it was all good till question 15 then it went downhill by about h metres #EdexcelMaths—
philippa (@uberhowell) June 04, 2015
Reports were released late May that the new maths GCSE papers would be rewritten after being found too difficult. Having sat the Edexcel Non-Calculator Exam just a few hours ago, I fear they might have forgotten to rewrite the second half. And I’m not alone.
Whilst I found the paper generally not too taxing, it doesn’t seem to be the common conception. #EdexcelMaths is trending on twitter and the reactions and frustrations of teens nationwide are quickly going viral.
#EdexcelMaths where was the typical 'John is making a cake' 'work out how much flour he needs to make 18 cakes'—
SQ (@stephhquinn) June 04, 2015
I’ve ranted about the examination system a lot in the past and I think this is an adequate example of why it doesn’t work. Whilst it’s evident that maths questions are meant to test a person’s problem solving ability alongside their mathematical ability, it is not a comprehension exam. Simply giving the equation would test a person’s mathematical ability far better than it would to suffocate the equation in a cloud of meaningless back story. Likewise, the relevance of what is taught in maths – an exam that requires a pass in just to go onto further education, regardless of whether or not maths is a subject you want to continue to study – is difficult to find. This has clearly been expressed in many of the tweets currently going viral. Let’s take, for example, calculating the probability of a person picking an orange sweet and expressing this by proving an algebraic equation — how are the two linked in any shape, way or form?
Rorybrazendale (@rorybraz12) June 04, 2015
Emily Bell (@_EmilyBellxo) June 04, 2015
What I want to express clearly is that I’m not against education and I’m not against teaching people skills in maths and problem solving. However, learning something just to pass an exam that has no relevance to real life is something I don’t see much value in.
If you sat the Edexcel exam today, let me know you think it went in the comment section. If you want to share your answer – go ahead, because I’m trying to work out how many I got right at the moment. 😉