Cam Profs to Set Maths A-Levels

Maths A-level exams are to be set by Cambridge profs.

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Cambridge academics will set Maths A-level exams from 2017.

The project, which includes Fields Medal for mathematics winner Sir Tim Gowers, makes Cambridge the first university to move directly to make changes to the exam system. The new syllabus will include more “demanding” questions to test the most able pupils with an emphasis on key disciplines such as probability and trigonometry.

The move comes as a reaction to serious concerns regarding the decline in students’ numerical skills with many pupils unprepared for university due the a lack of rigour in the current course.

Many universities are already forced to run remedial catch up sessions for first years in order to prepare them for the basics of a university maths course.

It is thought that the project will take about 5 years to implement, with an earliest date to implement being pencilled in for 2017.

The University has issued a statement slamming the current state of affairs: “Existing A-level curriculums treat topics superficially. The effect on Cambridge is acute.”

The new syllabus will most likely focus A-levels around a number of “key mathematical ideas” and will create “graded sets of problems” to give the brightest students the chance to differentiate themselves.

Academics from other universities will also be asked for their input and the new A-level will be trialled thoroughly before being introduced fully.

It is thought that similar plans are in the pipeline for many core subjects including English, History, Geography and the Sciences.