In mathematics, the new A-level courses assume competence at National Curriculum level 7 (approximately C grade GCSE), whereas many entrants embarked on the course with Higher Tier awards at A* (=level 10) or A (=level 9). They clearly had a head start on their A-level work, with some topics being tested again in their A-level papers.
The new GCSE that my students tackled in 1994 contained questions as hard as in the O-level that I taught for nearly 20 years - in fact I used past O-level questions in their preparation. Their competence showed in their progress through the new A-level syllabus. If most had not then achieved very good A-level results on this new syllabus, I would have been looking for the reasons.
MARGARET E POSTON
The writer is head of mathematics at a north London grammar school.Reuse content