According to a Loughborough University paper published in the British Educational Research journal, students who achieve a B grade in A-Level maths today would have achieved an E grade in the 1960s. The study suggests that there has been no change in standards since the 1990s, but prior to that, A-Level maths exams were more demanding. The research was undertaken due to the concern that maths exams are getting easier.
Dr Ian Jones from Loughborough University’s Mathematics Education Centre was the paper’s lead author. He explained how important it is that policy makers ‘have the best evidence available to them’, particularly at a time of reform.
Major reforms for GCSE and A-Level maths courses have been instigated recently, with new, more rigorous GCSE Maths courses introduced at the start of the academic year, and new A-Level courses to follow in 2017. The Department for Education hope that these changes will boost standards, and help tackle grade inflation.