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This year's GCSE maths.....

(451 Posts)
BertrandRussell Wed 22-Feb-17 18:48:43

My ds's maths teacher has just told me that the 7000 odd schools that did the new maths GCSE as mocks recently achieved a modal score of 11% for paper 1. 11% ? Surely not!!!!!! shock

titchy Wed 22-Feb-17 18:55:24

😲 Bloody hell....

Is @noblegiraffe around to confirm/deny?

BertrandRussell Wed 22-Feb-17 18:58:35

I was hoping she might be around.

The person who did best in ds's class got 26%........a lot got single figures.

BertrandRussell Wed 22-Feb-17 18:59:07

But it's not a high attaining group.

dingit Wed 22-Feb-17 19:06:06

Ds got a 3 just before Xmas, which must have been around that %. He's just done another which he said he found easier this time. He needs 4 for college confused

Biscuitsneeded Wed 22-Feb-17 19:14:39

Am a secondary teacher, but not a maths teacher. Think I heard maths colleague saying our bottom set were getting 3s and 4s in maths. I teach languages, and am dreading next year when the numerical grades and harder exams come in, already!

BertrandRussell Wed 22-Feb-17 19:21:27

I would say bottom sets getting 3s and 4s is pretty good in this context.

The 26 (or maybe it was 28?)% equated to a 6.

noblegiraffe Wed 22-Feb-17 19:46:55

No, it wasn't 11%, that would be ridiculously low!

It was 11 marks. Each paper is out of 80, so more like 14% which is way better hmm.

The median mark for higher was 65 out of 240.

Basically the exam analysis said that for the data they were sent, it was split about 40:60 foundation to higher, and from the results it should at least be the other way around if not even more in favour of foundation.

The results for the foundation paper were also pretty low - a median of 73/240 marks for a total of all three papers, so there is plenty of space on the foundation paper for a large influx of higher tier students.

This was for Edexcel.

titchy Wed 22-Feb-17 20:21:16

Oh phew 14% - that's ok then... Gosh.

Reasontobelieve Wed 22-Feb-17 20:29:40

This is something that I have picked up as well and am surprised that it isn't being more widely discussed. The mock GCSE was very hard for middle achievers and below. My dd has been told by her maths teacher to 'lower her expectations'. It seems to me that they just haven't had time to build up to the standards now required.

dingit Wed 22-Feb-17 20:34:45

That's worrying then as ds is set 2.

noblegiraffe Wed 22-Feb-17 20:41:15

Actually, the abysmal results across the board should be reassuring rather than worrying. Roughly the top 70% of students will get a 4 or higher and the top 20% of students will get a 7 or higher regardless of how low that will make the grade boundaries.

To be in the top 20% of the higher paper just sat would require a mark of 104 out of 240. Obviously that doesn't mean that 104/240 in the summer would get a 7, there will be a mass exodus to Foundation and also students will have had months more learning and take the exam seriously so the marks will go up, but what it does mean is that even if you got under 50% in the mock, things are still looking hopeful for a top grade in the summer.

dingit Wed 22-Feb-17 20:58:05

What's not helping him is they are constantly being told how much harder it is. It has completely undermined his confidence. But heyho, he just needs that 4.

noblegiraffe Wed 22-Feb-17 21:15:12

If he's doing higher and he got 11% then it's no wonder his confidence is shot. Has anyone suggested he switch to foundation?

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 22-Feb-17 22:09:07

crickey. I knew the marks were low, but not that low. No wonder there is another set of mocks.

dingit Thu 23-Feb-17 08:47:09

Noble, I hadn't thought of that. I will see what the next mock mark is. I don't have much faith in the maths department!

BertrandRussell Thu 23-Feb-17 08:47:13

Sorry about the 11%/11 marks mix up- my mistake. I remember struggling with %ages when I was at school! grin

Ds said that a lot of people in his group found the wording of the questions really hard- when they looked over it later they said it wasn't the maths that was the problem. They didn't understand the question and panicked. Which seems to tie in with teachers not having been given enough time to get kids used to the new exams

fuckingwall Thu 23-Feb-17 09:55:37

Does this apply to both AQA and edexcel?

MsAwesomeDragon Thu 23-Feb-17 10:17:01

The wording of the questions has changed, the are fewer straightforward "solve this equation" type questions and more problem solving in context type questions, which everybody finds harder.

My class are all aiming for grades 5-7, and in the mock they were scoring between 30-110 out of 240 in the higher paper. I assume other schools are now in a similar position to mine, in that we have only just finished the actual content and are now beginning to focus on revision and exam technique. In previous years we'd have finished the content by Christmas at the latest and have had quite a few weeks of revision before the mock. We're moving anybody who is aiming for a 5 to the foundation paper, so I assume other schools will do similar.

I'm not actually too disappointed with the results from my class, although I know they are. Most of them are responding to the results by starting to do some independent revision, attending revision sessions after school, completing the practice papers I'm giving them more thoroughly, etc. Which IMO is a good thing and will lead to better results in the summer.

user1471467016 Thu 23-Feb-17 10:18:19

Yes, it feels like we are staring into the abyss with maths and eng, however if you are really interested I've copied a link

ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2017/02/03/grade-boundaries-the-problems-with-predictions/

www.cambridgeassessment.org.uk/Images/298710-a-possible-formula-to-determine-the-percentage-of-candidates-who-should-receive-the-new-gcse-grade-9-in-each-subject.pdf

A summary of which is the same amount of kids will pass this year as every other year (roughly), some more muddle with the fact the grades sets are different but they are basically saying 'don't panic.' They will fix it after the test so the results show what they want. It is beyond appalling and anything that gets this out, onto social media/public awareness is a very good thing. If you can stomach reading this document, the level of contradiction is astounding....we have had grade inflation, we need a new system, the new system will follow the old system. Don't worry everything will stay the same, despite the only reasons for the change being the old system was wrong!!!

However for the kids going through this, it is utterly crap. No grade descriptors exists (e.g for grade 9), it's dog eat dog. Your kid simply has to do better than others. Even if this is marginal (hence the comment about 11 marks, 11% being critical).

If you read the final paragraph of the second document...

It might have been sensible if in fact this was thought through before the courses were designed, rather than an afterthought for the students, teachers and parents

BertrandRussell Thu 23-Feb-17 10:22:40

Is the breakdown of the 7000 schools that did the mock anywhere? Ds says they were shown a graph. I'd be really interested to see it.

BertrandRussell Thu 23-Feb-17 10:26:36

I thought this was interesting. Particularly what he says about the disappearance of the "E" safety net

tiggytape Thu 23-Feb-17 13:52:27

The August results will be adjusted so that roughly the same proportion of children get a 4 or above as got a C or above under the old system - but of course that is all retrospectively applied.

I think the danger is that the sheer slog of getting through 3 papers where the majority of students can barely answer more than 1 in every 5 or 1 in every 10 questions is going to make it as much a test of resilience as of maths. Some will cope with that and rationalise that better than others I suppose.

BertrandRussell Thu 23-Feb-17 14:36:50

The person in my ds's class who got 26 marks got a 6. Which is just ridiculous.

BertrandRussell Thu 23-Feb-17 14:39:38

Tiggy,, your test of resilience point is interesting. And I suspect means that lower ability, non academically inclined children are going to suffer disproportionately. As are schools with a high %age of children like that.

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