# Mathematics Weblog

## A Level Results Day

Thursday 17 August 2006 at 4:08 pm | In Articles | 2 CommentsThe 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.

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Hi, I don’t know in what way that is hard?

It’s always the same old crap, but yet our 18 year olds still don’t compare with French students, North Koreans, Scandinavians… who may I say: take more subjects than us. Yet they are much better trained in Mathematical techniques and mathematical thought (much more than we are).

Perhaps I should compile some pure mathematical questions from pre-university exams from round the world and humuliate the British Alevels.

Comment by Aaron — Thursday 31 August 2006 7:09 pm #

Perhaps I should compile some pure mathematical questions from pre-university exams from round the world and humuliate the British Alevels.That sounds like an excellent idea

Comment by Steve — Thursday 31 August 2006 7:31 pm #