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 Post subject: GCSE Maths method marks
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:24 pm
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Having left schhol some years ago, I am resitting my Maths GCSE as an external candidate.

I am somewhat confused about method marks in the GCSE Maths papers.

I have just went through some past Edexcel papers. While most question was answered correctly, when compared to the mark scheme the scores come out at about 55%. I'm losing a lot of method marks.

When i follow the mark scheme explicitly I'm losing method marks for things like:

1. multiplying by a decimal instead of a fraction.

2. Finding answers by deviding rather than multiplying.

I can give examples if needed.

I know my method is a valid one in the real world as I get the right answer and use these methods all the time in my work. But it seems it's not the method the exam board wants to see.

I'd like to try and get in the head of the examiners and know which way they want you to do the method.

Can anyone help with this, or point me in the direction of a resource that might help?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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You are intrepreting 'method' too narrowly - so multiplying by a decimal is equivalent to multiplying by a fraction.

1/2 = 0.5 so multlplying by either is fine.

I you are turning 1/3 into a decimal this is discouraged as calculators can give rounding errors.

Multiplying and dividing are inverse operations so again the 'method' is fine.

Are you getting the answer right and showing how you did it?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:31 pm 
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Yes I am.

I was under the impression that the mark scheme needed to be followed to the letter.

Would the examiners accept method that is implied by the mark scheme method?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Yes they would.

Probabilities are usually expressed as a fraction unless the probability is given as a decimal so try to keep that as a fraction.

Can you give an example just to be sure?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I did Edexcel Higher GCSE Maths last year and like you some of my methods are probably different as I did Maths O level in the 1970's. There is no one method and you certainly do not lose marks for using the wrong method. It is my understanding that the marks for method are there for people who had the right idea but made a couple of errors on the working out. I would be surprised if you could get the answer right and lose marks for wrong method. I think the mark scheme records some potential methods but I am sure it does not mark you wrong for a different method. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:24 pm 
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The main difference is the 'communication' marks when you have to write something to explain your answer. For example, if you are asked to work out the best buy you are expected to state which one and why, not just do the working out.

There are more complex ones were they are specifically looking for explanation but as long as your method and reasoning are correct you would get full marks. I tend to say that if values are given as fractions then give the answer as a fraction unless it tell you otherwise.


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