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    (Original post by anyone_can_fly)
    The Scottish system's a bit better - last year the pass rate for maths was 66% and 22% got an A. We have an end-of-year holistic exam rather than modules. I'd be interested to see how you A-levellers think the papers compare.
    Looks harder than a level
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    (Original post by ben-smith)
    boo hoo, if you find a-level maths boring/easy do some other maths. I'm told the internet has some.
    I get why you feel that way but that's not entirely fair. How many people would take STEP/AEA unless you had to for university? I'm guessing not many. The fact that so many universities are asking for A*/entrance exam grades is indicative of the issue for maths. An easier way to make maths more interesting post GCSE is to have a more fulfilling A-Level.

    Maths is one of those subjects that people of a wide range of ability take, so its hard to have a one-size fits all requirement. It's easier for subjects like English, where a single essay can generate a huge variety of responses.

    Personally I would favour much harder A-Levels, because ironically I think that would take the pressure off the highest achieving group (no ridiculous UMS drops for an arithmetical error) and teach a wide group more interesting problem-solving skills. There shouldn't be this panic of having to get 100% because that is teaching exam technique rather than maths!
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Three? Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, Imperial, Bath and Durham all ask for A*A or even A*A* and then some, so thats already 6. Not so sure about what the likes of Bristol/UCL etc. ask for maths but its possible that some these also require an A* and an A.
    She said explicitly A*A*, which is Oxford, Warwick and Imperial. Yes, Cambridge have a higher offer regardless.
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    (Original post by shamika)
    I get why you feel that way but that's not entirely fair. How many people would take STEP/AEA unless you had to for university? I'm guessing not many. The fact that so many universities are asking for A*/entrance exam grades is indicative of the issue for maths. An easier way to make maths more interesting post GCSE is to have a more fulfilling A-Level.

    Maths is one of those subjects that people of a wide range of ability take, so its hard to have a one-size fits all requirement. It's easier for subjects like English, where a single essay can generate a huge variety of responses.

    Personally I would favour much harder A-Levels, because ironically I think that would take the pressure off the highest achieving group (no ridiculous UMS drops for an arithmetical error) and teach a wide group more interesting problem-solving skills. There shouldn't be this panic of having to get 100% because that is teaching exam technique rather than maths!
    I wasn't (necessarily) talking about STEP/AEA when I said "other maths".
    I can't say I ever felt the pressure you're talking about to get 100% in everything...
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    (Original post by ben-smith)
    I wasn't (necessarily) talking about STEP/AEA when I said "other maths".
    I can't say I ever felt the pressure you're talking about to get 100% in everything...
    I completely agree. I don't feel any incentive to get 100% in a levels, as it isn't a remarkable achievement, especially in maths.

    Considering that this is a maths applicants page, I would think that most people on here spend more time doing other maths than a level stuff.
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    (Original post by TheMagicMan)
    Looks harder than a level
    Agreed.

    But Q 10 though, really, 5 marks for that?
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    (Original post by f1mad)
    Agreed.

    But Q 10 though, really, 5 marks for that?
    Last year (two years ago maybe?) you were given 3 marks on edexcel for correctly integrating cos x indefinitely

    I suppose it might be worth that were it from first principles
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    (Original post by TheMagicMan)
    Last year (two years ago maybe?) you were given 3 marks on edexcel for correctly integrating cos x indefinitely
    :rofl:.
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    (Original post by TheMagicMan)
    Last year (two years ago maybe?) you were given 3 marks on edexcel for correctly integrating cos x indefinitely

    I suppose it might be worth that were it from first principles
    break out the measure theory.
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    (Original post by anyone_can_fly)
    The Scottish system's a bit better - last year the pass rate for maths was 66% and 22% got an A. We have an end-of-year holistic exam rather than modules. I'd be interested to see how you A-levellers think the papers compare.
    Hey, had a scan through the paper. I'd say it started off rather easy (perhaps a bit easier than our a-levels) but the difficulty did look to steadily increase to a point where i'd say it definitely was harder than our a-levels- but the style seems radically different (i.e. there was pretty much no trig identity work which is a big theme in AQA's core maths, though perhaps i missed it, or maybe it just didn't come up in this specific paper but is still on the course?).

    Really this looks like a bit of a blend of our core maths and further maths syllabuses (for instance AQA does not have things like second order differentials/sums of cubes/matrices/maclaurins expansion etc in the core a-level) and i suspect therein lies the real difficulty. At a glance, it looks like you probably have a lot more to know for the examination (as to be expected, as its longer to make up for the fact that its not modular throughout the year) which makes it much harder to "train", so to speak, for the examination. With our system, each core module has a distinct focus (albeit perhaps C4 for AQA- thats rather bitty for lack of a better word) which means you can really just drill yourself endlessly on the small variety of questions that show up repeatedly. Also, this gives people in our system the opportunity to retake endlessly until they get a decent grade, which is what many end up doing. A friend of mine will have sat every core maths module as many times as is possible if you introduce them at a rate of 1 per exam season (i.e core 1 four times, core 2 three times, core 3 twice, and core 4 once). He ends up getting Bs endlessly (except in the most recent C3 exam, where he got a D) though i wouldn't be suprised if he manages to pull out an A in the end (and yes he does actually work hard) through dogged persistance.

    Ultimately the fact that only 22% in your system get an A suggests the exams must be harder (out of interest what sort of rawscore typically correlates to an A-grade?) though statistical examination of our boards exam info has shown that many people carry through very strong UMS marks from the AS course from cores 1 and 2 which are, relatively speaking, moderately easier than cores 3 and 4. I read somewhere in a report that actually less than 1 in 5 (<20%) papers recieve in A-grade in the A2 year, but very strong all round performances from the AS year pull this up to give a rather stupidly high overall A-grade rate of around 35% i believe.
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    (Original post by CHayes)
    She said explicitly A*A*, which is Oxford, Warwick and Imperial. Yes, Cambridge have a higher offer regardless.
    Oh sorry, my mistake- i do believe you're right. I think i need to go to specsavers to get me some glasses .
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    (Original post by shamika)
    I get why you feel that way but that's not entirely fair. How many people would take STEP/AEA unless you had to for university? I'm guessing not many. The fact that so many universities are asking for A*/entrance exam grades is indicative of the issue for maths. An easier way to make maths more interesting post GCSE is to have a more fulfilling A-Level.

    Maths is one of those subjects that people of a wide range of ability take, so its hard to have a one-size fits all requirement. It's easier for subjects like English, where a single essay can generate a huge variety of responses.

    Personally I would favour much harder A-Levels, because ironically I think that would take the pressure off the highest achieving group (no ridiculous UMS drops for an arithmetical error) and teach a wide group more interesting problem-solving skills. There shouldn't be this panic of having to get 100% because that is teaching exam technique rather than maths!
    Yes, the fact is we are still obliged to attend regular maths lessons (which is 4 hours per week for me for the normal a-level) and that can be a real drag. Whats worse is the teachers (or at least mine) will absolutely not stand for you doing some other more interesting work if you understand the topic (even if its maths for other harder exams like STEP/AEA that you are going to take) which makes the whole process both frustrating and rather a waste of time.
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    (Original post by ben-smith)
    I wasn't (necessarily) talking about STEP/AEA when I said "other maths".
    I can't say I ever felt the pressure you're talking about to get 100% in everything...
    Remember that (unfortunately) not everyone is at your level of ability or interest in maths

    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Yes, the fact is we are still obliged to attend regular maths lessons (which is 4 hours per week for me for the normal a-level) and that can be a real drag. Whats worse is the teachers (or at least mine) will absolutely not stand for you doing some other more interesting work if you understand the topic (even if its maths for other harder exams like STEP/AEA that you are going to take) which makes the whole process both frustrating and rather a waste of time.
    I wasn't in this situation for maths because my further maths group had some genius people in it. However, I was in this situation for my other subjects. Hang in there. University maths is so much better (and the environment a lot more fun), and you are encouraged to do interesting maths.
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Yes, the fact is we are still obliged to attend regular maths lessons (which is 4 hours per week for me for the normal a-level) and that can be a real drag. Whats worse is the teachers (or at least mine) will absolutely not stand for you doing some other more interesting work if you understand the topic (even if its maths for other harder exams like STEP/AEA that you are going to take) which makes the whole process both frustrating and rather a waste of time.
    It's the opposite at my school...we were pretty much encouraged to ignore the teacher and get on with our own stuff if we understood the syllabus
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Yes, the fact is we are still obliged to attend regular maths lessons (which is 4 hours per week for me for the normal a-level) and that can be a real drag. Whats worse is the teachers (or at least mine) will absolutely not stand for you doing some other more interesting work if you understand the topic (even if its maths for other harder exams like STEP/AEA that you are going to take) which makes the whole process both frustrating and rather a waste of time.
    Lol same, although I just skive and generally don't bother to turn up .
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    Also, as Shamika says, i think only maths applicants (and even then probably only those heading off to top unis will in general bother reading up much on other maths (interesting or not) in their spare time). Why can't it be that the a-level is pitched at a more satisfactory level? After all, we don't really need tens of thousands of people who don't even care about maths who won't ever look it any again getting top grades in the subject. Also, there will also be a minority group of capable people applying for other subjects (not maths) that could still benefit from a harder a-level. These people may not have the desire to further their knowledge/skills in their spare time but I'm sure they'd appreciate it if the time they were going to spend on the subject anyways (lessons) resulted in them being taught more interesting methods and that they were challenged to think more logically in general.

    (Original post by shamika)
    Remember that (unfortunately) not everyone is at your level of ability or interest in maths



    I wasn't in this situation for maths because my further maths group had some genius people in it. However, I was in this situation for my other subjects. Hang in there. University maths is so much better (and the environment a lot more fun), and you are encouraged to do interesting maths. It does get better!
    (Original post by TheMagicMan)
    It's the opposite at my school...we were pretty much encouraged to ignore the teacher and get on with our own stuff if we understood the syllabus
    Aww lucky guys . Conversely im the only person in my school doing FM at all (we started off as two, but my friend dropped it after AS after getting a D) and it gets really lonely. In fact, uptake in general is so low (and not even encouraged) that this was the first time the college has run the course in several years and so I get a private tutor come in rather than have a member of staff teach me. Not that thats a bad thing, my tutor (this year- changed from last year after the college almost stopped me taking the course half way through due to "funding issues")is really nice and he is happy to discuss pretty much anything with me- for instance we often just dedicate lessons to going over and discussing STEP questions. However, that doesn't stop the whole process feeling a bit isolated as i have no one to discuss the material with/compete against in exams/excitedly disucss and exchange answers after an exam as one does but i guess its nearly over now anyway. Really can't wait for uni .
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    (Original post by CHayes)
    If you're an engineer then you have no place on this thread

    Also, when was scarily large considered to be three?




    It's fairly ironic that this discussion arose because I was trying to explain to someone why they got a D instead of a B
    love the way you've withdrawn you oxford application on 24th december
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    (Original post by blacklistmember)
    love the way you've withdrawn you oxford application on 24th december
    I actually didn't hear back from them until just before New Years mate and I did have a fair few reasons for withdrawing.
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    (Original post by CHayes)
    If you're an engineer then you have no place on this thread

    Also, when was scarily large considered to be three?

    It's fairly ironic that this discussion arose because I was trying to explain to someone why they got a D instead of a B
    LOL, I'm actually a mathematician now, hated engineering so did an MMath with the OU then taught MST209 for a while. I actually prefer pure maths but applied was where the work was ...

    I wasn't really referring to the number of universities asking for A*A*, more the number of places that the offers cover. I think Warwick is now the biggest maths department in the country? Even if it's only 3 universities, it's a *lot* of A*A* offers running around out there.
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    (Original post by CHayes)
    I actually didn't hear back from them until just before New Years mate and I did have a fair few reasons for withdrawing.
    it doesnt make sense to withdraw it before you hear from them, may i ask why? just curious
 
 
 
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