Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by ballamory, Oct 6, 2012.

1. ### KarvolOccasional commenter

Perhaps, but percentages? Solutions to quadratics?
Out of curiousity, do you ( algebraist ) have any data - anecdotal or otherwise - on how students with an IB background fare? Or with the Bac Francais, Swiss Matura, etc. etc.?

2. ### PaulDGOccasional commenter

Percentages are a particular issue, IME.
Percentages are one of the things that are drilled into kids in primary - and they're drilled to "find 10% and half it". (Because they're commonly expected to find 10, 15 and 20% of something in the KS2 SATs.)
When they come to secondary, they're locked in to "find 10%, half it" and even when they find out that percentages are actually a multiplication operation, unless constantly* practised, they slip back to those early memories...
It's a situation which proves "drilling" is effective. Unfortunately, it's drilling the wrong thing.
(*And you don't want us to do that, do you? Shouldn't we be spending some time teaching them geometry and trig?)

3. ### PaulDGOccasional commenter

If that was addressed to me, yes, I am aware.
6 months, that is news to me
I didn't think C1 had ever been a calculator exam....

4. ### GuishNew commenter

I have a student who did Maths HL and scored a 6 which is very good. He's doing a BCOM in Canada. He skipped all the maths modules in the first year and all the maths stuff he did in the other years were too easy compared to what he did in secondary school.

I have two students who are studying at Kent right now. They both got A and C at CIE Maths A levels. One is doing CS and the other one Finance. They are finding the Maths modules far too easy. The feedback from my students has only been positive since I started teaching.

5. ### algebraist

Lol, yes! Now, if only I could think of a use for them...
It's a really good question, but sadly I don't. Getting information about what qualifications the cohort as a whole have is easy, but when interacting with a [ETA: UK] student, of course, one practically never knows what qualification that particular student has, and I was told that it's not as easy as you might think to get our IT systems to give useful statistics on qualifications at intake vs later achievement. [ETA: and of course a department can only meaningfully look at qualifications held by a fair number of its students.]
I will say that anecdotally the students who come from Eastern Europe seem to tend to have very good maths (of course, this could well be more about which ones go abroad to study than about what goes on in their schools). Exam papers are marked anonymously, of course, so I couldn't tell you whether they could all do 60% of 10, but I would expect it.