AQA Key Stage 3 Tests

You may have seen the recent article on The Guardian Teacher Network about Key Stage 3 assessment in mathematics.

Andrew Taylor, AQA's Head of Mathematics, said:

Since the revision of GCSE mathematics for 2010, teachers have been telling us that the problem solving and reasoning skills needed by students have to be developed throughout secondary school. So, we had been thinking about the best way to support Key stage 3 so students had the best preparation for the challenges of GCSE. The request from Helen to work with the ARK schools came at the right time for us.

From the start, we wanted to work closely with teachers on this. There was a high level of involvement between the heads of maths at each ARK school and AQA exam writers, and AQA attended ARK’s maths Inset Day to help explain the theory behind the papers’ questions. This helped ARK teachers understand how and why marks were allocated per question, and how to take into account the different question styles.

Working together, I think we have produced a set of tests that meet the aims of this project:

  • Test the ARK curriculum rigorously
  •  Support development of problem solving and reasoning skills
  • Allow students to become familiar with the style and feel of GCSE papers so they are less anxious when it comes to the real thing

Of course, since starting this work, the mathematics landscape has changed with new programmes of study and revised GCSEs on the way. We think the tests will be a good match to the new national curriculum and will be useful for many schools in preparing for the increased rigour of new GCSEs. Once we are absolutely sure that we have got them right, we can then look at the best way to roll them out nationally.

Learn More

This is a new area for AQA, and we will be releasing more details in due course. If you would like to register your interest in these tests, please email us and we'll ensure you're kept up to date.