This post originally appeared in June 2016.
The people in charge of teaching our children all the things they can't learn from an iPad and YouTube have released a batch of past GCSE Maths exam questions, allowing bored adults to secretly see if they're as capable at maths as the average 15- or 16-year-old in England is (supposed to be), as they sit the real-deal in a school hall somewhere today.
Let's have a look at a few. It's supposed to have been dumbed down loads, so should be as easy as counting a few apples and reading a train timetable.
This one is from the AQA Foundation level exam. The easier one. Might be best if you've done some maths other than mentally adding up the price of your shopping basket in the last 20 years. Probably one in six throws is a three, so divide 420 by six and knock off any zeroes. Easy.
Not sure. A crossy-grid correlation?
Could probably do this one given time. You just...work out the numbers.
On to the higher questions now. This one's quite easy — use the Spotify API to look at real listening data rather than unreliable survey data. (Thanks, James.)
This one depends on the book. American Psycho has loads of mean words in it on every page, but To Kill a Mockingbird has hardly any. Stupid question. Ask invigilator what book they're talking about.
100 - 80 = 20. Easy. We'll be the first one out of this exam.
This one's hard. I'm going to have to work it out...
27010 x 1138.80 = 30,758,988.
Can't do this or even think of anything silly to say about it, it's so alien. It might as well be Elon Musk asking how much petrol his spaceship needs to get to Mars. And no one even gave me a standard form. Guess 6.2/100 and hope for a half because it looks right.
I AM working. Fortunately, maths isn't a part of this so-called job. Neither is English, as you were about to say in the comments bit. I've been to the School of Life, see mate. Know you inside out. That's what's really important, not this sums nonsense.
11? 3? Half? Infinity? Doesn't everyone just Google the answers anyway these days, mumbling questions into Bluetooth mics hidden in their ties then writing down what their watch says? The answers to these 2015 questions are here for the Foundation test, and here for the Higher questions, if you've been actually trying. [AQA]