to that situation. Perhaps, as our economy weakens and is overtaken by India, Brazil et al, we'll end up with so few opportunities for our people that they will have to make getting wothwhile qualifications a top priority again.

    cyolba, old school whinger :)
     
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter

    As one of the golden oldies who sat Additional Maths O-level many years ago, I think there is a need for a more advanced GCSE qualification. I haven't heard anybody complain about A-level Further Maths in this way. Surely we should embrace attempts to give able Maths students something to get theri teeth into. My school has tried a number of ideas for extending the better GCSE students; this may be an ideal way forward for some of them.
    I don't think that the new AQA spec is easier than the previous one; I would say it is a bit harder. Perhaps the trend has changed.
     
  6. Not bothered what they call them just make them challenging
     
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Wasn't there always an element of this going on, even in the "good old days"?
    I remember - vaguely - about being advised not to take the AEB examination board as it was not as challenging as the JMB exam board, so the best universities would not value it as highly.
    ( I may have the exam boards mixed up here, so apologies for that... )

     
  8. a number of independant schools do - master post's among them
    and karvol - it was aeb that had the rePUtation for being easy. the school i did most of my o levels at used cambridge, but put girls who failed and wanted to do resits in for aeb for just this reason
    but whilst cambridge certainly did ad maths, i'm not sure how jmb worked - i has the misfortune to move schools and exam boards at the end of y10, and we hadn't taken maths o by then, despite being the 'top' school for miles around - any other dinosaurs with info on this, i would be fascinated!
     
  9. I reckon you have it right. I remember teachers at our school switching from Cambridge to AEB cos they thought they could squeeze more passes out of it. Probably the reason I got 'O' level English!
     
  10. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I did Additional Maths O level after the initial O level (Oxford delegacy of local examinations - or something like that). The Ad. Maths introduced calculus, and made a good bridge between O and A-level.
    There already is an equivalent to this which is FSMQ (MEI) which I think is an excellent qualification. I, too, would like this or something equivalent to be made more mainstream. But please don't let edexcel get their hands on it - they'll only water it down...
     
  11. We did all of our O levels with the Oxford delegacy of local examinations so that it wouldn't look like the school had chosen the easiest exam board for each subject.
    My non-calculator O level maths included section B which was "modern maths" - calculus, matrices, linear programming etc which we could choose questions from instead of long complicated geometry proofs or compound interest questions. There were 2 papers and we had books of tables to use for logarithms, square roots and trigonometry. It provided me with a good basis for A level and I use some of it to teach parts of FP1 now.
     
  12. oh - i used to love long, complicated geometry proofs
     
  13. No, I love short slick proofs.
    Anyway, while I'm thinking of maths here is a little something I'd never seen before, but it seems to be well known in certain quarters.
    A triangle has vertices with coordinates (x_1, y_1), (x_2,y_2), (x_3,y_3).
    Form the matrix with all ones in the first row, the x -coords in the second and the y-coords in the third. Half the modulus of thre determinant is the area of the triangle.
    I know why it works, and that it generalises in both dimensional directions, but I'm just surprised that it took a young spanish theoretical physicist to tell me this result.
     
  14. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Are you at the grades award in Cardiff by any chance?

     
  15. Not sure this applies to all boards. some are businesses some are charities.
     
  16. [​IMG]
     
  17. 'Are you at the grades award in Cardiff by any chance?'
    Are you at the grades award in Cardiff by any chance?
     
  18. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't have minded being there, but unfortunately I have internal exams to invigilate. Not as high up as some on the food chain...[​IMG]

     
  19. I too did 'modern maths' with Cambridge. I believe it was a fairly new syllabus in 1971 when I got my 'O'.
     
  20. I'm a student from a basically "bog-standard" school. We are the lowest in the county etc. so most of our year are still working hard to get their Cs. Some of us finished our GCSE linear maths early - I got an A* in the first term of Year 10 and now we've been allowed to do the iGCSE. It lets us continue doing maths at a higher level and doesn't hold as up.
    Only those with at least a B at GCSE were allowed to do it and yes quite a few dropped out but at the end of the day it has been a brilliant course for us - especially as we come from such a "bad school".
    Plus you have private schools with nearly one student to one teacher ration - where those students are getting A*s easily. How can this be compared to the "average" student? The iGCSE course takes material from the ALevel - people either have the ability to do it or not at this stage, so it also closes the gap too.
     

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