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Chemistry - which exam board is the easiest?

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    I'm a mature student and would like to do both AS and A2 in one year as a private candidate.
    I'm unfamiliar with the current exam boards and was hoping for some advice. Which ones would you recommend for Chemistry? Which one is easiest to get an A/A* in I guess?
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    For OCR A:
    3 sets of practical tasks each year - evaluative, qualitative and quantitative.
    You get three chances at each and your best mark is taken.

    Each one consists of a paper with two or more practicals to carry out and set of questions.

    Two exams in each year, the Jan exam carries fewer marks than the Jun exam. (100 vs 150 UMS.)

    Compared to my other science exams I find that OCR chem exams are fairly straightforward but (because of this?) you can drop a lot of marks by making stupid mistakes.

    Often I find that the grading seems like 1:1 raw mark to UMS.

    The practicals are easy to score very highly on though.
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    A hard question to answer because most of us will have only used 1 exam board. but i guess you can compare our expierences.

    Im on AQA atm and the modules look like this:
    AS:
    Unit 1: Foundation Chemistry(100 ums)
    Unit 2: Chemistry in Action (140 ums)
    Unit 3: ISA(practical which involved a written examination a few days later, 60Ums)
    A2:
    Unit 4:Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry(120 Ums)
    Unit 5: Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry(120 ums)
    Unit 6: ISA(60ums)
    the ISA's are hard and im not sure how you will be able to do them if you are an independent candidate. the Exams can also be a challenge as they rely less on deffintions and more on application(nowadays anyway). Now i dont know alot about OCr but i do know when my chemistry teacher was told he had to teach for the OCR exam board he said he wouldnt do it and they would have to find another chemistry teacher !!( bit extreme i know) his reasoning was that the OCR exams were very poor in spreading out the content in the specification in the exams, for example they would dedicate 1/4 of the exam to 1 particular topic when there were 8 topics to pick from. His only critisism of AQA is the ISA and hes not the only 1 who thinks AQA ISA's are horrible. In the End you should probly pick a coursework based exam board that doesnt rely on practicals, maybe edexcel does CW?

    Edit: Just relised you are planning to do the whole A-level in a Year :O? it might be possible but i dont think you will be able to achieve an A imo as A2 is a complete beast and without time to chill out you are gunna be overloaded by work.
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    As said above, majority of us only have experience of one exam board.

    I did OCR A - and I found the AS component alright but it got pretty messed up at A2. I still managed to get an A, so with hard work it's achievable.

    The exam boards I would steer way clear of are OCR Salters and Edexcel. I'd go for either OCR A or AQA.
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    i think there are 'alternative to practical' papers for those people who can't do the practicals.

    i did OCR and i agree with the above poster - they don't really relate the exams to the syllabus at all, which would make it really hard to teach yourself! OCR changed their whole syllabus about 2 years ago so they're still working on it, meaning that a lot of the past papers aren't really that relevant to what you'll get in your exam.

    from my experience of other exams, i'd say that AQA are usually easier but can't be sure. i'd personally stay away from OCR, they've had complaints every year and when i was sitting my a-level exam two people cried!
    i didn't find it too bad but i had a fantastic teacher; i wouldn't teach it to myself.
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    Do yourself a favour and don't choose OCR B (Salters),

    As far as the material is concerned, the spec is easy enough to get your head round, however the difficulty is in preparing for the exam as you're required to be very precise with your answers in order to gain a high mark.

    OCR B is also taught by a context led approach and follows similar mark weightings as OCR A in exams and CW

    However OCR A, I believe is the "easier" exam board of the two
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    I don't think there is such a thing as the easiest exam board, they way each one is marked means that none will only be easier than the other is if you find the specific subject matter easier. Chemistry is a Hard A level and you I doubt you'll find one board is easier than any other, different but probably not in terms of ease.

    From my experience the Edexcel board has some quite interesting stuff on it and its logically structured, both AQA EDEXCEL and OCR have a certain practical element too (which to be honest is a pile of crap)
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    The individual investigation in A2 OCR B salters is a right pain. If you want to do well you're looking at spending about an hour for every raw mark and its out of 45.
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    (Original post by Tench)
    Do yourself a favour and don't choose OCR B (Salters),

    As far as the material is concerned, the spec is easy enough to get your head round, however the difficulty is in preparing for the exam as you're required to be very precise with your answers in order to gain a high mark.

    OCR B is also taught by a context led approach and follows similar mark weightings as OCR A in exams and CW

    However OCR A, I believe is the "easier" exam board of the two
    repped you because i had to suffer OCR Salter's; and, because your sig pretty much explains my life.
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    (Original post by Mathlete 4 the win)
    The individual investigation in A2 OCR B salters is a right pain. If you want to do well you're looking at spending about an hour for every raw mark and its out of 45.
    And then, if like at my college, the teachers will have no idea how to mark it, so, one of the moderated pieces will have been marked wrong and, then, every else's work gets marked down, too. I went from 40/45 to something like 24? Nobs.
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    (Original post by TheDustyKid)
    And then, if like at my college, the teachers will have no idea how to mark it, so, one of the moderated pieces will have been marked wrong and, then, every else's work gets marked down, too. I went from 40/45 to something like 24? Nobs.
    What?
    No way. How do you know this happened? When did you find out?
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    (Original post by Mathlete 4 the win)
    What?
    No way. How do you know this happened? When did you find out?
    I'm a year ahead of you.
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    Because of the UMS system, exam-wise there is no such thing as easy exams. If one exam board makes an easier exam than others, the paper is likely to have a downgrade. In terms of content I don't thing there is a huge difference, and also depends on your preferences. Different people find different things easy because they are interested in different things
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    I sat OCR 5 years ago and got a very high C.
    I quite like the idea of doing an alternative to practicals because it's easier for me to do paper exams as a private candidate.

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Updated: June 4, 2012
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