The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the body in charge of exams in the UK, is running a newspaper ad to show that A levels are not getting easier. They do this by reproducing exam questions. And which gets the greatest prominence by far? You guessed it – an A level maths question. This is because everyone “knows” that maths is hard and only the brightest people take it. Sigh!
|Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â||The question just asks you to find the x-coordinate of the minimum point of using an iterative solution of .
Of course it holds your hand through the question, as is the fashion these days as I have mentioned before.
There is some good news. The BBC report Maths resurgence follows changes says that the number of students taking A level mathematics is increasing, though sadly still at a low level. The article also says: “Another encouraging feature of the figures is that girls significantly outnumber boys among the new students.” which certainly agrees with my experience as you’ll see from the photo. The results for the pictured students were excellent – congratulations to all of them.