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An audience with the exam boards: the new A level and GCSE 9-1

Created on 16 October 2019 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 18 October 2019 by ncetm_administrator

An audience with the exam boards: the new A level and GCSE 9-1

This year, our podcast with the exam boards focuses on the new reformed A level, first examined for a whole cohort this summer (2019). We also discuss how things are going with the 9-1 GCSE, now in its third year. Representatives from England’s three main exam boards share their thoughts on how students got on, what the implications are for teaching and how the new qualifications might affect numbers opting for A level.

Show notes

Taking part in the discussion are:

  • Andrew Taylor, AQA
  • Graham Cumming, Edexcel
  • Neil Ogden, OCR
  • Gwen Tresidder, Communications Manager, NCETM

Episode chapters

  • 00:43 – Introducing the speakers.
  • 02:04 – A level: How did the students get on?
  • 12:23 – How are students managing the length of the papers?
  • 14:46 – How did the move to linear assessment go?
  • 16:59 – Did the new GCSE 9-1 prepare students better for the A level? Implications for teaching GCSE.
  • 21:45 – Will this year’s low grade boundaries affect numbers of students taking A level Mathematics?
  • 29:21 – What should A level maths teachers put more focus on in their teaching?
  • 33:45 – GCSE.
  • 34:09 – How did students perform? What content areas are still difficult?
  • 39:37 – Are we getting better at the new specification? The problem with unfamiliar question types.
  • 43:11 – Examples, from all three boards, of a question in which students did well, and one in which they did badly.

Exam board questions referred to in this episode (PDF).



Go to the NCETM Maths Podcast homepage


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30 October 2019 14:41
what really threw me this year re foundation tier , edexcel, is the v high % needed to get a grade 4. i think it was 62% was required. it seems that the pass mark has been veering all over the place in the last few years; i think one november resit was as low as 47%. what is the explanation for this range ? is 60+% likely to be the norm for a grade 4 from now on?
By Tralee
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