Fine-tuning required 2

September 3, 2004

Last week's article about falling levels of basic mathematical skills among electronics and physics students at York University who have particular maths A-level grades is interesting ("B-grade maths students are so bad, they may as well guess the answers"). But the article itself should not be taken as evidence that standards for particular grades in A-level maths have also necessarily fallen.

Perhaps one of the most obvious alternative explanations is that the A level and university diagnostic tests measure at least partly different things (and probably are intended to do so) and moreover measure them in different ways.

Herbert Blumberg
London

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