Almost every university is the same,'entry requirements to include GCSE maths at grade C or above.'For many people this isn't necessarily a problem, but with maths getting a name for itself as one of the most disliked school subjects could go to show how a vast amount may not be able to achieve this required grade. Unlike 10 years ago it has now become compulsory to continue with mathematics when in education up until leaving college which means pushing students without the natural aptitude way past their capabilities. Numerous teachers label their students as 'hopeless cases' after failing a second time and many adults and teens alike have the similar attitude of believing that perhaps its 'not really that difficult' and'if you revised hard enough with the right attitude you would have passed'. I for one could not disagree with this outlook more and know realistically that achieving 80% in a foundation paper is personally never going to happen.
I go to a college meaning that none of the students there are taking GCSE maths out of choice, when I am sitting in the classroom I am being surrounded by people in the exact same position as myself ,whether they're 16 years old and retaking for the first time or 19 with a grade E after retaking 5 times. Yet still whenever people realise that i am in the process of redoing maths after achieving a grand total of 3 Ds I am often met with the same reaction.It feels as though many then just assume that im stupid, because I dont have a gifted talent for trigonometry that i am somehow incapable of succeeding in other aspects of the education system.People dont believe its possible for me to have achieved a D in maths yet two As in English, like it is somehow connected in a way that means im unable to have any talent elsewhere in other subjects. Uncountable times i have been told 'you'll pass next time' or 'just revise as much as you can' but its really not that simple, in both 2015 and 16 i had a maths tutor once a week for over 10 months, i have done every single past paper over the last 7 years at least three times over and i have attended 98% of my college maths lessons, but clearly what difference has it made? It simply doesn't occur to people that perhaps many really dont have (and probably wont ever) have the talent for Maths, and by pushing these constant lessons and exams upon us wont lead to further achievement but instead will just interfere with other chosen subjects and ruin confidence when always being faced with bold letter Ds Es and Fs after every attempt. If the roles were reversed and 'sporty' students were forced to endure years of a subject like Art then its a fact that this issue would gain far more recognition, I appreciate how important it is to have basic math skills but 'Pythagoras theorem' and 'Bisecting a segment' is hardly a critically needed life skill.
Ideally I plan to attend university this time next year with a hope to study journalism (a subject with arguably 0 mathematical relevance) but without this apparent 'simple' grade it many not be so possible, i am left having to balance 3 essay written ALevels and a GCSE on the side. If I choose to focus predominantly on these Alevels then its a given that maths will yet again lead to failure but if maths becomes the main focus point im less likely to achieve the AAB grades i need in order to get into uni in the first place. It seems unfair that so many students are put at a disadvantage just because of a grade that dosent link to their future career choice.
Perhaps if relevant life skills were taught within maths such as how to read a water/electricity meter and understanding taxes the more people would have he ability to pass, or maybe maths is just a skill a person is born with. Either way I've become well aware that i was born without it and I cant see that one changing any time soon.
Published by Anezka Turek