Resourceaholic: Year 9 Assessment Questions

Past week I blogged about our Calendar year 8 assessments. I set out the principles we adhere to when we write our Essential Stage 3 assessments, and I shared examples of the questions that challenged our highest attaining pupils. 

Modern put up is about Yr 9. My school’s Calendar year 9 cohort has a extremely large vary of maths attainment, which was even more exacerbated by the lockdowns in Year 7 and 8. One notable feature of this yr team is how very superior the higher attaining college students are. The leading established instructor finds it challenging perform to sufficiently obstacle them in lessons. So when I built the close of yr evaluation, I had to make certain there ended up plenty of thoughts in there to make them assume. I you should not want any one coming out of a maths assessment bragging that they found it definitely quick.

Below are some of the a lot more complicated questions from our finish of Calendar year 9 evaluation.


At a live performance the ratio of guys to ladies is 5 : 3.

The ratio of women of all ages to young children is 7 : 4.

Present that extra than 50 percent of the folks at the concert are males.

This was a middle-of-the-paper question. It is not massively demanding – I taught established 4 out of five and a couple of them managed to get comprehensive marks on it. But I desired to include it listed here because it can be a pleasant dilemma necessitating a bit of reasoning. It was at first from an AQA specimen GCSE paper.

A a lot more difficult ratio query was this 1 from Edexcel, which also examined an additional Calendar year 9 subject: altering the subject matter.

The ratio (y + x) : (y – x) is equal to k : 1.

Come across a system for y in terms of k and x.

Surface Area

Surface area region is a fantastic subject matter mainly because it offers many chances for trouble resolving and reasoning. For instance, this typical dilemma may well have been pretty easy for a superior attainer, but I like the way it truly is also accessible to everyone who does a little bit of considering. I was delighted that a number of learners in my course labored this out. We place it in our non-calculator paper so it also examined their arithmetic.

The complete surface area region of a dice is 294cm2.

Do the job out the quantity of the cube.

A somewhat much more difficult dilemma was this one from Edexcel. It will not have any significantly demanding reasoning in it, but has got a a number of steps to function by means of, which includes unit conversion which could possibly be skipped. I like concerns in which pupils have to detect that they need to operate with surface place rather than volume.

The most challenging surface place issue I included was this a person from AQA. Pretty handful of learners could do this, even our highest attainers. We will revisit concerns like this in Yr 10.


I like this coal issue from WJEC. In Yr 9 we train bounds and error intervals for the first time. We introduce some fundamental bounds calculations, but go into higher depth on this at GCSE. This question fitted beautifully. However, I assumed our college students would locate it much easier than they did. I experienced it in the vicinity of the begin of the paper, but most the pupils in my class only picked up a single mark on it. My students are all doing the job at a Quality 4 level although. Our greater attaining college students experienced no difficulty with this just one.


We taught Venn Diagrams to Yr 9 this yr. There have been some reasonably easy Venn diagram issues nearer the get started of our stop of year assessment, the place college students fundamentally just had to entire a variety of Venn Diagrams. But for problem I wished to check comprehending of notation as well as likelihood, so I adapted an OCR AS amount issue. Only our pretty most effective mathematicians answered this appropriately.

Algebraic Proportion

Algebraic proportion can be amazingly procedural. As extensive as students examine the question diligently, once they know how to do it, it’s just about a confirmed five marks. So I provided a non-calculator proportion query that was a little bit different to queries they’d observed just before. What I liked about this was the accessibility: no a single from my course acquired all the marks, but they did control to decide on up a person or two.

Ideal-Angled Trigonometry
This issue was my pièce de résistance. I figured that if our tremendous intelligent Year 9s breezed as a result of all the other complicated inquiries I threw at them, they would certainly have to cease and consider at this point. This SQA query is designed to be solved employing the Sine Rule. But our learners don’t do the Sine Rule until eventually Year 10. This dilemma can be completed with ideal-angled trigonometry. The way I did it was by splitting the foundation into x and 350 – x, then forming two equations for the height and equating them. Even if our learners managed to get this much, fixing the equation would be pretty demanding for them for the reason that they haven’t noticed nearly anything like this just before.

As it occurred, none of our 12 months 9s managed to remedy it in the way I envisaged. But one really smart college student arrived up with a genius (albeit inefficient!) process of demo and improvement. I yelped with pleasure when I realised what he’d completed:

It truly is this sort of a delight to see college students utilizing creative techniques like this.

I also identified some wonderful hard thoughts involving typical type and percentages, but I will quit at this place normally this blog post will go on eternally! Like I claimed in my final write-up, there are many places we can locate great assessment inquiries for Important Stage 3. It truly is a disgrace they are not centrally made any longer – the old KS3 SATs contained fantastic inquiries, but at the very least we can continue to attract on people to make our have assessments.

If you have any fantastic Calendar year 9 evaluation issues you’d like to share, please tweet me. 

Many thanks for studying!

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