Maths A-level: How it was damped down Watch

Kolya
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#41
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#41
(Original post by RK89)
So none of the schools teachers have degrees then? That is terrible. You could teach yourself, as I did for the A2 further maths units.
I believe that they all have degrees, but none are able to teach the Further Maths material.

(And to clarify: I've finished my A-levels in June with the only FM teacher; however, he left the school in July, hence the problem for the school next year)
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Hopping Mad Kangaroo
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(Original post by Lusus Naturae)
I believe that they all have degrees, but none are able to teach the Further Maths material.

(And to clarify: I've finished my A-levels in June with the only FM teacher; however, he left the school in July, hence the problem for the school next year)
Sorry, i meant maths degrees. If they did have them, then they could teach FM. I had to teach myself the A2 units because I was the only one to do a whole alevel in a year, in the preceeding year they didnt run the course.
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generalebriety
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(Original post by lordcrusade9)
STEP exam: who would take them unless they got a Cambridge offer. They cost £35 for 1 exam. [...] AEA maths: This is a bloody joke. again £35.
Pardon my intervention, but, how much does a set of three A2 modules cost? :rolleyes: It's more than £35. Whether your school makes you pay or not is up to them...

(Original post by Ash)
I have to say it gets progressively harder and how many students can manage that?
Not all. Not even "a lot". But significantly many. It's not impossible to do.
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studienka
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generalebriety,

When did we stop using sin^-1? Is it not in common use outside of GCSE?
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henryt
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(Original post by studienka)
generalebriety,

When did we stop using sin^-1? Is it not in common use outside of GCSE?
Mmm. No, mainly because there is decided ambiguity as to whether it means arcsin or cosec (that is 1/sin)... So we just use arcsin and cosec to avoid problems.
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lordcrusade9
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#46
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[QUOTE=generalebriety]Pardon my intervention, but, how much does a set of three A2 modules cost? :rolleyes: It's more than £35. Whether your school makes you pay or not is up to them...

well schools are obliged to enter you for a level, but not STEP and AEA.
a module is around £15-25. my school paid for my AEA, but i do think it is somehow a waste of money in the sense not many unis use to take students
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insparato
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STEP is administered by Warwick and Cambridge. So if you're applying to them two no doubt the school will pay. The AEA can also be part of the Warwick offer so again schools would probably pay. I did the AEA with no real agenda and i didnt pay for it. I would like to think that schools would encourage people who are bright enough to do well at these challenging exams that they would help by atleast paying for it.

Warwick and Cambridge are great Universities for mathematics. I would think that quite a lot people apply to these two universities to do mathematics.
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generalebriety
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(Original post by studienka)
generalebriety,

When did we stop using sin^-1? Is it not in common use outside of GCSE?
It's in common use at GCSE, and at university. But not at A-level, which is the qualification that most people who will continue to do a scientific degree or job will achieve. At A-level we're specifically told to use arcsin.

(Original post by lordcrusade9)
well schools are obliged to enter you for a level, but not STEP and AEA.
a module is around £15-25. my school paid for my AEA, but i do think it is somehow a waste of money in the sense not many unis use to take students
So?

I studied (some self-taught, some with help from teachers) German GCSE, Spanish GCSE, chemistry AS and Latin AS, as well as a 13th maths module (FP3). I wouldn't call any of that a waste of (the school's) money or (my) time. Indeed, it turned out I absolutely loved German, and I continued it to A-level and I'm considering moving to Germany in the future. Spanish wasn't too great but it now means I can speak very basic Spanish. Same with chemistry and Latin, which will be absolutely no use to me in the future, but which I had sufficient interest in to want to learn. FP3 was advantageous because I'm going to do a maths degree and my school didn't teach FP3, and besides - and this applies to all of the above subjects - I liked it.

As henryt said above, he studied STEP and took the exam purely out of interest. If you want to know why anyone would do that, it's him you should be addressing, not me.

(Original post by insparato)
Warwick and Cambridge are great Universities for mathematics. I would think that quite a lot people apply to these two universities to do mathematics.
Yes, and frankly the thought of paying £70 could never deter me from doing so.
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Hopping Mad Kangaroo
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(Original post by generalebriety)
It's in common use at GCSE, and at university. But not at A-level, which is the qualification that most people who will continue to do a scientific degree or job will achieve. At A-level we're specifically told to use arcsin.


So?

I studied (some self-taught, some with help from teachers) German GCSE, Spanish GCSE, chemistry AS and Latin AS, as well as a 13th maths module (FP3). I wouldn't call any of that a waste of (the school's) money or (my) time. Indeed, it turned out I absolutely loved German, and I continued it to A-level and I'm considering moving to Germany in the future. Spanish wasn't too great but it now means I can speak very basic Spanish. Same with chemistry and Latin, which will be absolutely no use to me in the future, but which I had sufficient interest in to want to learn. FP3 was advantageous because I'm going to do a maths degree and my school didn't teach FP3, and besides - and this applies to all of the above subjects - I liked it.

As henryt said above, he studied STEP and took the exam purely out of interest. If you want to know why anyone would do that, it's him you should be addressing, not me.


Yes, and frankly the thought of paying £70 could never deter me from doing so.
You are forgetting that most people cannot teach themselves like you can, and the teaching resources availiable for those who can are not availiable, or tend to be quite poor. For example the AQA FP2, FP3 and FP4 books...
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generalebriety
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(Original post by RK89)
You are forgetting that most people cannot teach themselves like you can, and the teaching resources availiable for those who can are not availiable, or tend to be quite poor. For example the AQA FP2, FP3 and FP4 books...
I doubt "most people" can't teach themselves, they just wouldn't be used to it like I am. At university you have to teach yourself a hell of a lot more, so if these people literally can't teach themselves, they shouldn't be going to uni. But of course they can teach themselves. In school it's just practically unheard of, so no one dares to. But then I guess I was interested enough to cross that border...

(Heinemann are no better, really. There's always TSR.)
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Hopping Mad Kangaroo
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(Original post by generalebriety)
I doubt "most people" can't teach themselves, they just wouldn't be used to it like I am. At university you have to teach yourself a hell of a lot more, so if these people literally can't teach themselves, they shouldn't be going to uni. But of course they can teach themselves. In school it's just practically unheard of, so no one dares to. But then I guess I was interested enough to cross that border...

(Heinemann are no better, really. There's always TSR.)
Most people, particuarly with maths need quite a lot of help and support. As for university, they still provide quite a lot of help, and there tends to be other students you can learn from. As for the Heinemann books, they are a lot better than the **** AQA provided. They had almost no questions in, some of the stuff didnt actually work, and some of the answers from questions were missing to name a few. Things that came up in the exam were missed off as well. Things that I would know if I had been taught the unit, i suspect.
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generalebriety
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(Original post by RK89)
Most people, particuarly with maths need quite a lot of help and support. As for university, they still provide quite a lot of help, and there tends to be other students you can learn from. As for the Heinemann books, they are a lot better than the **** AQA provided. They had almost no questions in, some of the stuff didnt actually work, and some of the answers from questions were missing to name a few. Things that came up in the exam were missed off as well. Things that I would know if I had been taught the unit, i suspect.
All of this can be provided by TSR, past papers (linked to on TSR), or AQA's syllabus. Seriously.
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Hopping Mad Kangaroo
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(Original post by generalebriety)
All of this can be provided by TSR, past papers (linked to on TSR), or AQA's syllabus. Seriously.
I wouldnt say that is all true, and getting advice off fellow students isnt always that reliable. As for the syllabus, there are quirks in it, and some of it i dont always fully get. Past papers I did, but they changed the syllabus for FP2 this year as well, so that plan went out the window. What they need is a proper textbook, how hard is it. Or for someone not to make 6 incarnations of maths.
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generalebriety
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(Original post by RK89)
I wouldnt say that is all true, and getting advice off fellow students isnt always that reliable. As for the syllabus, there are quirks in it, and some of it i dont always fully get. Past papers I did, but they changed the syllabus for FP2 this year as well, so that plan went out the window. What they need is a proper textbook, how hard is it. Or for someone not to make 6 incarnations of maths.
That's just bad form.

Edexcel might be unreliable but they're half decent.
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Hopping Mad Kangaroo
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(Original post by generalebriety)
That's just bad form.

Edexcel might be unreliable but they're half decent.
Of course it is. Edexcel, having done their physics and GS a-levels are way worse than anything AQA have ever done. I dont see why the government cannot renationalise the exam system, and have one board, one syllabus. But set the exams properly, for once.
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Dystopia
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(Original post by RK89)
I wouldnt say that is all true, and getting advice off fellow students isnt always that reliable. As for the syllabus, there are quirks in it, and some of it i dont always fully get. Past papers I did, but they changed the syllabus for FP2 this year as well, so that plan went out the window. What they need is a proper textbook, how hard is it. Or for someone not to make 6 incarnations of maths.
I don't think the syllabus was changed dramatically, was it?

I taught myself FP2 (AQA syllabus) and took the exam this summer. Admittedly I didn't use the textbook on the website, but having had a look through it didn't look that bad.
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Hopping Mad Kangaroo
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(Original post by Dystopia)
I don't think the syllabus was changed dramatically, was it?

I taught myself FP2 (AQA syllabus) and took the exam this summer. Admittedly I didn't use the textbook on the website, but having had a look through it didn't look that bad.
They added a new chapter in, made the exams harder, and had to keep correcting the textbook of mathematical errors. Not to mention some of the explainations in it were dire and there were nowhere near enough questions in the book to learn from.
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Overmars
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(Original post by Dystopia)
I taught myself FP2 (AQA syllabus) and took the exam this summer. Admittedly I didn't use the textbook on the website, but having had a look through it didn't look that bad.
Well it's all right for some :p:

Many, including myself, would regard FP2 as the hardest module you can do at A-level. Not including STEP and AEAs, of course.
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generalebriety
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(Original post by Synergetic)
Well it's all right for some :p:

Many, including myself, would regard FP2 as the hardest module you can do at A-level. Not including STEP and AEAs, of course.
:ditto:
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silent ninja
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Yes FP2 was the hardest our of the pure maths modules anyway. I'm sure there are a few applied ones that are more difficult.

Anyway, teaching is a major problem with maths and it starts in the lower years. By the time we hit 16, a huge gap has emerged and thats why so much stuff has been pulled out of the syllabus.

We only do whats in front of us, so its annoying to hear these government officials and media complaining its too easy. Anyone who's decent at maths tends to do double maths-- thats gotta count? There was no such obligation to do so 40 years ago.
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