From zero to two

30th May 2008 at 01:00
There was no sign of tears in Higher maths at Plockton High this year
There was no sign of tears in Higher maths at Plockton High this year. "Pupils came out very happy," said principal teacher Joy Matheson. "It was very fair. If they had prepared, it was straightforward."

A minor complaint was that pupils could have done with an extra 10 minutes for Paper 2 and tended to finish Paper 1 with 10 minutes to spare. Mrs Matheson was impressed with the introduction of a multiple-choice section where pupils received zero or two marks for each question. She had been sceptical about the move, fearing that candidates who showed good working but failed to get the right answer would not be rewarded. However, she believes the multiple-choice worked well by providing a less daunting way into the exam.

The trickiest questions came at the end of Paper 2, although she stressed that even these should not have caused a well-prepared pupil problems. Question 6 required candidates to work out the area of the rectangle using similar triangles, and was a question not common in past papers. Question 7 involved finding a shaded area using integration. Candidates had to work out two areas and find the difference between them - often they are asked to find just one.

Some pupils found Intermediate 1 difficult, although Mrs Matheson thought it and Intermediate 2 were both fair.

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