GCSE Grade Required for AS Maths

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GCSE Grade Required for AS Maths

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    Following results day, we are thinking ahead to what GCSE grade should be necessary to study AS Maths.

     

    Of those students who achieved a B at GCSE, 82% got a U at AS, and 18% got B - E (mostly lower end of this).

    Does this stand similarly with other schools and your professional experience?

    Currently, we insist on a B+ at GCSE for entry into the course, but are we doing those students who get a U a disservice?

    What GCSE grades do your schools insist on for entry into AS?

    Is there an alternative qualification that suits these B graders better?

    Your comments appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    jg362

    Of those students who achieved a B at GCSE, 82% got a U at AS, and 18% got B - E (mostly lower end of this).

    Does this stand similarly with other schools and your professional experience?

    No.  It's better than my experience.

    18% getting anything other than a U is actually quite amazing.  (Do you include drop outs in your figures?)

    jg362

    Is there an alternative qualification that suits these B graders better?

    We have no specific entry qualifications at my current school but we make the prospects for those without As very clear.  We do have kids who try AS, find it far too tough in the first few weeks and who then switch to Statistics relatively successfully.

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    I guess the other question is: of your 18% who did get a grade (and particularly B/C grades), would you have been able to identify them as potential exceptions to a rule? You might not want to stop those students taking A-level.

    Publicising the "only about one in five people who do AS with a B grade pass" might deter many - whilst letting those who are determined know that it is achievable, but only with very hard work.

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    If the students are almost entirely coming from your year 11, your best bet is to say those with grade B can only take AS with the approval of their GCSE class teacher. When I worked in FE we didn't have that luxury but following a pretty dire set of results we devoted the first week of AS to a refresher on GCSE level algebra and trig, with a short test at the end of the week. This meant that we could identify any who weren't going to cut it (including some grade A students who had got by without mastering much algebra). Having it sorted within a week meant we could get the students on to other courses in time. If we knew students wanted to do maths and either had or were predicted a B we sent them away over the summer prior to starting with a pack of revision material, both to prove their work ethic and improve their algebra skills. As frustum says, you don't want to lose anyone who could succeed but at the same time you don't want anyone wasting their and your time when they're not going to make it.

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    The students we accept onto the course have to:

    a) get at least a B grade

    b) be approved by their GCSE teacher

    c) complete a preparation book over the summer

    d) come to a study day in July

    e) get 70% in a Maths test the day after enrolment

    and EVEN THEN we have students who just aren't ready for the demands of algebra-heavy homeworks in the first 2 weeks of term...

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    We ask for at least an A but if the pupils with B grades can put a good enough case forward we sometimes take them. They still struggle and I can't remember a student with a B at GCSE that achieved higher than a D at AS, and then couldn't cope with A2 anyway. This next year we are intending to introduce a test that they have to pass a few weeks in to be able to carry on (as has been mentioned already)

    I usually put it across to pupils that ask me whether they should take it with a B, that its the lesser of 2 evils. They either take it and really struggle and probably won't get anywhere, or they aren't allowed to take it which is disappointing for them, but spares them a 'wasted' choice.

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    I agree with much of what has already been written.

    I added this to my site a while back:

    www.m4ths.com/is-a-level-for-me.html

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    That link you posted is beyond awesome! :)

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    Owen134866

    That link you posted is beyond awesome! :)

    It's very good.

    A couple of things.  I'm pretty sure there's a practice that should be a practise in there..

    And on the calculator choice.  The Fx-991 ES+ for A level.  About a fiver more than the fx-83/5 but with numerical integration and equation solving - and statistics functions that mean you don't need tables for most of S1.

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    Is the answer not in the question.

    2013 AQA 43652/H [6 marks] Solve the equation;

    5/(x+2) + 4/(x+1) = 2, answer x = -3/2 or x = 3. Compare 1960 'O' - Level Ma question.

    The third term of a GP exceeds the second term by 35/22 and the second term exceeds the first by 7/11. Find the first term and the common ratio. Answers r = 5/2 and a = 14/33.

    Regards, HH.

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    To do AS maths we require a grade B at GCSE. However, we also look at the student's full GCSE profile, if the student got mainly As and Bs with a B in maths then we will accept them onto the AS course and these students usually do quite well. If their profile if mainly Bs and Cs with a B in maths then we will accept them onto the Use of Maths course (AQA) again with high success rates. The Use of Maths course is really good for students wanting to do more maths beyond GCSE without the rigor and demand of the traditional AS course. It is a full AS & A level qualification and carries the same UCAS points as any other A level. Well worth a look if you are considering an alternative qualification that is more accessible to weaker B grade students that the traditional AS maths.

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    Owen134866

    That link you posted is beyond awesome! :)

    Thanks for the positive comments.

    PaulDG

    It's very good.

    A couple of things.  I'm pretty sure there's a practice that should be a practise in there..

    And on the calculator choice.  The Fx-991 ES+ for A level.  About a fiver more than the fx-83/5 but with numerical integration and equation solving - and statistics functions that mean you don't need tables for most of S1.

     

    Thanks Paul. I shall have a look at those.

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    SC00BY

    To do AS maths we require a grade B at GCSE. However, we also look at the student's full GCSE profile, if the student got mainly As and Bs with a B in maths then we will accept them onto the AS course and these students usually do quite well. If their profile if mainly Bs and Cs with a B in maths then we will accept them onto the Use of Maths course (AQA) again with high success rates. The Use of Maths course is really good for students wanting to do more maths beyond GCSE without the rigor and demand of the traditional AS course. It is a full AS & A level qualification and carries the same UCAS points as any other A level. Well worth a look if you are considering an alternative qualification that is more accessible to weaker B grade students that the traditional AS maths.

     

    Tis is a good idea, but you do need to be careful that:

    a) Use of Maths continues beyond 2015 (it's still only a pilot at A2);

    b) the kid doesn't want to go to a Russell group uni, as they consider UoM to be a "soft" option.

    You can, instead, try A-level Statistics with them, which is a "hard" option and is not a pilot.

    .

    At our place, we take any chough off the streets who wants to do any A-level at all (it's a bums on seats = money calculation), then we get blamed when they inevitably fail.  I would suggest an A grade for preference, with an early algebra test on the Higher tier GCSE stuff.  Also, if they get a B grade, I'd be looking at a GCSE average (mean) of over 6 (8=A*, 7=A etc), with no BTECs counting at all, and with the proviso that they should have at least B grades in Science.

    Sadly, the GCSE does NOT prepare kids for A-level in any way shape or form.

    cyolba, not wanting to look at the AS results until h has to     :)

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    One of my students who got a B for GCSE Maths got an overall B for AS Level, including an A in D1.

    I was really quite amazed.

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    My first A-level set contained two with C grades (1992, though, so probably equivalent to B nowadays). One had been a poor attender, continued to be a poor attender, and got a D. The other had been a pain in the neck at GCSE and had been told by the HoD that he was not doing A-level while she was HoD (but she left): he turned into a hard worker and got a B. I would love to know whether she only said what she did because she knew she was leaving.

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    Our HT believes that Maths should be no different from any other subject. A grade B is good enough for History or English, so should be good enough for Maths.

    Any explanation that Maths is a pyramidal subject, whereby issues with the foundations lead to failure to build high upwards are ignored. His claims are that teaching at GCSE are obviously not good enough and must improve. The fact that pupils can gain a grade B at GCSE without getting any significant elements of algebra correct are immaterial. It was explained to him that algebra is fundamental to A level study and that a decent/good understanding of algebra generally meant the pupil gained a grade A or higher didn't register.

    "Why should Maths be any different?" was the reply.

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    Perhaps you should offer to re-focus your teaching at GCSE, to ensure that pupils' algebra skills are developed to the same level as other aspects of their mathematics, rather than concentrating on making sure they get as many marks as possible at GCSE.

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    You mean as oppose to teaching the entire curriculum?

    Focus on algebra instead of giving equivalent time (or at least time equivalent to that matching the syllabus) to all strands of the curriculum?

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    frustum

    Perhaps you should offer to re-focus your teaching at GCSE, to ensure that pupils' algebra skills are developed to the same level as other aspects of their mathematics, rather than concentrating on making sure they get as many marks as possible at GCSE.

    Or how about only entering set 1 for Higher - that way most of those who'd be on the margins won't be able to get a B anyway...?

    ( No, I'm not serious.  But then again, when nonsensical decisions are made only on the basis of trivial indicators, this is the path we are forced down..)

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    What would be useful, especially for Colleges and/or schools that take in "external" kids for the VIth form, is access to the enhanced results services offered by the awarding bodies.  Sadly, it's apparently a data protection issue, so you can't seen which elements of the GCE the kid was good or rubbish at. nor can you even see whereabouts in the B grade continuum they are placed.  There's a hell of a difference between a kid with 1 mark off an A and one that's one mark off a C.

    cyolba, willing to trawl the spreadsheets to get the course choices right     :) 

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