Walking wounded

13th June 2008 at 01:00
Pupils left their Advanced Higher applied maths exam this year "happy and confident", said one maths teacher at Perth High
Pupils left their Advanced Higher applied maths exam this year "happy and confident", said one maths teacher at Perth High. This is in stark contrast to what tends to happen with the more general Advanced Higher maths paper, which can be so harrowing that students leave the exam hall looking like "refugees from a war zone", according to Peter Bruce.

He says Advanced Higher maths is too difficult, but he was "very happy" with the applied maths exam which he felt was easier this year than in previous years - but not that easy.

His pupils sat the statistics option rather than the mechanics paper. The first three or four questions were very accessible, allowing pupils to relax into the exam, he said.

Some might have found Question A8 on independent Poisson distributions "a bit awkward", he thought. It looked at the expected number of road traffic accidents and fires in a city. However, it was the first part of the question that most candidates struggled with and they should have been able to win back marks in the later sections.

The techniques that pupils employ in the investigation they carry out after Easter should have helped them with Question A9, about the effectiveness of TV advertising.

"I don't think there were any murderous questions," Mr Bruce concluded.

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