Calculate this

23rd November 2007 at 00:00
Non-calculator work continues to improve across Standard grade maths. However, teachers are reminded that all candidates should have access to a calculator to give them a greater chance of success in the papers which do allow their use.

Credit candidates did well in number, volume, calculation of mean and standard deviation, the sine rule and simultaneous equations, as in previous years. But they need to improve their understanding of standard deviation, the quadratic function (factorisation and the graph) and mathematical proofs.

Schools are congratulated for presenting a higher percentage of successful candidates at Foundation - although time, metric units, area and volume remain challenging.

At General level, markers noted that in some schools, candidates showed a lack of knowledge in areas of the course which had not been examined in recent years. "Some candidates had clearly never learned scattergraphs," notes the principal assessor's report.

At Credit level, the quadratic graph question was "very poorly done".

Teachers doing the Intermediate 1 course are reminded that they need to practise work covered early on in the course, so that pupils retain this knowledge. Mean from a frequency table and distance, speed, and time calculations involving fractions of an hour are identified as two topics which are regularly answered poorly.

This year, markers commented on the increasing number of candidates from further education colleges who performed particularly well at Intermediate 2.

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