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    The calculus A/B here appears to cover stuff equivalent to an O level or gifted 15 year old/NT 16 year old in the UK.

    I don't know anything about this, so I cannot say if this is correct. If it is correct, why is this so? Better math education in earlier grades? Is the UK typically considered a country with great math education? (Not asked snarkily, but I don't remember it being listed as such typically.) If calculus is typical at 16 in lots of countries in the rest of the world, then it's interesting that we are worried about calculus at 17/18 (heck, these days, 19) in the US.

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    What does that mean--specialist mathematics class?

    From a quick Google, it looks like maybe students taking calculus at 16 in the UK are those focused on math? Is this right? Here, of course, stduents don't really pick an academic focus in high school, although you may see leanings one way or another. But there's nothing formally expected-- and students may not have that many choices, either, depending on where they go.

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    I think there is less specialisation at high school in the US than other places. A STEM student in NZ might take Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Calculus, Stats and English in their last year which would be a heavy load. Such things as a second language, PE, art, classics simply can't fit in. In my day you could get through high school with no second language studies at all and basically no history or geography.

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    Specialized math instruction is available during high school years in US. However, it costs a lot of money unless you qualify for financial aid. A case in point:

    http://www.exeter.edu/documents/COI/COI2015-16.pdf#page=55

    Tuition is $36,430 for day students. It is free for families making less than $75,000.

    UM, my DD's school is K-12 and I don't think they offer anything beyond AP Calculus BC but they send a significant number of students to HPYS, MIT, Caltech, and other highly selective colleges each year. I get the impression that these kids do a lot more on their own (or orchestrated by their parents...). They do independent research, apply for patents, start their own software company/non-profit, etc. You know, the usual college rat race.

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    Originally Posted by ashley
    Originally Posted by madeinuk
    SG books + workbooks

    Is SG = Singapore Math, or something else?

    Yes.


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    Originally Posted by ultramarina
    Quote
    The calculus A/B here appears to cover stuff equivalent to an O level or gifted 15 year old/NT 16 year old in the UK.

    I don't know anything about this, so I cannot say if this is correct. If it is correct, why is this so? Better math education in earlier grades? Is the UK typically considered a country with great math education? (Not asked snarkily, but I don't remember it being listed as such typically.) If calculus is typical at 16 in lots of countries in the rest of the world, then it's interesting that we are worried about calculus at 17/18 (heck, these days, 19) in the US.

    In the UK kids can leave school at 16.

    After 16 if they want to stay on they have to have done well with the EOY exams (O levels) taken at 16 in the subjects that they wish to pursue further.This means that kids taking a Maths A level are not your average kids in terms of Maths ability, kids taking a Physics A level are not kids with only average ability etc.

    Kids specialise much earlier in the UK than in the US...


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    I see. I have to admit, I had heard of O levels and A levels but was ignorant of what they really were.

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    They do independent research, apply for patents, start their own software company/non-profit, etc. You know, the usual college rat race.

    Ha..."usual."


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    FWIW, to get back on topic, other parents were told that their children could be "demoted" if the track was too challenging. I wonder if the scare wording is more about not being able to move up.

    Last edited by ultramarina; 01/04/16 09:27 AM.
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