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Functional Maths Skills Learner Issues Su Nicholson Principal Examiner for Functional Maths Edexcel Resources produced as part of LSIS funded project. Not officially endorsed or supported by Edexcel/Pearson.

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Assessment Focus PROCESS SKILLS Representing30 to 40% Analysing30 to 40% Interpreting30 to 40%

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Process Skills RepresentingAnalysingInterpreting Making sense of situations and representing them Processing and using mathematics Interpreting and communicating the results of the analysis A learner can: recognise that a situation has aspects that can be represented using mathematics make an initial model of a situation using suitable forms of representation decide on the methods, operations and tools, including ICT, to use in a situation select the mathematical information to use. A learner can: use appropriate mathematical procedures examine patterns and relationships change values and assumptions or adjust relationships to see the effects on answers in the model find results and solutions. A learner can: interpret results and solutions draw conclusions in light of the situation consider the appropriateness and accuracy of the results and conclusions choose appropriate language and forms of presentation to communicate results and conclusions.

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Style of Questions Open questions – 75% of assessment Any question that has more than one possible answer or can be answered using a number of different methods is classed as open Interpretation questions are classed as open

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Learner Difficulties Quality of Written Communication Writing down their working! Setting out their work clearly Explaining their conclusions following working Answering the question following working

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Entry 3 Assessment Assessed on hard copy Up to 1 hour 30 minutes duration Two sections based around a theme Total of 20 marks 75% or 15 marks needed for a ‘pass’ Papers internally assessed and verified, then externally verified

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Example Question E3

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Mark Scheme Task 2: Watering your beans AnswerMarkAchieved? ( ) Watering PlantsValid method used to work out how often e.g. twice a week 1 Correct dates given = Thurs 18 and Mon 22 1 Calendar marked up1 Total3

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Level 1 Assessed on-screen and hard copy 1 hour 30 minutes duration Three sections each of 16 marks Pass mark varies according to learner performance – around 29 out of 48

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Points to Remember Question papers state: Learners who do not show their working for these questions may get no marks even if they state the correct answer

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Example Question L1

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Mark Scheme

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Principal Examiner’s Report Organisation of the work is crucial for the award of marks: disorganised working spread across the working space attracts few marks simply because the process followed is not clear. This is particularly important in functional skills exams because candidates are having to answer open ended questions and need to describe the process through reasoned mathematics and relevant argument. Teachers need to place emphasis on the meaning of the notepad symbol as some candidates ignore the key need to show clear evidenced working. Overall, candidates found questions most difficult when they were not directed: that is, the more open-ended type questions. Centres need to offer opportunities for solving these types of problem in preparation for examinations in functional skills.

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Principal Examiner’s Report Questions sometimes require a candidate to make a decision as well as process arithmetic. Candidates need to be ware of this and remember to indicate what decision needs to be made. In functional questions, the facility to reflect on whether the final answer is reasonable is important. Candidates need to reflect on whether the final answer is reasonable in the context of the question.

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Guidance for Learners Read the question carefully, what is it asking you to do? Highlight all the key information you need to answer the question Write down your calculations clearly Start each different calculation on a new line Make sure your answer is clear

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Guidance for Learners Now check: Read the question again Have you answered the question? Have you included any units? Does your answer make sense?

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How do these resources help? Sequencing problems, arranging statements and calculations in the correct order Interpretation activities; e.g. Using matching cards to match data and scales with graphs Activities using collaborative learning techniques, giving learners the opportunity to talk together, to discuss ideas, analyse and solve problems

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How do these resources help? Activities involve: – Identifying relevant information – Thinking through a plan to tackle a problem – Communicating solutions effectively – Explaining solutions to each other

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How do these resources help? Teacher led activities promoting class discussion Encouraging reasoning using open questioning techniques: – Why do you think this? – Does your answer make sense?

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