Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Manchester United)
    A-Level Maths shouldn't be like this, otherwise it would: put a lot of people off taking the subject or convince people to drop the subject, and thus, they will only have an education of up to GCSE Maths for when they go to university. So the only people who will benefit are the elite mathematicians. Also note, the demand for A-Level Maths teachers will decline because less people are choosing to study it, hence less jobs for mathematics graduates.

    However, for the elite, 'we' are already challenging ourselves with AEA/STEP/MAT and the paper provided by Mr M is no harder than AEA.

    When 90% of an average year group can master STEP III, then it will be appropriate to increase the difficulty of the A-Level exams.
    Students could handle this in the 1960s/70s and they haven't gotten stupider, so there is no reason why, once they get used to this level of difficulty, they couldn't handle it now.

    Although I do agree with you that this level of difficulty would put a lot of people off, but I think A-Level was sat by very few people in the 60s and 70s, and S-Level was for a even smaller number of students(The best of the best basically). So the S-Level paper in the OP wasn't sat by the majority of candidates.

    (Please correct me on this if I'm wrong).
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    <snip>
    This is a very old thread, but since its come up again, do you happen to have the A-Level Maths paper from 1975?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by around)
    This isn't a-level standard, this is more comparable to STEP.
    Exactly. Have you seen the STEP papers, they're horrendous and the mark schemes are really low. These papers are for cambridge/imperial/warwick applicants. Normal A level mathematicians wouldn't stand a chance 1970's or not.
    • Community Assistant
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by ThatPerson)
    This is a very old thread, but since its come up again, do you happen to have the A-Level Maths paper from 1975?
    Let me look under my sofa.



    Nope!

    There was more than one A Level paper in 1975 and no-one maintains a complete collection.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    Let me look under my sofa.



    Nope!

    There was more than one A Level paper in 1975 and no-one maintains a complete collection.
    Do you by any chance happen to have old A-Level syllabi?
    • Community Assistant
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by shamika)
    Do you by any chance happen to have old A-Level syllabi?
    I don't think so.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    I don't think so.
    Worth a shot. Do the exam boards keep them? Shocked they don't have a full set of old past papers...
    • Community Assistant
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by shamika)
    Worth a shot. Do the exam boards keep them? Shocked they don't have a full set of old past papers...
    Examination paper nostalgia may be a relatively recent development.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    they were back then! but that isn't the approach expected ... i looked at gradients too
    Would this work?

    Prove that x + 1 is a tangent to e^x at (0, 1) by plugging in x = 0 and finding the gradient to be 1 at x = 0. Then plug in any other x value and show that x + 1 is less than e^x, and since x + 1 doesn't cross e^x again it is less than or equal to it.

    EDIT: Just realised this is an old thread.
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Study Helper
    (Original post by shamika)
    Do you by any chance happen to have old A-Level syllabi?
    As MrM points out, there were several A Level (and for that matter O level) exam boards and syllabi at that time.

    I too would be curious to see some of the papers I sat from the 1980s.

    You may be interested to know that we studied a Modern Maths syllabus (moderated by the School Mathematics Project) at my school - for my O Level exam (not even A Level!) we had to learn:

    matrices and vectors including multiplication of rectangular matrices of various sizes
    determinants and matrix inverses of 2x2 inverses
    use of matrices to represent 2D transformations - rotations, reflections and shear
    modular arithmetic
    groups - basic group tables and knowledge of the axioms
    converting numbers between different number bases e.g. decimal and hexadecimal or base-5 to base-8
    basic set notation - inclusion, is-an-element-of, subsets, empty set
    basic topology - Euler's formula for polygons (and possibly polyhedra)
    logarithms

    I can also remember in class that we looked at the Fibonacci and Farey sequences, and tessellations of various shapes.

    For the SMP A Level there was a strong focus on vector techniques in kinematics, and the standard A level syllabus included complex numbers.


    I had a look at some Further Maths papers from a traditional syllabus at the time and they included questions on partial differentiation!

    There's definitely an assumption now that teenage students are incapable of studying anything vaguely interesting or out of the ordinary
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    Examination paper nostalgia may be a relatively recent development.
    here are some more retro papers... O Level this time

    http://bland.in/GCE/index.html

    http://www.burtongrammar.co.uk/school-work

    here are some O & A level papers:

    http://www.mathapps.net/exams/aaaexams.htm
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by davros)
    As MrM points out, there were several A Level (and for that matter O level) exam boards and syllabi at that time.

    I too would be curious to see some of the papers I sat from the 1980s.

    You may be interested to know that we studied a Modern Maths syllabus (moderated by the School Mathematics Project) at my school - for my O Level exam (not even A Level!) we had to learn:

    matrices and vectors including multiplication of rectangular matrices of various sizes
    determinants and matrix inverses of 2x2 inverses
    use of matrices to represent 2D transformations - rotations, reflections and shear
    modular arithmetic
    groups - basic group tables and knowledge of the axioms
    converting numbers between different number bases e.g. decimal and hexadecimal or base-5 to base-8
    basic set notation - inclusion, is-an-element-of, subsets, empty set
    basic topology - Euler's formula for polygons (and possibly polyhedra)
    logarithms

    I can also remember in class that we looked at the Fibonacci and Farey sequences, and tessellations of various shapes.

    For the SMP A Level there was a strong focus on vector techniques in kinematics, and the standard A level syllabus included complex numbers.


    I had a look at some Further Maths papers from a traditional syllabus at the time and they included questions on partial differentiation!

    There's definitely an assumption now that teenage students are incapable of studying anything vaguely interesting or out of the ordinary
    Well this is precisely the reason I want to see what was available - I took my A-Levels in the early 2000s, and apart from central forces in M6, they're pretty much the same as the A-Levels now. I would've paid a lot more attention if the A-Level syllabus was kept like it was around the 60's and 70's...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by davros)
    As MrM points out, there were several A Level (and for that matter O level) exam boards and syllabi at that time.

    I too would be curious to see some of the papers I sat from the 1980s.

    You may be interested to know that we studied a Modern Maths syllabus (moderated by the School Mathematics Project) at my school - for my O Level exam (not even A Level!) we had to learn:

    matrices and vectors including multiplication of rectangular matrices of various sizes
    determinants and matrix inverses of 2x2 inverses
    use of matrices to represent 2D transformations - rotations, reflections and shear
    modular arithmetic
    groups - basic group tables and knowledge of the axioms
    converting numbers between different number bases e.g. decimal and hexadecimal or base-5 to base-8
    basic set notation - inclusion, is-an-element-of, subsets, empty set
    basic topology - Euler's formula for polygons (and possibly polyhedra)
    logarithms

    I can also remember in class that we looked at the Fibonacci and Farey sequences, and tessellations of various shapes.

    For the SMP A Level there was a strong focus on vector techniques in kinematics, and the standard A level syllabus included complex numbers.


    I had a look at some Further Maths papers from a traditional syllabus at the time and they included questions on partial differentiation!

    There's definitely an assumption now that teenage students are incapable of studying anything vaguely interesting or out of the ordinary
    I think vector spaces were in some further maths syllabuses.
    • Community Assistant
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by shamika)
    Do you by any chance happen to have old A-Level syllabi?
    Here you go ...

    Here are the London (later to become Edexcel) syllabuses for O Level (GCSE equivalent) and A Level for 1952. The lack of detail compared to present-day specifications is notable.
    Attached Images
  1. File Type: pdf London (Edexcel) O and A Level syllabuses 1952 compressed.pdf (477.6 KB, 304 views)
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    Here you go ...

    Here are the London (later to become Edexcel) syllabuses for O Level (GCSE equivalent) and A Level for 1952. The lack of detail compared to present-day specifications is notable.
    Thanks! Did further maths not exist back in 1952? (So you had to take all of today's equivalent of C1-C4, FP1-FP3 to get a single A-Level?).

    Also: "The questions will be of a simple and straightforward character". Clearly dumbing down was an issue in the 1950s too

    EDIT: The difference between O level maths and GCSE higher tier is just shocking. How can anyone with a straight face say that these are comparable qualifications? The A-Levels hold up far better than that.

    The reason I was asking for the syllabi around 1970 is because I believe that's around the time when there is a proliferation of exam boards, and the introduction of a set theoretic approach to the A-Levels. I'm curious to see how much set theory / abstract algebra actually made it into the A-Levels, and whether its like the current MEI syllabus for FP3 (I.e. pretty useless)
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by shamika)
    Thanks! Did further maths not exist back in 1952? (So you had to take all of today's equivalent of C1-C4, FP1-FP3 to get a single A-Level?).

    Also: "The questions will be of a simple and straightforward character". Clearly dumbing down was an issue in the 1950s too

    EDIT: The difference between O level maths and GCSE higher tier is just shocking. How can anyone with a straight face say that these are comparable qualifications? The A-Levels hold up far better than that.

    The reason I was asking for the syllabi around 1970 is because I believe that's around the time when there is a proliferation of exam boards, and the introduction of a set theoretic approach to the A-Levels. I'm curious to see how much set theory / abstract algebra actually made it into the A-Levels, and whether its like the current MEI syllabus for FP3 (I.e. pretty useless)
    MEI had a weird setup, at least for the 80s, in that partial diff was NOT in either the single or further syllabus yet it was for Single S-Level!

    Kind of contradicts the notion that S-Level does NOT require knowledge of extra material!
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Study Helper
    Very interesting. Definitely more difficult than A level today, seems equivalent in difficulty to A2 further maths to me.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Unfortunately this was the standard right up until around the late 80's, when over the years the dumbing down of the complexity of the questions occurred.
    Now I'd say Maths A level today is no more taxing than the old GCE OA level Additional Maths 30 years ago .. shocking!
    • Community Assistant
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by twincamturbo)
    Now I'd say Maths A level today is no more taxing than the old GCE OA level Additional Maths 30 years ago .. shocking!
    I took GCE OA Additional Maths 30 (to 1 s.f.) years ago and that is an exaggeration.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I know that this is an old thread, but it has made me realise the slash and burn job done on A level maths (maybe all A levels). I sat maths and further maths in 1991. I also did two STEP papers. The content of the current A level (for both maths and further maths) is much smaller. Even if you ignore the content, the depth isn't their either. It is a real loss for students who really enjoy mathematics and could really benefit from learning an area in depth. I don't know why this was done? If it was just to inflate the grades then we're all poorer for it. Maths is a beautiful subject and learning it at this level gives you a fantastic component of a great education. I would urge anyone who enjoys maths to get hold of an old syllabus, old exam papers, and a good quality 'old' text book. It is much harder than the current excuse, but you'll realise why you'll benefit very fast. I'm not trying to make some statement about how easy the A level is now. My statement is how talented students are missing out on a great opportunity. I was fortunate to find some musty old Schaum text books in my fathers box of papers. I learnt so much at A level just from these books.
 
 
 
  • 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
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
    Useful resources

    Make your revision easier

    Maths

    Maths Forum posting guidelines

    Not sure where to post? Read the updated guidelines here

    Equations

    How to use LaTex

    Writing equations the easy way

    Student revising

    Study habits of A* students

    Top tips from students who have already aced their exams

    Study Planner

    Create your own Study Planner

    Never miss a deadline again

    Polling station sign

    Thinking about a maths degree?

    Chat with other maths applicants

    Can you help? Study help unanswered threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • 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

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.