New maths IGCSE may lead to 'super A*', experts say
A new "super A* grade" could be ushered in for GCSEs after one exam board introduced an "A* with distinction" for a further maths exam, experts say.
AQA is introducing the grade for a new International GCSE in further maths.
It says it is not planning the super A* for any other subjects, but education expert Professor Alan Smithers told the Times Educational Supplement it could start a trend.
A*s were introduced in 1994 to provide additional "stretch" for able pupils.
AQA stresses that its new A* distinction in the Level 2 Certificate in Further Maths (IGCSE) is designed for a very small number of very able students.
It does not foresee it being introduced in other exams in the near future, but could not rule it out completely.
AQA chief executive Andrew Hall said: "We believe the most able mathematicians who are already likely to achieve A or A* at GCSE will be motivated by the added challenge of mastering the most demanding skills and being rewarded for this." Read more... (BBC News - 17 June)