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Y11 this morning.

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by swampyjo, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. swampyjo

    swampyjo New commenter

    Not to comment on the contents of this morning's Edexcel GCSE calculator paper, however I have never seen a happier Y11 on their way out of the exam hall. They all, without exception, said it was the easiest paper they had seen!..... be prepared for more bashing from the media!!
  2. stewarty

    stewarty New commenter

    Yeah all ours seemed far too happy. Some complained about the last question, but I think it was only because they have to complain about something. Very interesting range of questions, and the difficulty level of these.
  3. Our students were split, done liked it done didn't. We sat the OCR linear. In the higher the students were gutted that there was little trig. Where as the foundation students thought a lot of the questions had s twist!

    What did yours think?
  4. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Edexcel Linear exam was disappointingly straight forward. Again, I'm left asking the question: What useful purpose was this exam as preparation for A-level?
  5. tim hod

    tim hod New commenter

    The edexcel exam was embarrassing for able pupils. The highest I've seen the grade boundaries is 91% and I'm guessing this paper will be within a few percent of that. Very poor effort.
  6. m4thsdotcom

    m4thsdotcom Occasional commenter

    Let's hope if pupils had sat this in year 10 as an early entry adequate provisions are made for them to push on and prepare for A Level Maths in year 11.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I don't think the exam itself is supposed to be A-level preparation - would the students be any better prepared if it had been harder? IMO, schools should be challenging potential A-level students by giving them harder questions especially Algebra and Trig, and doing a more challenging qualification with those capable of it. It is the teaching in KS4 that prepares students for A-level, not the exam at the end.
  8. swampyjo

    swampyjo New commenter

    Cannot disagree with that, however the pupils who gain high Bs or low As from the present, trivial exam then want to take A'level. Pupils who I would not class as potential A' level candidates.

    Bring back three tiers of entry, making the higher tier ALL about preparation for higher study!
  9. Piranha, why would an 11-16 school do this? Schools are no longer about what is in the best interests of the kids, they are about staving off visits from Ofsted. This means getting those pesky D grades up to C grades, not worrying about stretch and challenge.

    swampyjp, I have long advocated (and you'll doubtless have read it before), having a basic skills pass/fail test that can be taken at any time in secondary, then Maths should be Maths. Reduce the amount of Stats, Number and even some Shape&Space and have it focused on trig, algebra and geometry. It's one small area where the U$A does it better. They have separate classes for each aspect of Maths, and some have higher value than others.

    As it stands, the Higher tier GCSE papers probably have about 10-15% algebra, 5% trig and 5% geometry. Even if the questions become harder, that means that, at most, 25% of the papers are "preparation" for A-level. When kids need only about 40% to get a B, that means they can get the required grade to start A-level without having understood ANYT of the potential A-level content.

    cyolba, still teaching AS students how to collect like terms :)
  10. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Agreed, but the exam is the means by which far too many students present themselves at the beginning of Year 12, assuming their right to join AS maths groups on the back of a GCSE B grade, gained from answering correctly just 50% of a trivial paper with negligible pre-AS content.
  11. m4thsdotcom

    m4thsdotcom Occasional commenter

    Do you feel schools should now make students aware of this or increase the minimum grade to an A?

    Is the maths A level popular enough for schools to not go for the bums on seats approach?

    (Thinking out loud [​IMG])
  12. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    What we and many other local schools have been doing is giving all prospective AS students, irrespective of predicted or actual grade, vacation work to bridge the gap, and then testing them as soon as they start the course: any students that don't meet our criteria will be expected to attend remedial classes or, in the worst cases, told to choose a different course. I refuse to spend precious AS time teaching students how, for example, to factorise a quadratic.

    I don't think the grade achieved at GCSE is a good predictor of outcomes at AS. I've had B grade students do well and A* students hit the wall. "A" grade itself is no guarantee of success.
  13. m4thsdotcom

    m4thsdotcom Occasional commenter

    I agree with all of that. I wrote something in my blog recently about the transition and it not always being linear. [​IMG]
  14. auntiemaisie

    auntiemaisie New commenter

    In our area where there are only 11-16 schools and then highly competitive sixth form colleges, the 'bums on seats' approah prevails and GCSE results are the only proof we've got of ability at enrolment. It's almost impossible to change courses after enrolment and we're pushed to be inclusive like our competitors and take Bs and above. I'd support the three tiers again - at least we could check that the Bs had done Higher and stood a chance of having met the harder topics. Much as I dislike the Gove proposals, as an end user of GCSEs the papers should be harder at the top end. We also do retake GCSE classes for those below C and there is a steady decline in what these students can cope with. And, don't get me started on poor numeracy skills.......
  15. shamussy

    shamussy New commenter

    I think A grade should be minimum for AS level - with only a few exceptions, students with B grade and below usually find work tough. I wouldn't have agreed so much 10 years ago.
  16. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I thought that the Foundation paper was a bit better than recent ones, with the shortest path question, and having to split 7/10 in the ratio 3:2. They'd also made the angle question different from the usual triangle-with-an-exterior-angle-on-the-left, and the "difference between 1/4 and 30%" was also slightly different from the usual, "Which is bigger..." question.

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