One of the biggest changes that are coming to the various maths exams is that there will be a lot more contextual questions on the papers than in the past. Contextual is just a fancy way of saying, plenty of sentences, but that still doesn’t help us to solve the question does it?
We all know that exam-time is stressful. There’s all that information to retain and some of us are just no good at that, right? Well, actually, there are loads of methods that you can put into play during revision time that will make the brain more absorbent – soaking in those facts and figures, putting them into practice and making sure that you’re prepared for the big day.
There has been an absolute boatload of changes to the mathematics curriculum over the last few years. Ignore what your parents tell you, exams are not getting easier. In fact, they’re getting significantly harder. While some of the increase in difficulty does involve more difficult questions being moved down to the foundation paper and even some A-Level topics being introduced earlier, a lot of it is from “contextual questions” being used a lot more.
As a student sitting your GCSEs, you may be wondering why there are different exam boards across your subjects. For some schools- even within the same subject- you might find that someone in a different class is with a different exam board to you! This can be confusing, maybe even worrying. You might wonder if there’s a secret reason why your teacher has signed you up for a certain one! Here, we look at some of the reasons exams boards differ- and how this applies to you.
A reaction may happen when two or more chemicals are mixed. Sometimes you have to add heat (energy) before the reaction will occur. Not all chemicals react together when they are mixed. We can tell a reaction has taken place if we see bubbles of gas, a change in colour, a change in temperature or a precipitate (a layer of solid in the bottom of the test tube that wasn’t there when you started). So vinegar (an acid) reacts with sodium bicarbonate – there are bubbles of gas and the test tube gets warm – but it doesn’t react with table salt (sodium chloride).
If I put a small piece of sodium metal in some water, a reaction occurs. The sodium fizzes and races around and there is an orange flame. Water and sodium hydroxide are both compounds. If you look at the Periodic table, you will see that sodium has a mass number of 23, oxygen has a mass number of 16 and hydrogen has a mass number of 1.