I was a bit surprised to find this blog linked from a discussion forum via an entry that said I had proved that Maths ‘A’ level had dumbed down. I don’t think I have done any such thing – as I am not equipped to do so.
Of course, I’d love to be able to suggest my B grade from 1984 was equivalent to an A* today but on what basis? (And, of course, another bit wants me to say today’s kids, like my own daughters, are way ahead of where we were, but that’s not backed by evidence either.)
The only comments I had – on the lower marked questions – were that they were very similar indeed to questions that might appear on today’s papers. Nobody has yet passed comment on the higher marked question.
As to my own “dumbing down” – actually once I studied the questions a bit and despite the mess I made of the higher marked question – I came to realise that while I was very rusty none of this was really over my head (as an actual maths graduate said she found one of the easier questions beyond her without the aid of an external reference I don’t feel too disheartened by that.)
If I hadn’t been accepted on to the PhD I probably would have applied to do Maths at undergrad level at Birkbeck – my interest was sufficiently piqued by the MSc in Computer Science – and part of me even now thinks that’s what I really should have done…
- Maths ‘A’ level dumbing down: the proof (cartesianproduct.wordpress.com)