Blog Posts

Welcome back 2017

24 September 2018
Welcome back 2017

Welcome back! We hope you haven't started counting down to next summer already A few pieces of news for you this September:   1. Multiple Choice Questions have arrived Multiple choice question papers are here. Many of our teachers have spent the summer adding KS3/ GCSE multiple choice questions and we can see there are schools using Create a Test not just for worksheets and exam papers but already creating multiple choice tests too! Excellent&nbs...

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End of Year!

16 July 2018
End of Year!

We hope everyone has had a fantastic year and that you all get a little bit of rest over the summer break!  We have some big new features coming  September and look forward to telling you more about them shortly. Just know the school year might be over but now the teachers at Create a Test are working hard to improve the site for everyone. (we might also be relaxing on a beach at some point too, at some points even without a laptop) Best regards, Create a Test Team  ...

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Exam time again. Good luck all!

18 May 2018
Exam time again. Good luck all!

  Exams are just around the corner and we wish all pupils, teachers and schools the best of luck. Many of have already created revision packs and tests and we just wanted to share the 5 other ways you could be using Create A Test. You could:  Create personalised revision packs for students that are really struggling or for those students who have diligently finished the first pack you gave them; Use our target paper feature. For those who have e...

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February Newsletter

21 March 2017
February Newsletter

You may have noticed that we’re a little late to the party with this one. February probably already feels like a distant memory to some of you. We’ve been super busy though here at CAT HQ, working on our next phase of major updates. Upcoming Changes We’re pleased to report that the dashboard page is next in line for a major overhaul and will be launching in the coming weeks. Watch this space for other updates too, including yet more assessment features and the introductio...

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New Assessment Features Now Live

2 February 2017
New Assessment Features Now Live

As January draws to a close, we hope you are all well into the swing of things and enjoying the new term. Hopefully by now, many of you will have discovered our long-awaited new assessment area—including RAG and graphical paper analysis as well as priority focus areas for pupils and groups. If not, then be sure to head over to the ‘Assess’ area next time you log in to the site.   We hope you’ll find these new features really helpful in tracking both student and cla...

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Create a Test Awards — The Winners

27 January 2017
Create a Test Awards — The Winners

The winners of the first Create a Test Awards were announced this morning in arguably the most prestigious twitter-based maths/science assessment related awards ceremony of the day. It was our chance to celebrate our most prolific users as well as some of our personal highlights of 2016. For those of you who don’t follow @createatest (we forgive you) here is the full list of winners. Most questions contributed While we may not actually be able to prove it, we’re pretty sure that ...

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Spice Up Your Life — Ways To Make Tests More Fun (For You And Your Students)

12 January 2017
Spice Up Your Life — Ways To Make Tests More Fun (For You And Your Students)

At Create a Test we love tests. Sadly, the same isn't necessarily true of all students, but they do play an important role in every student's development. So here are a few fun ways to inject a little bit of added interest into your tests or worksheets. Change the names The easiest way to inject a bit of interest into your tests is to switch the names in your questions. You could include the names of your students, or their teachers, or even celebrities. Sure, your students could wor...

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FAQ — Can I Save Tests as Word Documents?

9 January 2017
FAQ — Can I Save Tests as Word Documents?

One of the questions we are often asked is why tests are only available to download in PDF format. At first this seems limiting compared to an editable format—such as a Word document. Almost all aspects of any test are editable within the Create a Test site however, as we’ll cover later. Before we get to that though, here are the reasons we favour PDFs: Continuity The primary reason we encourage you to make all changes within our system and not after downloading a paper is contin...

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New Years Resolutions — How to Get the Most From Create a Test in 2017

5 January 2017
New Years Resolutions — How to Get the Most From Create a Test in 2017

Happy new year! We hope you’re all rested and rejuvenated after the festive break. Last year saw a lot of changes to the site. We’ve also got a tonne of new assessment features coming soon, which we can’t wait to share with you all. In the meantime, here is a short roundup of how our existing features could make your assessments quicker, easier and more enjoyable. Mark more tests Whilst many tests are marked every day (more than 25,000 to date) countless others are sti...

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Christmas 2016

14 December 2016
Christmas 2016

Many of you will be finishing this week for your well-deserved Christmas break. We hope that all of you have a restful and enjoyable Christmas period and that you return to school in the New Year refreshed and ready for a sack-full of new assessment features. We’ve been working hard to develop a whole new assessment area and we can’t wait to share more details with you early next year. 2017 will also see the launch of our new Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science question banks,...

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Maths in the Movies — Our Top 10

13 December 2016
Maths in the Movies — Our Top 10

As Christmas is fast approaching, we decided to compile a list of cinematic gems with a Mathematical theme to keep you entertained over the holiday period. Did we miss your favourite? Let us know on twitter @createatest x + y In a nutshell, this is a film about the struggles of a young, autistic mathematical genius (Nathan) in the aftermath of his father’s death. Not one we’d recommend screening as an end-of-term treat for your class, unless you want to leave them all in tears....

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November 2016 News

3 December 2016
November 2016 News

November News! November has ended and the Christmas feel has already set in. The school Christmas tree is already up! Recent changes we have made: Target papers have now been updated and are fully live! Quickly create extension papers for your class with just a few clicks New tutorials now available helping you use all the functionality within Create a Test What we are currently working on: Further changes to the assessment system are on their way. Target papers are just...

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Create a Test is Going Global

28 November 2016
Create a Test is Going Global

Another milestone reached—Create a Test now has registered users in over fifty countries worldwide! This map shows a handful of those countries with the most registered users. From Australia to Zimbabwe, our huge community of teachers and tutors now spans six continents (it seems that word hasn't quite reached Antarctica yet!). Every time you log in to the site, you could be picking questions from Qatar, or printing papers from Peru. Wherever you are in the world, it's y...

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October 2016 news

4 November 2016
October 2016 news

October has ended and already it's the build up to Christmas. How is that possible?! Firstly, a huge thank you to all schools and tutors giving the team feedback on our new mark scheme section and other improvements.   Recent changes we have made: Our brand new KS3/GCSE Physics section is now live! Please tell your 'friends' in the Physics department to have a look, we're still improving it but we hope they'll love it; We'v...

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A teachers view on the year ahead and his use of Create a Test

15 October 2016
A teachers view on the year ahead and his use of Create a Test

The year ahead As you settle into the current academic year and become accustomed to your new classes and roles, it’s very important to set yourselves aspirational targets for the next ten months. As professionals, it’s crucial that we don’t allow ourselves to become stuck in a routine, thinking that we’re already doing the best that we can for our students. The best teachers and leaders are constantly searching for ways to ensure that their students make as much progr...

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Welcome Back!

15 September 2016
Welcome Back!

We hope you’ve had a great, restful summer and are looking forward to getting back into work mode. We also hope that your students were successful in their summer assessments, in all Key Stages. The Create a Test team has made two major changes over the summer and you will see them implemented either in your account today and/ or over the next two weeks. Welcome to:   (1) Mark Schemes - we’ve made one of our biggest ever changes to our core product, the KS3/GCSE question...

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10,000 papers! and End of Year Message

15 July 2016
10,000 papers! and End of Year Message

  If you haven't yet broken up for the summer holidays you should be doing so very shortly! Non-UK teachers and tutors: we have noted our bias and do apologise but we are UK based teachers; hopefully you forgive us! The big, big news last month was that we now have 10,000 questions on Create a Test! Post exams you haven't stopped working hard; now we have 10,000 papers on Create a Test! Thank you everyone for sharing your great content and to superusers to checking quality. ...

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End of Exams (June 2016 News) and recent statistics

13 June 2016
End of Exams (June 2016 News) and recent statistics

So much to tell you and so little time. First of all we have big, big news! We have now reached 10,000 questions on Create a Test!! Great work everyone. 4 weeks ago we reported 9,000 questions created so this is impressive work from our community of teachers. Other statistics we have been asked to repeat for the end of the year: Most logins this year from a user now: c1,600 Most assessments created by a single school this year: 646 Most questions created by a single s...

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Exams coming soon

17 May 2016
Exams coming soon

Exams are coming very soon now, so it’s time for that final push to help your students as much as you can. This is where Create a Test can help you out, but how can you use it? Create personalised revision packs for your students. You can select the topics and questions so quickly that it’s feasible to create a different pack for each student. Use our target paper feature. If you upload your students’ marks from one paper, our system will analyse their strengths and wea...

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How do you organise set changes?

22 April 2016
How do you organise set changes?

Most Maths departments around the country probably set assessments for their students at the end of the Spring term, most of which have now been marked and moderated, with data uploaded into various spreadsheets and systems to analyse. However, we aren’t done with all that data yet! Firstly, it should be used formatively for the rest of this term, to set targets based on students’ areas of weakness. Secondly, it should be used to determine whether students are in the right sets, and ...

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Exam Board reform: Two super-users' opinions of how we should reform our exam boards

4 April 2016
Exam Board reform: Two super-users' opinions of how we should reform our exam boards

Superuser 1: It seems to me that of all the public services that are run by private companies in the UK, exam boards are the most nonsensical. It seems so obvious that if a board’s profit relies on it convincing as many schools as possible to sit its exams, and the main mechanism through which it can convince schools is making its exams easier, then there is a massive conflict of interest. Effectively, the worse the exam board does its job, the more it earns. It only takes a cursory ...

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February News 2016

9 March 2016
February News 2016

This might possibly be the latest February New update ever. We're sorry but so many new users keep signing up and keeping us busy! We promise to be more prompt next month... We want to keep the current momentum continuing so please share your love of Create a Test with other schools and users. As the community grows everyone gets access to more shared questions and more shared papers and the product keeps improving. The A Level module S2 is now in our curriculum and our super users wil...

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The Teacher Shortage

14 February 2016
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Thank you to one of our super users for presenting their thoughts and the following blog on "The Teacher Shortage"   There is a crisis in education, as schools are increasingly failing to recruit staff for positions as they become available. We have been aware of this for many years, as PGCE providers have consistently failed to produce the teachers required, in the subjects and regions they are needed. So what are the effects for students and outcomes around the country? And ...

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News January 2016

30 January 2016
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We are almost at the end of January and are now fully back into the swing of the new term. Half term is coming soon, right?! This January we have seen a huge upsurge in the number of questions being created and shared. Super Users are now working their way through the questions to validate quality, answers and grading, after which they'll be shared with the rest of the community for everyone to use.   The A Level module M2 is now in our curriculum and questions are beginning to ...

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How do we make our assessment as accurate as possible?

13 January 2016
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How do we make our assessment as accurate as possible? Well, we have to ensure that the questions we use to assess are well chosen, that our grade boundaries are calculated properly rather than chosen arbitrarily, and our marking is precise and consistent. Now, of course, Create a Test can help you with all of those things, but I don’t want to talk about them now. Today, I’d like to discuss strategies to ensure that the work that the students produce in those assessments is an accura...

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Christmas 2015

9 December 2015
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Winter sets on Create a Test in both London and Manchester as well as across schools in England. To our users in Singapore, Doha, Brazil and other warmer climates, we are only slightly jealous. November 2015 brought a big surprise to the Create a Test community. "Worksheet mode!" It was by far our most requested feature in recent months and we were delighted to be able to bring it out a few weeks ago. It is proving very popular indeed, please let us know if there are any improvements ...

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Primary schools join the Create A Test community

10 November 2015
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It has taken many months and countless hours of planning, but I am delighted to announce that the Primary school section of CreateATest is now fully active! Primary schools throughout the country have approached us at a loss as to how to create assessments and use the data to monitor progress. Since the stumbling abolition of levels by the powers that be, there has been a level shaped hole in Primary assessment which people seem at a loss as to how to fill. Here’s how! CAT Primary (already!!) h...

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Active October!

2 November 2015
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October 2015 has been an extremely busy time for the Create A Test community. First of all we would like to thank all the schools and individuals recommending Create A Test! Please keep it up! This month we had over 80% of our new users coming via word of mouth.  Over the last few weeks, we've spent a lot of time smoothing out the user experience and fixing those small little pesky bugs that needed squatting. If you have experienced any problems logging in, or any other issues please do co...

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Intro to A level

7 October 2015
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This blog is written to introduce the newest member of the CreateATest family, our A Level section. I have been teaching Maths and Further Maths for many years now, and we have two problems.  Firstly, we struggle to assess our students until they’ve covered entire modules, because we use past papers to assess them. Incidentally, this is also problematic as I began to suspect that students worked out which paper we were going to use and prepared accordingly! Since we were only assessing at t...

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Welcome back

20 September 2015
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The school year has now begun and we have already settled into our new classes!  We want to welcome our new schools and tutors as well as our existing schools and tutors back to Create a Test. We have been working hard over the summer and want to let you know the major changes that have taken place. There are too many changes to mention them in detail but if we had to highlight three of our biggest changes they would be…   Introduction of A level and primary sec...

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End of year

10 July 2015
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As the end of the year approaches and assessments are being completed, it’s important to think about how you’re grading your students, especially in light of the new numbered grades. So how will you assess your students next year? Year 11 shouldn’t be a problem, they’ll be receiving grades as per usual, and I think it would be counter-productive to change things for them. It’s not ideal from a logistical point of view, to have different year groups assessed differently, but I think the extra ha...

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News 2015 June

29 June 2015
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Holidays approach and for many of you creating exams is now the last thing you are thinking about! However we still thought a short message would be useful to let you know about our up and coming summer changes Recent changes It is finally here! The whole of Create a Test has now been updated to our new format. Every page should now be faster, cleaner and work better with different browsers and devices!     Changes coming this summer! For those also teaching A level the biggest change...

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Money

11 June 2015
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Regardless of your political viewpoint, education was never going to be a big winner in the aftermath of the General Election. With immigration and the economy dominating manifestos, it was a far cry from ‘education, education, education’. What will this mean for schools and teachers? With neither Labour nor the Conservatives promising to maintain school budgets per child in real terms, schools are looking at budget cuts and I’ll be discussing the ramifications. The interesting thing about educ...

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News May 2015

31 May 2015
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Recent changes
The new assessment section is not yet fully updated but you'll notice two big changes this month:  Marking - it is now much faster to enter marks for your classes and pupilsAssessment - though not fully finished some functionality has already been added with the rest coming very shortly   As always please feel free to let us know what you think at cat@createatest.co.uk   Changes coming soon! Over the next month you will see increased functionality in...

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In defence of levels and grades

6 May 2015
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I have heard a lot of talk about the problem of replacing National Curriculum levels, from both primary and secondary teachers. The suggestions for a new system are varied in quality (to say the least!) but I'd like to run through a few and offer my thoughts. I'll be thinking of them in a Maths context, as is my wont, but I hope this is interesting for teachers of other subjects too.   The first technique I'd like to deal with was mentioned to me by a Head of Maths working at a large comp...

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April News 2015

30 April 2015
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This month we took another big step in updating and enhancing Create a Test. We are still on track for A level and primary school launches by the end of this school year, and will be giving the whole site a major face-lift.   Recent changes Logging into Create a Test this month you will notice our new paper list and shared paper section. Key changes to notice: Quick view - we love this quick way to remind ourselves what is on the paperSummary - is this paper appropriate for my...

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What is the future of education?

15 April 2015
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What is the future of education? Here at createatest.co.uk we are committed to pushing Maths education forward, through the innovative use of technology. We have been teaching in essentially exactly the same way for hundreds of years. A teacher stands at the front of the room and delivers content to a group of students, all of whom learn the same content, or at least the same type of content. With the current technology available, this remains the most effective method. We can concentrate on d...

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Updates March 2015

25 March 2015
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We know it wasn't long since we last sent you updates but things are moving fast here at Create a Test and we just wanted to update you all both on recent changes and on what is coming next Recent changes You will now notice the dashboard and the paper builder have both been updated. Thank you for all your feedback both positive and constructive. For those that haven't yet tried out the latest paper builder please have a play and let us know what you think at cat@createatest.co.uk   Change...

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Making INSET valuable

20 March 2015
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I recently took part in a number of INSET days, and during those days I had a little time to consider their effectiveness. At their best, these are an opportunity for us to reflect on our own practise, share best practise and bring in expertise from outside. Sometimes the new perspective an INSET day can provide can revitalise a school. At their worst they are a bunch of bored teachers, who would love to be planning lessons or marking books, listening to someone droning on for six hours about a ...

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Blog February and March 2015 News

12 March 2015
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February has finished and we are ready to welcome you to the new question builder. You can now create multiple page questions for your GCSE and IGCSE papers. Our super users that teach IGCSE are now adding maths paper B questions in the beta version!   Recent changes. Question builder v4 is here! Our new question builder is here and it seems some of you are already using it on tablets and phones as well as you laptops and computers. Building questions on your phone even seems ambitious ...

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How should we set our classes

13 February 2015
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How do you group your students? The recent Sutton report claimed that setting by ability has no impact on student learning. To me, that suggests that everyone should set, since the reduced planning should enable their teachers to work harder in other areas, which were presumably controlled out in the study. Regardless, I think it’s interesting that we still set the way we always have. Broadly speaking, you give everyone a test, put the students in order, then put the top 32 in the top set, the...

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January 2015 News

30 January 2015
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Christmas now seems like a long time ago and we thought we would update you on the most recent enhancements on Create a Test. We are very very very (yes 3 verys) excited to announce the new question builder coming in February, but first recent changes.   Recent changes As you have no doubt noticed we are continuing to change the website from our old non-adaptive format the new format allowing Create a Test to be usedmore easily on your iPads and other tablets. During this period we...

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GCSE Specification Changes

22 January 2015
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It is vital that as teachers we respond rapidly to changes in educational environment. One significant change that we should all be aware of is the upcoming changes to GCSE specification, content and grading. Gone are the As, A*s etc and back we go to numbered levels/grades, and these changes need to be fully understood by your department. However, there are also brand new topics, previously not covered at GCSE that will need to be taught. The final concern for many departments is the increased ...

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Christmas December 2014: A time to reflect

22 December 2014
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Christmas time is here and we are now all now at home enjoying the holiday. We thought this would be a good time of year to reflect on where is createatest.co.uk going? For a while we've had the most complete assessment creation system on the market, with questions linked to your exam boards, the ability to create your own questions and infinitely regenerating questions at the touch of a button. Our new features relate all of the questions your students answer to the exam board they'r...

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November 2014 News

1 December 2014
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After some late nights and using all your input, we have made a lot of updates this month:  Questions can now be allocated to the syllabus by you or by our superusers New built question page with much faster loading times Easy deletion of pupils and updated pupil creation and uploading As always, please provide your thoughts on these changes and others needed to info@createatest.co.uk   Coming in the near future Based on your feedback the most ...

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Three very simple ways of using Create a Test

18 November 2014
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Hello everyone!   We all know that createatest is the best way to create summative assessment that perfectly matches your scheme of work, with graded, professional looking questions and automatically generated grade boundaries.   But how often do you give assessments? Every term? That's still 15 assessment points across your five year groups, but there is plenty more that can be done. Here are three brief suggestions to help you use createatest to improve your practice ...

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October 2014

2 November 2014
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Thank you to everyone for your feedback this October. We have been busy listening to your recommendations, acting on your suggestions and fixing bugs. We hope you are enjoying the changes we have made based on your feedback.   Changes made this month We have made many changes based on your feedback. Here are a few: Pupils can now be uploaded using excel. We really do thank our users for giving such detailed feedback on this feature, allowing us to get it to where it is so ...

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Maths problem October 2014

22 October 2014
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Hello everyone, I have three fantastic logic problems for you to work on with your students. There are five pirates on a ship who have just plundered 100 gold coins. The pirates are ranked in order of seniority, with the captain being ranked 1. The captain must decide how to divide the coins up, then all five will vote on whether to accept the decision. If fewer than half vote 'yes' then the captain is thrown overboard and the process repeats with pirate #2 deciding on the division. The pirate...

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September News!

1 October 2014
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It is already the end of September. We have all finally got to know our classes; well, we are remembering 50% of pupil names which isn't too bad! Welcome to our new users this September. For our existing users we haven't forgotten you and even in busy September we have made a big addition to Create a Test... Exam boards are finally here!! Syllabus matching/filtering is now available on Create a Test. See the impact in two key areas: When searching for questions filter specifically for these fiv...

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Effective assessment

10 September 2014
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What is the hardest thing about teaching mathematics effectively? Is it differentiating your lessons effectively to meet the needs of all your students? Is it convincing your students that there is some real world application to what you're teaching? Is it convincing them that there doesn't need to be; the joy of understanding and exploring should be enough?! Perhaps all of these are problems that we'll never fully resolve, but there is one issue that I think is seriously holding back mathematic...

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Welcome back

5 September 2014
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Welcome back from the summer holidays! We have been working hard over the past couple of months to implement your suggestions and make Create a Test an even better product.  Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who filled in our survey. The winner of our £20 Amazon voucher is Mr Hickin at St Mary's High Our  three key findings from our survey were: Create a Test subscriber schools use the 5 major maths GCSE & IGCSE exam boards and want questions specifically suitable t...

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June News 2014

24 June 2014
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June is ending and soon the school year will end too. We hope your pupils have had a successful exam period and I am sure like ourselves you are looking forward to the summer break. We won't (just) be resting over the summer though.Features we are currently working onWe have already told you about some of the features coming shortly, for example tutorial videos, subgrades, increased use of variations and better exam board matching. Other features we are aiming to bring to Create A Test include: ...

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Worldcup maths questions

16 June 2014
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Here are some World Cup themed questions to keep your classes entertained in the sunshine.Estimate the total number of goals that will be scored in the tournament. Justify your answer!If there are 64 teams in a knockout tournament and they play in rounds, the teams picked at random. If there are odd number of teams in a round, one team gets a bye. How many matches must be played before a winner is decided? Can you give a logical reason for this result?There are 11 players in the England side, 11...

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May news 2014

29 May 2014
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May has been Create A Test's busiest month since we started! We have all been very busy building tests and questions for our GCSE/IGCSE but soon the craziness ends and summer arrives! We have a lot planned over the summer but we will keep this newsletter short as we know how busy you are....Things you should watch out for over the summer....The biggest changes you will notice include:    Tutorial videos are to return shortly    Subgrade/sublevel boundaries &nbs...

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Maths problems for KS3 (years 7-9) (1st-3rd Form)

13 May 2014
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If your year 11's / 5th formers are keeping you busy (as they do this time of year!) maybe try some of these questions with your other classes this month.  1.     Take any two digit number. Reverse the digits (so 14 becomes 41 etc.). Now add the original number to the reversed number. Is the answer divisible by 11? Does this work for every two digit number? Test it then prove why it works.        2.     Can you write...

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April news 2014

2 May 2014
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Easter holidays are coming to an end and we are truly now in the build up to summer exams. Between our super users and users we are now at well over 1000 extra questions and variations added since the beginning of this year. So thank you all and keep it up! In other developments....Multiple teacher accountsUsing the newly updated "Manager Account" now add multiple teachers to the website. Let each teacher have a login they simply wont forget. Super User sectionOur super users now have ...

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Why do we assess?

14 April 2014
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There is a concern in the press and amongst some of the members of our fine profession that increased emphasis on assessment and progress is deleterious to the well being of our students and the quality of our practice.I disagree. Students, like us, like to know that they're improving and progressing. They like to be able to define this mathematical ability succinctly, and with confidence. Our job as teachers is to ensure that students understand exactly what assessment is. The results of a summ...

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News and Changes March 2014

31 March 2014
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Super User questions regenerateWe know how much some of you like being able to quickly regenerate a full paper and get a different copy of the same paper. Now super user questions and your own variations of the questions work in exactly the same way.  Grade boundariesOne of our most requested features of all time is now live! We have spent a lot of time (and done a lot of maths) to bring you automated grade boundaries for papers. Now have your class complete a paper, work out their score an...

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Stretch your students this easter... Maths questions

10 March 2014
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Hello mathematicians!Here are some amazing questions to really stretch your students;1. If you write the numbers one to one million out, how many digits have you written in total?2. If you drive away from your house at 8mph to an unspecified point, then turn round and immediately drive home again at 10mph, what is you average speed for the journey as a whole?3. How many different subway sandwiches is it possible to buy? Could you have a different subway every day for the rest of your life?4. Can...

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February News

24 February 2014
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February has been another very busy month here at Create A Test and we have some news. Firstly a big thank you to Mossbourne Community Academy, a school described by David Cameron as "one of the most impressive schools I've ever visited in any country anywhere in the world". An excellent achievement and we are very happy to announce they have decided to create their Maths assessments using Create A Test and also to endorse the product.So as usual here is a quick update of the changes t...

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KS3 Coordinator's use of Create A Test

11 February 2014
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As teachers, we have to respond rapidly to the changes in the educational environment. When changes are made to the way students are assessed, it is incredibly important that those students are not adversely affected by the changes. This means responsive action by Heads of Department and Key Stage Coordinator across the country.Ofsted’s focus is, as it should be, on the progress that students make, not just in an observed lesson, but over time. This necessitates a focus, on our parts, on the obj...

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January 2014

29 January 2014
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A big welcome to the new schools and individuals joining us this January. It seems January is the time for test creation and we are happy to see both new and returning faces in the new year. Sharing teacher built "Super User" questions Super User questions have now been up and running for a few weeks and we are happy to see schools already using these questions on your papers. Expect to see many more questions flowing onto the site over the next few months as our super user schoo...

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December News

27 December 2013
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Merry Christmas (or Newton's birthday) from the Create A Test team. Over this Christmas break we do hope you are having a well earned rest! Here is what we are working on over this holiday period... Sharing teacher built questions From early January you will be able to access questions created by teachers using the question builder. We have been testing and developing the best way to effectively share questions built by users. We have decided that from January we will share questions from ...

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November News

30 November 2013
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A big hello from the Create A Test Team this November. The push to improve the Question Builder function still continues! This is not the only development currently happening. Find out more below......School account changesThere are a few changes you will notice other than Question Builder changes this monthA further improvement of how questions fit onto papers. We have had to do some clever things to get the questions to fit better and we hope you can notice the difference on those longer paper...

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October News

28 October 2013
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Create A QuestionThank you for all the feedback on our new Create A Question feature. We know you like the ability to add pictures to your questions and here are some other items you have requested to improve your ability to make better questions:Quickly adding mathematical charts to questionsBeing able to add tables with more ease and flexibilityWe are currently looking into adding these and hope to bring you more news shortly on their developmentBrand new Tutor Account!!!For those who are ...

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End of Summer 2013

7 September 2013
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We hope you have had a fantastic summer break. We are all starting back now and are looking forward to starting the new year (ok so the holidays did go a little quick as always). We are very excited to tell you we spent the summer working hard to take the create a question function ,introduced at the end of last year, to a whole level. We hope you are ready.... Create A Question You will see a completely changed user interface within Create A Question very soon. There are many enhancement...

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June News

28 June 2013
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The year is coming to an end and we only have a few more weeks before the summer holidays begin. School account now has 100 free! individual pupil accountsWe have allocated every school these free accounts so pupils and teachers can benefit from adaptive papers in their learning and teaching. Teachers can create these individual pupils accounts and within an individual pupil account pupils can:Create papers teachers have allocated to their class. They can mark these papers online and teache...

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Changes to Maths qualifications

21 June 2013
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Qualifications for 16 year olds in the UK are about to change and it is important to examine these changes to consider both the benefits and the drawbacks for the pupils we teach. Listed below are some of the important changes with added commentary around our opinion of the change:  New Grading(Positive +ve)One of the most dramatic changes to maths examinations will be the change in the way that the exams are graded. No longer will we have grades running from A* down to G, now a number...

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May News 2013

20 May 2013
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Create A Test biggest update since launch has now been live for a month and we have enjoyed receiving your feedback about the changes.School account updatesThere are several changes we are making around the Pupil&Group accounts section. We have improved the pupil and group account with the introduction of two versions of this section. The two sections are:Group accounts - this allows schools to create class and group papers as you always have. Give pupils the chance to do extra papers at hom...

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Britain’s greatest export: education

5 May 2013
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For a long time now Britain has been proud to educate far more than its far share of the worlds youth. Pupils travel from around the world to attend boarding schools hidden away in the beautiful surroundings of North Yorkshire or the well known Public schools like Eton, The Manchester Grammar School, St Pauls and Dulwich.Not only do pupils come here but the schools go the other way. Now if you want a British education why not have it in Singapore, Beijing, Qatar, or Bangkok. Many of our best-kno...

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School account re-invented

28 April 2013
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The really big changes you will notice with Create A Test: New Home Dashboard and improved usability throughout the site Create your own questions! Improved question bank with search feature added Improvements you will really appreciate:   New functionality to compress maths questions to remove white space (for those thinking of those printing bills!) Improved tooltips to help you use the site New tutorials to help get you started with Create A Test (more coming in the following weeks...

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What do we take pictures of?

31 March 2013
What do we take pictures of?

I was flying back to the UK from Switzerland a few weeks ago and I saw this picture on the inflight easyjet magazine, Traveller (partially edited). I think it could promote some rich in class discussion. They asked people in different Countries what they took pictures of and put the answers into 5 categories (blue, pink, green, purple, orange). This would be a nice image to show at the start of a lesson. You could ask students what they take pictures of most often, try to put the answers i...

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Technology in Education Ltd

3 March 2013
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School account updatesCreate A Test is now a brand of Technology in Education Ltd. With recent changes we hope to bring you a faster developing product that really is designed for teachers by teachers (and with teachers input!).All future payments to Create A Test will now be made to Technology in Education Ltd and future invoices will be sent with updated bank details.The new groups & pupils accounts section has now been active for a month and we would welcome feedback as always. Thank you ...

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Government GCSE u turn

18 February 2013
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Big changes to GCSEs may no longer be happening  and many teachers are happy. One positive development may be on its way though. Schools themselves may be assessed in a more effective way in the near future.As maths teachers many of us may have benefited from time to time from the current systems focus on the Maths and English D/C borderline pupils (personally my department has had a very generous budget when other departments are struggling). However, focusing on this narrow range of pupil...

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January 2013

23 January 2013
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New Year is here and we can see many of you are back making papers School account updatesNotice the new groups & pupils accounts section on your account. Just as before you can create a “group” account and distribute the password to pupils in your class. These papers can then be accessed by the pupils at home for revision or homework purposes. We have now created individual pupil accounts within this section. All users get 5 accounts for free to test and use. We will be pricing up accou...

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key ingredients to make education better

3 January 2013
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Some of the Create A Test team went to the “End of the World” show at the Hammersmith Apollo this Christmas. Great mathematicians and scientists such as Simon Singh, Marcus du Sautoy and Brian Cox (among others) presented with non-mathematicians and scientists including Hugh Grant, Robin Ince, Steve Coogan and DReam to create a night everyone could enjoy. Making mathematics enjoyable and entertaining is one key ingredient in enhancing pupils experience of the subject. This got us thinking what a...

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Christmas News 2012

10 December 2012
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Christmas approaches. A warm welcome to the schools joining Create A Test in the build up to this holiday season.  School account updatesWe already know that many of you love leaving papers online for pupils. The opportunity to set papers that pupils can either do as homework or use for revision is something we wish to enhance and build on.Coming shortly we are creating an account in which a teacher can set individual tests for every pupil. All you’ll have to do is set the correct level and...

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Why does a negative multiplied by a negative equal a positive?

20 November 2012
Why does a negative multiplied by a negative equal a positive?

When I was at school I remember my first unit of work on negative numbers. In the second lesson, our teacher wrote the note above on the chalkboard and asked us to memorise it: “WHAT???” I thought. “This is just Great! (sarcastic tone) I don’t have a clue what’s going on now!”  I had no idea what it meant but I just wrote it down and hoped it would come to me later on in the lesson. Fortunately, I figured out a few minutes later that it was a s...

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October 2012 News

31 October 2012
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With two months of the year already gone teachers hopefully know all of their pupils names, and students are turning up to the correct classrooms. Some schools are already preparing for Christmas and January exams while all teachers are assessing pupils learning with end of unit tests. Whatever you use Create A Test for, we are here to help.School account updatesThe school updates have now been live for a while and we hope that you like the changes. Thank you for those giving feedback on the new...

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Thinking before jumping

18 October 2012
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Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.                            Abraham LincolnI had a lesson which made me think of this quotation today. The class were looking at an interesting sequences problem which is stated below:I’m walking down a long path in the park and I notice that the gardener has planted the trees and flowers next to the ...

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How should maths exams be graded?

2 October 2012
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How should maths exams be graded?The focus in education this summer has been the grading of GCSE exams. Pupils across the country have received lower exam grades than they would have done in December and last summer. Why has this problem arisen? Grade inflation has been an issue that needed to be addressed since the introduction of GCSEs and absolute grading. Past governments have allowed grading to get out of control and something did need to be done. However making the grading so much tougher ...

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Create A Test School & Educational Establishments Modifications Live!!

21 September 2012
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Create A Test School & Educational Establishments Modifications Live!!As many of you will know we have now launched the updated School & Educational Establishments part of the website. Feedback so far has been great and we welcome any further feedback both positive and critical. We will be looking to make similar modifications to the other accounts over the coming yearRefresh your web browserIf you are finding that the changes to the website are not working correctly please use the F5 bu...

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August 2012 News

29 August 2012
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Big changes to the design of the school account We have been working hard to update the look and usability of the school account during the summer holidays. We have taken on board your suggestions and added a few of our own ideas into the mix to create what we think is a big enhancement to this part of the site.The changes will be uploaded shortly and include:New Tab user interface to help improve usability for creating a paper and managing paper questionsA change to the way we create pdf maths ...

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July 2012 News

31 July 2012
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The summer holidays are here and we know many of our users are either enjoying the Olympics or the sun shine (abroad most likely). Hopefully the Olympics will not disturb our work too much here in London. If you find time between events please take a look at the following:New testimonial page coming for School Accounts We have had some very positive, unprompted feedback over the year and have decided to add a small testimonial page to the site. If you can contribute to this page we would be very...

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Blog Create A Test June 2012

27 June 2012
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Create A Test News Exam time is coming to an end and we hope you are looking forward to the summer.  The holidays are a good time for teachers to get organised, and for pupils and teachers to rest for the year ahead. We hope you have found Create A Test useful this last year, and improvements will continue over the coming academic year.Automatic mark sheets in the School Account We have had users testing the new mark sheet feature and the feedback so far has been very good. This was develop...

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May News

14 May 2012
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Create A Test News May 2012A short newsletter this month as exam time is here and priorities are now on the current exams. As you can understand we will now not be making any changes to the working of the website until after the exam period. This will allow minimum disruption to the service during this vital period.  Further Developments to both accounts We will be developing the Create A Test further over the summer holidays and this is your chance to let us know any extra features or chan...

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The most powerful force in the Universe?

29 April 2012
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Compound interest: the most powerful force in the universe? Compound interest is a very impressive force and it is an interesting part of mathematics. Albert Einstein himself said that compound interest is the most powerful force in the world and it is pretty hard to disagree.What is compound interest?For those that are not aware of the concept of compound interest we will give you a very simple example. If you have £100 in a bank today and your account pays 10% interest a year how much money do...

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April News

15 April 2012
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April 2012 Create A Test News. Easter is over and hopefully everyone enjoyed the two weeks away from school. Now though it is time to get back to the final term and there is a lot of build up towards exams so hopefully you are using Create A Test to help you in this build up. We are working hard to help you as a teacher, pupil or tutor in this process.Further Development in School Account Now you can lock and secure papers you have created in a way that doesn’t remove the departmental sharing fu...

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Maths a universal language

28 March 2012
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If you travel between countries and are not able to speak in another language other than English you can have problems. This is less of a problem today than it was in the past as English has become the lingua franca of the world. What is the lingua franca of maths? How do mathematicians communicate? Is German Maths any different to English or French Maths?  Maths is universal language and a mathematician, scientist or engineer will all use the same mathematics language to communicate i...

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Create A Test March News

11 March 2012
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Further Development in School Account The school account has developed once again with improved functionality and quicker loading times on older computer systems. Paper creation and editing is now easier than ever allowing you to make an exam paper quicker with Create A Test than with any other method.  Pricing Change for Parent and Individual AccountsAs you may have noticed already we have changed the pricing structure of these accounts. We hope these changes will simplify the buying proce...

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Ofqual tightens up mathematics GCSE exam and some of our exam experiences

28 February 2012
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Ofqual tightens up mathematics GCSE examOfqual wants to tighten up GCSE mathematics so that students study the whole curriculum rather than a subset of the curriculum. It is important that students are not just taught to the test or told they only need to know a portion of the exam and syllabus. It is essential that pupils get a rounded view of every subject and the testing process is an important part of this. Testing is very important to the process of assessing what pupils and students know a...

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Create A Test February News

15 February 2012
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Create A Test NewsAs you may already have noticed, here at Create A Test we have been working hard to bring new features and enhancements to the different accounts we provide. Here's a couple of things we've improved for you.Enhanced marking systemA new marking system for papers completed in the individual and parent accounts is now live. You can choose to mark your papers more quickly by selecting correct or incorrect options, as well as being able to specify method marks.Developing the qu...

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GCSE vs IGCSE: The debate starts again

21 January 2012
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GCSE vs IGCSE: The debate starts againThe IGCSE (international GCSE)Some schools in the UK have now moved fully or at least partly over the IGCSE based qualifications. These qualifications now come by several names but the essence of them is the same. They offer a more “traditional” teaching with more emphasis on final exams and less time spent doing coursework and controlled assessment. Some highly regarded educators see this as beneficial to their school and pupils.“… Controlled assessments ar...

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Understanding Important League Tables: Why are football league tables flawed?

2 January 2012
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What do the football league tables show? I would suggest that the league tables show which team has the best players not which team produces the best players. If I get a foreign billionaire (possibly Russian) to buy my local team and then use his money to buy the world’s best players and finally win every league and cup available I have not produced the best team, I have bought it. Now let’s look at schools. If I take over my local school and only take the brightest pupils and come at the top of...

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Merry Christmas from Create A Test: New Features on Create A Test

22 December 2011
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Christmas day is nearly here and here at Create A Test we have been working hard to bring new features and enhancements to the different accounts we provide at Create A Test. Updated individual and parent accounts now liveLog in and find a completely revamped user interface. We are very thankful to all those who have given createatest feedback over the past three months as we have updated the individual and parent accounts. As users know these accounts have changed dramatically based on this fee...

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Un-Interesting Numbers

20 November 2011
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Many numbers are interesting for their specific properties, for example:2the smallest even prime number2! = 2a Fibonacci number25= 5 x 5  - A square. = 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9= 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 3 squared + 4 squared - A square number which is the sum of two square numbers. 163a prime numberthe smallest number impossible to make with three dartsSome numbers are ‘uninteresting’ because they don’t possess any properties similar to the above.There is an anecdote about the mathematician Ramanujan a...

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The Trouble with Time

23 October 2011
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The end of October is creeping up, and as with every year since 1916 the clocks will change. In the UK (along with the most of the European Union) clocks go back one hour on the last Sunday in October and forward by one hour on the last Sunday in March. This year clocks will go back one hour at 2am on Sunday 31st October in a return to Greenwich Mean Time.It is also usually about this time of year that the argument about clocks changing resurfaces: should they or shouldn’t they?But why do the cl...

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Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

27 September 2011
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Who Wants to be a Millionaire?There are many careers that mathematicians can go into, some of which can be very lucrative.However if you really want to hit the mathematical big time, and get rich in the process, solving one of the Millennium Problems would be a great place to start…The Millennium Problems are a collection of mathematical problems to which a $1 million prize is offered for finding a solution. The prizes were offered in 2000 by the Clay Mathematics Institute, and as at the time of...

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New Website and GCSE / IGCSE Results

31 August 2011
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We would like to welcome everyone to our updated Create A Test website. Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback and help in producing this updated version of the site. We would welcome further feedback so that we can continue to make improvements and enhancements to your experience of the site. Additionally we would like to congratulate the pupils who got their GCSE and IGCSE results from AQA, Edexcel, OCR and other exam boards last week. We know that many pupils, teachers and tutors worke...

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Bad Statistics

16 August 2011
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A journalist, a psychologist and a statistician are travelling from London to Edinburgh by train. As the train crosses the border, the three travellers look out of the window and notice a black sheep standing alone in a field. The journalist says, “Look! The sheep in Scotland are black.” To which the psychologist replies, "Actually, we can conclude at least one sheep in Scotland is black”. The statistician shakes his head and boldly states, “I think you’ll find we can confidently say that a...

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Exam bloopers!

23 June 2011
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Here are some exam answers to avoid. Using Create A Test should help reduce the following types of mistake... 1. Question: Expand (x+2)(x+3)Answer: ( x + 2 ) ( x + 3 ) 2. Question: Change 8/9 to a decimal. Answer: 8.9 3. Write three thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three in figuresAnswer: three thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three in figures 4. Question: There are 200 pupils in Year 9. Emma and John complete a survey to find out the most popular subject. Emma asks 10 pu...

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What's the Point?

24 May 2011
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What's the Point?If you're sick of sequences, you've had it with histograms and can't see the point of Pythagoras, then take a look at some of the articles below.These are some of the Create A Test team's favourite 'alternative' uses of maths. Have a look as a break from revision or a just some light-hearted reading.A formula for the perfect bacon butty? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/6538643.stmWhat will my tatoo look like when I'm old? http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/...

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Osmosis, meditation and hypnosis: What is the best way to revise?

20 April 2011
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Osmosis, meditation and hypnosis: What is the best way to revise? Revision time is an important part of the year for budding mathematicians (as well as budding historians, physicists and students of any other discipline). Pupils all over the world are now working towards exams that often take place in the early summer. GCSE and IGCSE exams are sat in the many countries across the world as well as in the UK. Schools in Hong Kong, Switzerland, the UAE, Brazil and Cyprus (just to name a few) will b...

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Maths videos: A good watch for all or just something for a Maths teacher to use just before a Christmas break?

22 March 2011
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Recently there has been a large stream of Maths and Science videos to entertain us on BBC 4. Some of these programs have managed to bring in much larger audiences than you might expect. There is no doubt that at least some maths teachers will use these programs at some point but are they worth watching in your own home. First of all, what type of programs are we talking about? I have chosen three programs to look at to give you an idea of what is available. The first program we will look at is “...

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The "English Bac" Why 5 out of 6 pupils are failing according to the government

22 February 2011
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What is the English Bac?The English Bac is awarded to GCSE pupils who achieve a C grade or above in Maths, English, a science, a foreign language and a humanity (ie history/geography). It is not an extra exam but rather a push by the government to put more importance on the subjects listed above. Here at Create A Test we always have different views about government policy in education. However there are normally things we do agree about too. We are sure that though the focus on traditional subje...

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Does Homer Simpson think Maths is important?

12 January 2011
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Why do we keep hearing acronyms like STEM subjects? Why are the Maths results for a school so important in how it is ranked? Why is the government cutting university spending on Maths and other key subjects by a fraction of the cuts to film studies?Here are a few suggested answers: Jobs (getting a well paid job or just a job full stop!) It is the queen of the sciences and helps us in so many other subjects from Physics and Medicine to Computer Science and Economics So you ca...

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