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# Is it me or did they crank up GCSE maths? watch

1. Last year, half the people in my year got 9s in GCSE maths. Our teacher seemed confident that we(set 1) would get all 9s but after recent mocks only 4 people in the year got them despite the grade boundary being quite reasonable(was 85% for a 9). Did they just suddenly make maths harder because too many got 9s? I have a good maths textbook but it is no longer useful because it doesn't prepare me for the harder questions.
2. (Original post by xhyper22)
Last year, half the people in my year got 9s in GCSE maths. Our teacher seemed confident that we(set 1) would get all 9s but after recent mocks only 4 people in the year got them despite the grade boundary being quite reasonable(was 85% for a 9). Did they just suddenly make maths harder because too many got 9s? I have a good maths textbook but it is no longer useful because it doesn't prepare me for the harder questions.
It's only February so you'd expect a year group to do worse than they would in May. For the real thing the grade distribution in your year will probably be similar to last year.
Listen, only a handful of 9's are allowed to be given. Maths is basically a compulsory subject for GCSE-this means that everyone has to take it. Its clear your school or set is very intelligent.
Other schools may not be. In fact, there's a lot of schools that do not have intelligent students. To achieve a pass it only took 18%. 18%. That's pathetic-but that also shows how dumb some kids are.
This means its easier for us to achieve 9's because the grade boundaries get lower.

In your school, there may not be lots of dumb people-heck scores may have ranged from the lowest 80% to highest 95%. This means that those who scored 93% and higher may have got a 9 and those who got 80% may have got a measly 5 or 6.

Its hard to say what gives you a 9. Its generally 2-5% lower than the highest marks; but that's based on everyone performance as shown in the previous year. Plus I'm no Exam guy, just a GCSE student.
4. (Original post by xhyper22)
Last year, half the people in my year got 9s in GCSE maths. Our teacher seemed confident that we(set 1) would get all 9s but after recent mocks only 4 people in the year got them despite the grade boundary being quite reasonable(was 85% for a 9). Did they just suddenly make maths harder because too many got 9s? I have a good maths textbook but it is no longer useful because it doesn't prepare me for the harder questions.
In my last post I assumed you’d been given last years paper with the correct grade boundaries. But as the poster above me has said, it sounds like you’ve been given a mock that may have been harder than the real paper plus the grade boundaries wil have been made up by your school.

This is in addition to what I said above about results in February being worse.
5. (Original post by Notnek)
It's only February so you'd expect a year group to do worse than they would in May. For the real thing the grade distribution in your year will probably be similar to last year.
What can I do to improve apart from using the questions in the grade 9 thread?
6. I sat the maths exam last year and got a 5. Before they changed the exams I was getting A’s and B’s in mocks. The content has definitely got much harder
7. (Original post by mc_miah)
Listen, only a handful of 9's are allowed to be given. Maths is basically a compulsory subject for GCSE-this means that everyone has to take it. Its clear your school or set is very intelligent.
Other schools may not be. In fact, there's a lot of schools that do not have intelligent students. To achieve a pass it only took 18%. 18%. That's pathetic-but that also shows how dumb some kids are.
This means its easier for us to achieve 9's because the grade boundaries get lower.

In your school, there may not be lots of dumb people-heck scores may have ranged from the lowest 80% to highest 95%. This means that those who scored 93% and higher may have got a 9 and those who got 80% may have got a measly 5 or 6.

Its hard to say what gives you a 9. Its generally 2-5% lower than the highest average marks; but that's based on everyone performance as shown in the previous year. Plus I'm no Exam guy, just a GCSE student.
That's not correct, grade boundaries are established by the entire cohort not the school...
8. (Original post by mc_miah)
Listen, only a handful of 9's are allowed to be given. Maths is basically a compulsory subject for GCSE-this means that everyone has to take it. Its clear your school or set is very intelligent.
Other schools may not be. In fact, there's a lot of schools that do not have intelligent students. To achieve a pass it only took 18%. 18%. That's pathetic-but that also shows how dumb some kids are.
This means its easier for us to achieve 9's because the grade boundaries get lower.

In your school, there may not be lots of dumb people-heck scores may have ranged from the lowest 80% to highest 95%. This means that those who scored 93% and higher may have got a 9 and those who got 80% may have got a measly 5 or 6.

Its hard to say what gives you a 9. Its generally 2-5% lower than the highest average marks; but that's based on everyone performance as shown in the previous year. Plus I'm no Exam guy, just a GCSE student.
Lol no. Our year average was what? 64%? It was 69% for an 8 and 85 for a 9. Our school is supposed to be smart but there are also very smart kids from private schools too who will obliterate us.
9. (Original post by xhyper22)
What can I do to improve apart from using the questions in the grade 9 thread?
For grade 9 aiming students I recommend getting the grade 9 CGP textbook if you don't have it already. Plus do as many practice papers as you can - here is a list of my recommended papers. Also this book.

Also I made a revision checklist with links to exam style questions that may be useful for you.
10. Also boundaries? I thought ranking was the main thing behind the 9-1 system. It's top percentage who get 9s not like if u get 80% u get one. Then theoretically most people could get one. The government didn't want this so thats why we have 9-1.
11. (Original post by mc_miah)
Listen, only a handful of 9's are allowed to be given. Maths is basically a compulsory subject for GCSE-this means that everyone has to take it. Its clear your school or set is very intelligent.
Other schools may not be. In fact, there's a lot of schools that do not have intelligent students. To achieve a pass it only took 18%. 18%. That's pathetic-but that also shows how dumb some kids are.
This means its easier for us to achieve 9's because the grade boundaries get lower.

In your school, there may not be lots of dumb people-heck scores may have ranged from the lowest 80% to highest 95%. This means that those who scored 93% and higher may have got a 9 and those who got 80% may have got a measly 5 or 6.

Its hard to say what gives you a 9. Its generally 2-5% lower than the highest average marks; but that's based on everyone performance as shown in the previous year. Plus I'm no Exam guy, just a GCSE student.
is that 18% bit for foundation or higher tier
is that 18% bit for foundation or higher tier
It was actually 17% to get a 4 last year which is considered a low pass. You can see the boundaries here.

Getting 17% doesn't really show enough ability to warrant a pass so this didn't work out very well at the low end. Having 3 tiers of papers (foundation, intermediate and higher) may have been a better idea to make sure grade 4 students stay away from the higher paper but at the same time have a paper to differentiate between the high ability students.
13. (Original post by Notnek)
For grade 9 aiming students I recommend getting the grade 9 CGP textbook if you don't have it already. Plus do as many practice papers as you can - here is a list of my recommended papers. Also this book.

Also I made a revision checklist with links to exam style questions that may be useful for you.
Thank you so much! You're the best! Is 3 months enough though? That's my only worry because I felt I've left it a bit late(or it's just me).
14. (Original post by xhyper22)
Thank you so much! You're the best! Is 3 months enough though? That's my only worry because I felt I've left it a bit late(or it's just me).
3 months is plenty of time. Make sure you believe you can get a 9 and come up with a plan and decide how much work you're going to do. And as I said above, try as many papers as you can!

Good luck
15. (Original post by xhyper22)
Also boundaries? I thought ranking was the main thing behind the 9-1 system. It's top percentage who get 9s not like if u get 80% u get one. Then theoretically most people could get one. The government didn't want this so thats why we have 9-1.
No i though its a very small boundary which only the op students can get-you even put mentioned boundaries in your thread OP. I'll change the highest average mark to highest mark though.
16. Also how big is the book by Mark Ritchings?
17. (Original post by Anagogic)
That's not correct, grade boundaries are established by the entire cohort not the school...
Ah right, I though because it was external exams it was just school. Well **** I guess I did all right in my mocks then
18. (Original post by xhyper22)
Also how big is the book by Mark Ritchings?
It's 33 hard questions with solutions. Most are very challenging - I'd recommend these questions once you're comfortable with more typical exam questions.

The questions here are good practice in addition to what I've said already.
19. (Original post by Notnek)
It was actually 17% to get a 4 last year which is considered a low pass. You can see the boundaries here.

Getting 17% doesn't really show enough ability to warrant a pass so this didn't work out very well at the low end. Having 3 tiers of papers (foundation, intermediate and higher) may have been a better idea to make sure grade 4 students stay away from the higher paper but at the same time have a paper to differentiate between the high ability students.
wow ok, thank you
20. The questions for the mock exams were much harder than the real exam (at least it was for my school)

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Updated: February 11, 2018
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