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    It looks a lot more like preparation for university now (longer, less structured questions; rewarded more for attempting problem solving), which is good for most people. However, I do worry that pupils on the fence about maths would be dissuaded by the increased rigour.

    Decision maths always seemed very confused to me, and I don't know anyone who's actually found it useful in further study. The grade boundaries of most of the papers really made it an exam that rewarded quick, dilligent workers who triple checked everything, as opposed to those good at maths.
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    (Original post by tory88)
    It looks a lot more like preparation for university now (longer, less structured questions; rewarded more for attempting problem solving), which is good for most people. However, I do worry that pupils on the fence about maths would be dissuaded by the increased rigour.
    The important thing is that all the other A levels are reviewed too. If Maths is seen as "too difficult" in comparison to other subjects then people will avoid it. If all A levels are seen as equally difficult, then students will make sensible choices based on their career ambitions and university subject requirements.
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    (Original post by davros)
    If all A levels are seen as equally difficult, then students will make sensible choices based on their career ambitions and university subject requirements.
    All A Levels will never be seen as equally difficult because they are not equally difficult. Most students do not have clear career ambitions when they choose their A Levels and rarely have access to good information, advice and guidance. It might help a bit if universities made their preferences clear (although the vast majority of students don't start to research universities until late in Year 12) but they are frightened to do so as it might have a detrimental impact on the number of applications they receive and the viability of certain courses.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    All A Levels will never be seen as equally difficult because they are not equally difficult. Most students do not have clear career ambitions when they choose their A Levels and rarely have access to good information, advice and guidance. It might help a bit if universities made their preferences clear (although the vast majority of students don't start to research universities until late in Year 12) but they are frightened to do so as it might have a detrimental impact on the number of applications they receive and the viability of certain courses.
    That's a very cynical response

    Surely everybody and his dog now knows that you need a STEM degree in order not to be considered a failure in life, and everyone's read the Russell group's list of "blacklisted" subjects?
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    (Original post by davros)
    That's a very cynical response

    Surely everybody and his dog now knows that you need a STEM degree in order not to be considered a failure in life, and everyone's read the Russell group's list of "blacklisted" subjects?
    I'd guess 5% of Year 11 students might have heard of STEM, 2% might have come across the term Russell Group and 0.2% might have seen the Informed Choices document.
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    (Original post by davros)
    The important thing is that all the other A levels are reviewed too. If Maths is seen as "too difficult" in comparison to other subjects then people will avoid it. If all A levels are seen as equally difficult, then students will make sensible choices based on their career ambitions and university subject requirements.
    One of the key elements of the other subjects is that maths within their spec has been explicitly stated
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    I'm also a small angle fan.

    :banana:
    Hah! The Bostock & Chandler book has a good section on them I think. I pretty much totally agree with the Maths reforms (both at GCSE and A Level) as I tend to do less well with easier questions due to the higher grade boundaries- the amount of silly, small errors I make is likely to cost me an A* due to C3/C4 UMS rule.

    Personally, I think it'd be good to separate KS4 Maths into Skills and Mathematicians streams, with the latter studying C1/C2/FP1/S1/M1/C3 (all AS modules for various qualifications) in Year 10/11. With the scrapping of decision, M6/S5/S6 could be brought back along with some of the areas of pure maths that were no longer needed, in some loose arrangement like this ( to allow more specialisation in either S or M modules):
    A Level - C4, S2, M2, 3 from : FP2, FP3, S3, M3
    FM - the remaining module, S4, M4, M5, S5, either S6/M6.

    Course numbers could be maintained by requiring the study of AS or A2 in Maths or Double Maths for Bio/Chem/Phys/Psych, so more Maths can be added there to the benefit of undergraduate courses.
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    (Original post by PhysicsKid)
    Personally, I think it'd be good to separate KS4 Maths into Skills and Mathematicians streams, with the latter studying C1/C2/FP1/S1/M1/C3 (all AS modules for various qualifications) in Year 10/11.
    Were it not for your name I would have concluded you had never even spoken to a typical Year 10 student.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    Were it not for your name I would have concluded you had never even spoken to a typical Year 10 student.
    I am Year 11 haha but not even for the top 25-33% of the cohort?
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    (Original post by PhysicsKid)
    I am Year 11 haha but not even for the top 25-33% of the cohort?
    No. I suppose the top 2% *might* cope with that diet.
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    (Original post by PhysicsKid)
    I am Year 11 haha but not even for the top 25-33% of the cohort?
    What proportion of students in your year group are going on to study A Level maths?

    If they did all of that at GCSE what would you want them to study in Y12&13?
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    (Original post by TenOfThem)
    What proportion of students in your year group are going on to study A Level maths?

    If they did all of that at GCSE what would you want them to study in Y12&13?
    Well the current C1/C2/M1/S1 modules aren't too bad, and C3 but especially FP1 aren't supposed to be *that* much harder. I suggested to Mr M reintroducing the S5/S6/M6 modules in my rather long post along with a framework for doing so

    I also think differentiation from first principles for basic functions e.g. polynomials, the 6 trig/reciprocal trig functions, e^x, ln x should be added to combat the flimsy 'derivations' of derivatives and algorithmic approach
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    (Original post by PhysicsKid)
    Well the current C1/C2/M1/S1 modules aren't too bad, and C3 but especially FP1 aren't supposed to be *that* much harder. I suggested to Mr M reintroducing the S5/S6/M6 modules in my rather long post along with a framework for doing so

    I also think differentiation from first principles for basic functions e.g. polynomials, the 6 trig/reciprocal trig functions, e^x, ln x should be added to combat the flimsy 'derivations' of derivatives and algorithmic approach
    Sorry, perhaps you mis-understood my questions
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    (Original post by TenOfThem)
    Sorry, perhaps you mis-understood my questions
    My tangents were suggesting small topics that could be added, but as I said I would add (or more correctly reinstate) the units S5, S6 and M6 to make up for the movement of those units to GCSE, meaning there would be 13 units available at A Level for Maths/Further Maths. Of course, another 5+ could be devised, perhaps particularly in broader areas of Maths or even an insight into particular areas of first year uni courses as per MEI's DE unit.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    No. I suppose the top 2% *might* cope with that diet.
    Early AS is not uncommon, and they're all AS units (C3 for Pure Maths A Level). Furthermore, it would be a much more restricted ability pool, with someone in the top 15% of the year group expected to get a C or above- recently a third of all A Level students, which include people who got C/B at GCSE, have got an A.
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    (Original post by PhysicsKid)
    Early AS is not uncommon, and they're all AS units (C3 for Pure Maths A Level). Furthermore, it would be a much more restricted ability pool, with someone in the top 15% of the year group expected to get a C or above- recently a third of all A Level students, which include people who got C/B at GCSE, have got an A.
    Ah. You really haven't ever spoken to a typical Year 10 student.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    Ah. You really haven't ever spoken to a typical Year 10 student.
    I attend a state school and am well aware of the regrettably dire level of Maths many have.

    Perhaps it could be reserved for an ultra-top set stream comprising the top 15% of the cohort on a Pass/Merit/Distinction basis, like the new FSMQ/Additional Maths? It's just a shame we are generally happy to shy away from any meaty maths or any meaty topics in other subjects for that matter- perhaps the return of grammar schools are in order but with comprehensives facing tougher standards and the grammars following AS and some A2 courses?

    After all, O Level is quite comparable with current AS and even A2 material, which is scandalous!
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    (Original post by PhysicsKid)
    I

    Perhaps it could be reserved for an ultra-top set stream comprising the top 15% of the cohort on a Pass/Merit/Distinction basis, like the new FSMQ/Additional Maths?
    But we already have these

    I do Level 2 FM with the top set (about 8%) but mainly because it develops their ability to use what they are learning (with a few additional topics)

    It would be far better to have the top 25-33% confident users of the GCSE syllabus rather than worry about adding much more - 6 units of maths that is currently A Level
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    (Original post by PhysicsKid)
    I attend a state school and am well aware of the regrettably dire level of Maths many have.

    Perhaps it could be reserved for an ultra-top set stream comprising the top 15% of the cohort on a Pass/Merit/Distinction basis, like the new FSMQ/Additional Maths? It's just a shame we are generally happy to shy away from any meaty maths or any meaty topics in other subjects for that matter- perhaps the return of grammar schools are in order but with comprehensives facing tougher standards and the grammars following AS and some A2 courses?

    After all, O Level is quite comparable with current AS and even A2 material, which is scandalous!
    You've hit the nail on the head here - any attempt to "toughen up" A levels is restricted by the quality of the cohort moving up from GCSE. When we did O levels, it was unthinkable that someone could pass without a firm grasp of indices, algebra and trig (not to mention logarithms or matrices, depending which board you did). Now you can see from some of the questions posted on TSR that people are joining A level maths classes while totally unable to add two fractions together! I really don't understand why things are going so badly wrong from Primary school upwards - it's not as if they're not hit with enough practice and testing these days.

    Personally, I'd do what they do on the continent and keep people back a year or two if they can't cope. Actually, all High Schools should test pupils on arrival and if they're not up to the expected standard for their year group they should be sent back to their feeder school with a note saying "sort this out"
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    (Original post by davros)
    I really don't understand why things are going so badly wrong from Primary school upwards
    It is worth pointing out that English students in Y5 perform well in TIMSS so it appears that the issue starts in secondary rather than primary education
 
 
 
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