You are Here: Home >< Maths

# New draft specs for 2017 A-Level published Watch

1. Zacken TeeEm physicsmaths

The new OCR MEI draft specifications, along with specimen papers and mark schemes, for the new (from 2017) A-Level Mathematics have been published and submitted to Ofqual. Available at
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...640-from-2017/

Some important points that I've noted down from the presentation at

There are no more modules, instead 3 linear papers. All three papers are 2 hours long, and all students have to study both statistics and mechanics.
Paper 1 is Pure & Mechanics; Paper 2 is Pure & Statistics, Paper 3 is Pure & Comprehension (the Comprehension, like that of the current MEI C4, involves reading a mathematical article and answering questions about it).

The Statistics section includes questions on a real large data set distributed to students before the exam (probably in March if the exam is in June, I would guess). For example, the one included with the specimen papers includes data about different countries in the world, including population, birth rate, and life expectancy. The data set will change each year.

Like the current MEI papers, Papers 1 and 2 have Sections A & B, with Section A having short and straightforward questions, and Section B having longer and more difficult questions. Applied questions can feature in either section. Section B will be 20 to 25 marks and Section B will be 75 to 80 marks, for a total of 100, so their is a heavy weighting towards the more difficult questions. The intention is that the questions gradually increase in difficulty throughout the paper.

For paper 3, the weighting is different: 60 marks on pure maths and 15 marks on the comprehension, for a total of 75. The comprehension will always assess pure rather than applied content. It will also be shorter than current C4 comprehensions.

An example of a Section A question:
The diagram (which I won't show here) shows a sector of a circle of radius 5cm. The length of the arc of the sector is 2cm. Find the angle of the sector in radians, and the area of the sector.

An example of a hard Section B question (right at the end of the paper):
Fig. 15 (which again I won't show here) shows a uniform shelf AB of weight W which is 180cm long and rests on supports at points C and D. C is 30cm from A and D is 60cm from B. Determine the range of positions a point of load 3W could be placed on the shelf without it tipping.

Note that there will also be easier problem-solving questions, for example:

A circle has equation (x-4)^2+(y-1)^2=10. The points A(7,0) and D(5,4) lie on the circumference and AB is a diameter of the circle. The point C is the centre of the circle. Show that triangle ABD is isoceles.

Also there is now a requirement for greater use of technology in A-Level Maths, so for example candidates must now have a calculator that can calculate standard probabilities for e.g. the Normal distribution, as statistical tables will no longer be provided. Students will also be expected to know how a spreadsheet works, and to explain how values in certain cells are calculated.
2. (Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
Zacken TeeEm physicsmaths
Thanks for sharing, sounds like it's making a move towards becoming more like IB and CIE. I'm not sure I like the change.
3. (Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
Zacken TeeEm physicsmaths

The new OCR MEI draft specifications, along with specimen papers and mark schemes, for the new (from 2017) A-Level Mathematics have been published and submitted to Ofqual. Available at
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...640-from-2017/

Some important points that I've noted down from the presentation at

There are no more modules, instead 3 linear papers. All three papers are 2 hours long, and all students have to study both statistics and mechanics.
Paper 1 is Pure & Mechanics; Paper 2 is Pure & Statistics, Paper 3 is Pure & Comprehension (the Comprehension, like that of the current MEI C4, involves reading a mathematical article and answering questions about it).

The Statistics section includes questions on a real large data set distributed to students before the exam (probably in March if the exam is in June, I would guess). For example, the one included with the specimen papers includes data about different countries in the world, including population, birth rate, and life expectancy. The data set will change each year.

Like the current MEI papers, Papers 1 and 2 have Sections A & B, with Section A having short and straightforward questions, and Section B having longer and more difficult questions. Applied questions can feature in either section. Section B will be 20 to 25 marks and Section B will be 75 to 80 marks, for a total of 100, so their is a heavy weighting towards the more difficult questions. The intention is that the questions gradually increase in difficulty throughout the paper.

For paper 3, the weighting is different: 60 marks on pure maths and 15 marks on the comprehension, for a total of 75. The comprehension will always assess pure rather than applied content. It will also be shorter than current C4 comprehensions.

An example of a Section A question:
The diagram (which I won't show here) shows a sector of a circle of radius 5cm. The length of the arc of the sector is 2cm. Find the angle of the sector in radians, and the area of the sector.

An example of a hard Section B question (right at the end of the paper):
Fig. 15 (which again I won't show here) shows a uniform shelf AB of weight W which is 180cm long and rests on supports at points C and D. C is 30cm from A and D is 60cm from B. Determine the range of positions a point of load 3W could be placed on the shelf without it tipping.

Note that there will also be easier problem-solving questions, for example:

A circle has equation (x-4)^2+(y-1)^2=10. The points A(7,0) and D(5,4) lie on the circumference and AB is a diameter of the circle. The point C is the centre of the circle. Show that triangle ABD is isoceles.

Also there is now a requirement for greater use of technology in A-Level Maths, so for example candidates must now have a calculator that can calculate standard probabilities for e.g. the Normal distribution, as statistical tables will no longer be provided. Students will also be expected to know how a spreadsheet works, and to explain how values in certain cells are calculated.
I don't like this at all. It shoukd stay as it is and have just decision maths removed.
4. (Original post by physicsmaths)
I don't like this at all. It shoukd stay as it is and have just decision maths removed.
I saw this then thought I'd take a look at Edexcel's new specification and it actually looks better than I expected. Further Mathematics now includes the option to study limits, group theory, number theory and sequences and series. Although it looks like the mechanics content has been reduced slightly overall I think and some content that was standard in FP3 has been pushed into further options (vectors, reduction formulae, etc).
5. (Original post by ThatPerson)
I saw this then thought I'd take a look at Edexcel's new specification and it actually looks better than I expected. Further Mathematics now includes the option to study limits, group theory, number theory and sequences and series. Although it looks like the mechanics content has been reduced slightly overall I think and some content that was standard in FP3 has been pushed into further options (vectors, reduction formulae, etc).
This looks great! Much better preparation for university study (if executed well). Thank you for the link.
6. Comprehension... purpose of that?
7. (Original post by Imperion)
Comprehension... purpose of that?
To test whether students can look at a new piece of mathematics that is set in a specific context, and not only understand it but also be able to extend it - a key skill in university mathematics.
8. (Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
To test whether students can look at a new piece of mathematics that is set in a specific context, and not only understand it but also be able to extend it - a key skill in university mathematics.
The current C4 papers do not achieve this though, in my opinion. Most of the questions involve either repeating work that was done in the article but with different numbers or explaining the text (their term of choice is to "Justify line...." and then helpfully point out which line you need to read properly rather than skimming over). Only the relatively hardest of the papers involve regular original thought or any advanced maths (and I can't say I have ever seen one requiring both at the same time).

They are quite interesting though. I liked the ones on Benford's Law and the one on Cryptography.
9. (Original post by 16Characters....)
The current C4 papers do not achieve this though, in my opinion. Most of the questions involve either repeating work that was done in the article but with different numbers or explaining the text (their term of choice is to "Justify line...." and then helpfully point out which line you need to read properly rather than skimming over). Only the relatively hardest of the papers involve regular original thought or any advanced maths (and I can't say I have ever seen one requiring both at the same time).

They are quite interesting though. I liked the ones on Benford's Law and the one on Cryptography.
The new ones seem to be a bit harder, though the article is shorter: only 2 sides of A4, including diagrams.
The example at
http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/308746-...t-material.pdf
is on Archimedes' approximation of pi. (Scroll down to page 40 of the PDF for the questions, and further down to page 50 for the article itself.)

TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

This forum is supported by:
Updated: June 10, 2016
Today on TSR

### Anxious about my Oxford offer

What should I do?

### Am I doomed because I messed up my mocks?

Discussions on TSR

• Latest
• ## See more of what you like on The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

• Poll
Useful resources

### Maths Forum posting guidelines

Not sure where to post? Read the updated guidelines here

### How to use LaTex

Writing equations the easy way

### Study habits of A* students

Top tips from students who have already aced their exams

## Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups
Discussions on TSR

• Latest
• ## See more of what you like on The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

• The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE