Well done to all students of Maths Made Elementary for the levels of improvement achieved. Rest assured, I am far less interested in final grades than I am in rates of progress. If students simply concentrate on accelerating their rates of progress, the results will no doubt take care of themselves in the end.
A summary-breakdown of the results I have had back from MME students so far can be viewed here. I have respected the privacy of all students by making sure the anonymity of these results has been upheld.
Before I have a bit of a rant about grade boundaries, I’d just like to reiterate that the only index I use for success is the size and rates of improvement achieved by a student as opposed to final grades. With that in mind, I am extremely pleased with the results achieved by all students of Maths Made Elementary.
Again, well done to all of you and keep up the good work.
A warning about Maths GCSE grade boundaries for 2013:
With the latest Maths GCSE grade boundaries now set higher than ever, many students who would only just about have obtained their desired grade under the old pre-2013 regime will inevitably have fallen short given the grade boundaries as they are currently set. My previous advice to students preparing to sit GCSE Maths exams this year was to work harder than ever to make sure they didn’t become a victim of this recent repositioning of the goal posts. However, it was always going to be a tall order for some students who were effectively being asked to increase their final score by three grades when a two-grade improvement would have been enough in years gone by.
The 2012-2013 shift in grade boundaries means that many students improving their results by a percentage normally awarded a two-grade improvement will only be showing an improvement of one grade. And those showing an improvement normally awarded a one-grade increase may end up not showing any apparent improvement in grade score at all! This means that literally thousands are falling short who would, in countless years gone by, have achieved a passing grade fairly comfortably. These grade boundary increases appear even more ruthless for those students who already had a mountain to climb in trying to improve on a grade E. In years past, an improvement of two grades from E in a mock exam to a C in the actual exam would have been attainable given enough time and hard work on the part of the student. The 2012-2013 increase in grade boundaries is effectively telling many of these students that a percentage increase normally commensurate with a two-grade improvement may still not be enough. In other words, you better target a percentage increase more in accord with a three-grade increase to compensate for the one grade we’re going to dock you as we raise the bar!
To those of you finding yourself in this unenviable position, I am as displeased about it as you no doubt are. It would seem you’re being punished for choosing to be born in the wrong year. If a two-grade improvement is difficult, then three is almost inconceivable. But it’s not impossible. So try and rise to the challenge in your resit. You’ve already made great improvements and a little more will no doubt get you over the line.
It’s important to remember there will always be volatility and uncertainty with boundaries from one year to the next, so the best thing you can do is to target a percentage score which is, at the very minimum, ten percent above the grade boundary set from the previous year.
To all those students who missed out on their desired grades due to these latest harsh boundary increases, you have my deepest sympathies. However, do not allow your disappointments to become anything more than short-lived. Grow defiant and come back even stronger next time! And check out an essay I have written on my blog site in which I try to make the case for an all-important new perspective on failure.
Finally, for top tips on how you can maximise your own rates of progress to guarantee success in exams, please check out my blogged article entitled Important advice for tutees of Maths Made Elementary. In this article, I warn students about the perils of becoming complacent when receiving additional one-to-one support. If your goal is to maximise your own rates of progress so as to get the most from your lessons, then this article is a ‘must-read’!
To give you some idea of what you can expect under the latest 2013 grade boundaries compared with those of 2012, I have outlined the differences for the Maths, Linear format, Edexcel exams below: