Review of 2019
A Level Papers.
East & Central Hertfordshire
Mathematics Teacher Network
Monday 8th July 2019 The John Warner School, Hoddesdon
Tuesday 9th July 2019 Samuel Ryder Academy, St Albans
After two years hard work getting to grips with the new A level syllabus, it was with pleasure that I accepted an offer to review the 2019 A Level Papers. A group of stalwart teachers gathered shortly after the last exam on 14th June (A level), 25th June (Further Maths) to discuss the content and format.
As a Maths mentor I have covered three boards over the last two years; Edexcel, OCR & OCR(MEI) so was well placed to feedback on these three. Knowing that time pressure is a major factor in these new specifications, I set about doing each paper under timed conditions. Indeed only one, out of the nine I completed, gave me enough time to finish comfortably and check my work. My general conclusion was that the majority of the papers were tough. There was limited time to think. So you need the confidence not to dwell for any length of time on a question and move on.
I am unable to give specific detail about content, as these papers will be used for mocks next year. However here are some of the action points
i) Give the exam specification to the students.
ii) Recommend all A level teachers do the papers.
iii) Use other boards exam papers for further practice.
iv) Practise modelling questions.
Regarding the Large Data Sets, personally my approach will remain the same; be familiar with your boards data but don’t get hung up on it. I spent many hours working on all three and still questions came up that I could not confidently say I knew the answer to.
Incidentally, my graphical calculator froze during one of the papers. Fortunately, I have a Classwiz which works beautifully. I prefer it for the majority of questions.
Thank you to Simon Robinson, HOD at The John Warner School and Kyle Barry, HOD at Samuel Ryder Academy for hosting the meetings and giving us a warm welcome.
Note: Pearson Qualification Services have provided a notice, regarding the level of difficulty and leaking of a few questions on the Edexcel A level papers here. A further notice has been posted on their website dated 9th August.