North East reporter tries to take a GCSE math exam – how he fared

I am of course talking about taking my GCSE math exams.

Amidst the sea of ​​students also preparing for the next 90 minutes, at tables littered on the bottom with chewing gum from ex-students from ten years ago (beautiful), I could see the finish line of my five years at the top of the die School is getting closer.

I should start off by saying that I always loved math at school, was a self-professed nerd, and got an A at GCSE – an A* for most people, but I was part of the first cohort to take the numbered qualifications in Mathematics and mathematics did English.

Read more: Can You Answer These 10 Questions About Past GCSE Exams?

I’ve always been a numbers person. So if you had told me back then that my job today would be to produce hundreds of words a day, I probably would have laughed in your face (along with some of the very appreciative commenters that I am). I’ll definitely be heading to the comments section below and showering my writing with praise.

I’ll say I loved math, or at least I did until I tried to do it for high school when it became the most challenging and mind-blowing thing there is. That being said, I managed to get a C, largely due to the fact that some incredible teachers put more hours into my training than they were paid for, precisely for that (kudos, Mr. Sargerson).

Four years after graduating from high school, my ability to do math has slipped a bit, although I occasionally use numbers for a story. My knowledge of standard deviations and calculating momentum is gone with hopes of being the first male Rachel Riley—although, let’s face it, I’ve got the legs for it—now just knowing that the words have something to do with math have.

As a show of camaraderie to the students taking their exams this month, I thought I’d give a GCSE math paper a try. Had my knowledge been completely lost? Or is solving a quadratic equation just like riding a bike?

I have logged on to the AQA Examination Board website and downloaded the GCSE Maths (Higher) Paper 2 November 2021. Just loading the website took me back to the days of doing endless practice tests leading up to the actual exam. After I printed it out (sorry trees) and set my stopwatch for 90 minutes, I was ready to go. I’m not sure if anyone else will be dumb enough to download this paper for “fun” but if you do I should warn you about the “spoilers” listed below.

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Turning the pages of the first question brought me back to the exam room.

At first it felt like things were going well. Three not-too-bad questions to start with got me hooked and suddenly it felt like my math juices were pumping through my brain again.

Having not done this type of math in a while, I was surprised at how much of the technique came back to me. Somehow I was able to remember what complement and complementary angles are and how to solve a quadratic equation – I was quite shocked to be honest. I was even more amazed when I remembered the cosine rule to find an unknown angle in a triangle. Maybe those revamp days really got this stuff hammered into my brain.

But a few questions slowly resolved themselves. Calculating the diameter of a circle and asking if the numbers are proportional to each other gave a whopping zero score.

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As I finished reading my homework, I began to wonder again why we learn such things in school. Ever since I took my last math exam, I’ve never had to know if two numbers are directly proportional, or even use the expression “directly proportional.” However, I had to call the IRS and find out if I overpaid Social Security.

I was almost done with ten minutes to go, but as soon as I asked a few questions, I knew I had slaughtered like kings. I’ve never been good at reviewing my own work and always had tunnel vision to see what I thought I was writing and not what was actually on the page.

When my watch beeped to signal my 90 minutes was up, the time had actually passed much faster than I expected. But how had I fared?

I opened my laptop, found the answers online, and searched my teacher’s assistant mother’s old pencil case for a red pencil.

Going through the work again, I got off to a good start and was able to get full marks on the first four pages, but it went slightly downhill from there. A point was deducted here, a point there before there were a couple of questions where I didn’t get a single mark. As I increased my total score I managed to get 54 out of the 80 available and to be honest I was quite satisfied.

Having not used that part of my brain for a while, I had seemingly managed to shake off the cobwebs and avoid complete disaster. A quick look at the grades and I would have gotten an eighth grade, one below the best level.

I was completely amazed that it had gone so well. Maybe I put it down to the fact that this is an exam paper from 2021 that was created during the pandemic. So maybe the questions were simpler or the grade limits were reduced a bit.

However, I had shocked myself.

Having completed my act of camaraderie, I would like to wish everyone who is taking their GSCE and A-level exams next month the best of luck. It doesn’t matter what grade you get out of it, you’re still young and don’t take an exam for a story on the Internet.—got/?ref=rss North East reporter tries to take a GCSE math exam – how he fared

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