28 November 2008

Chinese vs. British maths test questions

The Royal Society of Chemistry [offered in 2007] a £500 prize to the first person to solve the sort of Mathematics test set in Chinese university entrance examinations.

The society has also released a typical UK test to show how far advanced the Chinese are in preparing the next generation of scientists - or, rather, how far our standards have fallen behind other countries.

The approach adopted by the RSC appears to be based on a desire to provide convincing evidence for those that have continually claimed that our schools are no longer meeting the required standards in preparing students for the challenges of higher education. It adds weight to that familiar recent complaint that GCSE and A-Levels are getting easier - which is why average grades these days are so much higher.

The argument continues that as GCSE and A-Level gets easier, so universities have to lower their expectations and standards just to ensure they can actually fill places. In effect, the first 12 months at universities these days is spent getting UK students up to the standards that were required 10, 15, 20 and more years ago for first year undergraduates.


  1. and the American version is a picture of three objects, a square, a triangle and a circle, the caption says "identify the triangle"

  2. Isnt the first question wrong?

    (i)prove: BD perpendicular to A1C

    BD and A1C arent even on the same plane.

    but if u cast the "shadow" of A1C on the bottom plane than it would be congruent with AC which is perpendicular to BD. All the same the question is formulated wrong.


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