This article outlines possible changes to the examinations in Mathematics offered by the Scottish Examination Board as part of the Certificate of Sixth Year Studies. It must be emphasised that, at the time of writing, these changes are still only proposals. Furthermore, any views expressed in the article are the personal views of the author.
The existing CSYS courses were designed as the third stage of a progression in which pupils sat examinations at Ordinary Grade (‘O’ Grade) in S4, at Higher Grade in S5 and at CSYS Level in S6. However, the old order changeth. The Ordinary Grade is being replaced by Standard Grade and the transition will soon be complete. For articulation with Standard Grade courses, Higher Grade is being replaced by Revised Higher Grade. Finally, CSYS courses are being revised to articulate with Revised Higher. Some of the proposed revisions concern content, a good example being the situation regarding matrices. Presently pupils meet matrices in Higher but there is no mention of matrices in the formal contents of Revised Higher, so that CSYS must be adjusted accordingly. Other proposed revisions arise as a result of changes in the teaching approach. At Standard Grade and Revised Higher Grade, one of the aims is to develop pupils' skills in problem-solving. Furthermore, investigations form part of the assessment in both cases. It seems sensible that CSYS courses should continue this philosophy.