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O-Level Maths Exam

Exhibition Piece: This is a copy of the Mathematics exam from 1940. The standard of questions on this paper would far surpass that of those in a current GCSE assessment. Equations, compound interest, factorising and angles can all be found in the ten questions.

By Ceri Johnson, Lead Practitioner, Maths; IVC

The very first exam session that Impington Village College could have entered students into, was in the summer of 1940.  Here is a copy of the Maths exam paper.

The first thing that a student might complain at is the length; 3 hours is far beyond the period of the longest sit-down exam nowadays.

There are some common notations that have changed, such as using degrees and minutes for angles, and there are plenty of questions which are worded very differently to the way that they might be in 2014-2015.

Much of the algebra skills would now be considered part of a sixth form course, and the use of log tables to perform some tasks would now be done very straightforwardly without them.

There is little doubt that this paper is harder than a current GCSE Higher Maths paper!

Feel free to have a go at some of the questions and judge for yourself.