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Difference between Foundation and Higher maths

(14 Posts)
pastimperfect Thu 24-Aug-17 14:17:47

Could someone explain the difference between Foundation and Higher GCSE Maths? I've tried googling this, but I've not been able go get my head around what it all means.

RedHelenB Thu 24-Aug-17 15:34:32

Higher maths means you need to learn harder maths. Foundation you would need more marks on the paper to get a 4 than on the higher - in a nutshell!

toastandbutterandjam Thu 24-Aug-17 15:36:07

With foundation GCSE, you can not achieve higher than a C, to pass, you need to get quite a high score because the top mark is a C - I might be wrong there though - I was always told you need 75% per paper to pass.

With higher, you can achieve all the way up to an A*, but it is in much more depth than the foundation paper e.g you'll study something such as 'standard form' (just choosing a random maths topic) if you sit the higher paper, whereas you don't need to know it if you sit the foundation paper

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 24-Aug-17 15:52:50

With the new GCSE foundation maths is grades 1-5 and higher, grades 4-9. So you can 'pass' on either paper but the higher includes harder questions.

The crossover is now grades 4&5 and used to be grades D & C so making the new higher paper harder than the old one as 4 is roughly bottom 2/3 of a C and 5 top third of a C and bottom third of a B.

Draylon Thu 24-Aug-17 16:21:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WiganPierre Thu 24-Aug-17 16:25:01

I think you do an extra module at the end for higher maths. With harder maths to learn. You won't be able to get the top grades (9, 8, 7, 6) with foundation maths. The top grade you can get is the equivalent of a C, I believe.

titchy Thu 24-Aug-17 16:27:45

Drayton - because for MFL only the two exam papers are tiered. The speaking and writing parts aren't - hence the As. Though god knows what your school was thinking putting an A kid into foundation for reading and listening...

In terms of the grade you get there is no difference between higher and foundation. The higher paper gives grades from 3 - 9, and includes difficult questions. The foundation paper only has easier questions, but the max grade awarded is a 5, and you'd need a much higher proportion of correct answers for that 5 than if you sat higher.

pastimperfect Thu 24-Aug-17 16:45:09

Thanks for the replies. You've all explained it far more succinctly than any of the websites I found grin

Draylon Thu 24-Aug-17 16:47:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Copperbeech33 Thu 24-Aug-17 18:14:01

foundation maths has less content, easier questions, and can only achieve lower grades

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 24-Aug-17 18:59:52

titchy, I don't think the higher is 3-9, it's 4-9 which has meant fewer DC being entered for it.

titchy Thu 24-Aug-17 19:09:10

Officially it's 4-9, but very last minute as the papers were so hard compared to the old ones, the exam boards were asked to award grade 3s to those that just missed the grade 4 mark. This year AQA Maths awarded grade 3 to everyone who managed 33 raw marks out of the 240 total.

WhyArePiratesCalledPirates Thu 24-Aug-17 20:02:49

The higher has always had a small window for pupils who fail to gain enough marks for a D. They always intended to do this so technically the higher does start at 3 but it is a small boundary of marks. It's not intended that pupils who do higher should be aiming for 3 but is there "just in case".

But that aside other posters are correct. Foundation goes from 1 to 5 and higher from 3 to 9. You need significantly more marks on foundation to achieve a 4 or 5 BUT the preceding questions are easier.

The 4/5 questions are common and appear on both higher and foundation so really only pupils who are aiming for a 6+ Need to do higher but some times it works better for the 4/5 pupils to attempt the higher with more focussed revision... but not always.

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 24-Aug-17 20:05:02

I didn't know that, thanks.

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