There has been a recent change to GCSE Mathematics, some of the changes include:
- changes to the content – what is studied
- changes to the assessment – how questions are asked
- changes to the marking system – how grades are reported
Changes to the content
The GCSE is being “strengthened”, in that there is more content being added in at both the Higher and Foundation level. For instance, trigonometry which was previously only a Higher level topic and is now being assessed at Foundation level.
This additional content will build on the key concepts covered in Key Stage 3 along with cross-curricular initiatives on thinking skills and independent working. Work will include using and applying mathematics, problem solving and preparing to function mathematically.
Changes to the assessment
The formal assessment at the end of Year 11 will include questions that allow students to draw on elements from within and across the different topic areas, and questions that allow students to provide extended responses. There will be an emphasis on fluency in mathematics and mathematical reasoning.
The course will be taught using a variety of approaches. Emphasis is placed on understanding, enjoying and making progress in mathematics. Students can experience extra-curricular mathematics through enrichment activities, challenges and clubs.
Changes to the marking system
GCSE grades are reported as numbers from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest) rather than letters (G to A*). As before, there are two tiers of assessment, Foundation (grades 1 – 5) and Higher (grades 4 – 9). To ensure parity between the old and new system, the government has decided that the same percentage of students will gain:
- a grade 1 and above - as gained a grade G and above.
- a grade 4 and above - as gained a grade C and above.
- a grade 7 and above - as gained a grade A and above.
AQA Specification 8300: First teaching 2015
All assessment is by terminal exams at end of Year 11 and there is no coursework.
Three exams of 90 minutes (80 marks) each.
All students are expected to have the correct equipment, namely; a pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, eraser and scientific calculator (Two of the three final assessments will require a scientific calculator).
Watch online video clips and use the follow on questions to check understanding
Practice exam style questions regularly, checking your answers against a mark scheme
Do little bits often to help you retain skills and knowledge
Take advantage of revision sessions on offer