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Why is A-level maths SO much harder than every other A-level?

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    (Original post by lw8)
    I don't understand why they make it so hard.
    I got AAD in my AS (i'll be retaking and getting a B but thats besides the point).
    For the 2 As, i didn't revise, it was fairly easy to keep up with the notes and be confident on writing essays for every topic.
    Maths however; i did at least 8 extra hours a week from February to May (the exams), and still only got a D overall (58.7%).

    AS levels are insultingly easy if its not maths (and some sciences, like chem/physics/computer science).
    Computer science is soft at A level, incredibly straightforward but yeah agreed with Maths, although chem is even harder i find :/ They were my 3 subjects CS, maths and Chem
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I don't understand why they make it so hard.
    I got AAD in my AS (i'll be retaking and getting a B but thats besides the point).
    For the 2 As, i didn't revise, it was fairly easy to keep up with the notes and be confident on writing essays for every topic.
    Maths however; i did at least 8 extra hours a week from February to May (the exams), and still only got a D overall (58.7%).

    AS levels are insultingly easy if its not maths (and some sciences, like chem/physics/computer science).
    Physics and Chemistry are generally considered to be harder than A Level Maths. The maths in A Level maths can be learned through rote learning, and for my exam board at least, all the papers are very similar. This makes you sub-consciously memorise methods instead of generally having to apply any maths you learnt to unknown situations. Physics and chemistry on the other hand have less rote learning; they often use GCSE Maths but in a somewhat deceiving way at times to make it difficult, even for those who have studied A Level Maths.
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    What you've said is too subjective, I got the same in maths as I did in Law and Psychology (B's in all 3) so I didn't find it too tough. At the same time my friend did loads of work and came out with a U (I did minimum revision) so my opinion is youre either cut out for maths or you're not because so much of it is pure maths.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    And you condone this? What you have here is the effects of both privatising the education system and creating a system based on academic results.
    OK, so timing was a problem for C1, but your other grades should not be that low. Did you see an improvement in your marks from when you started the papers to when you'd finished? [You should because there's 20 papers per unit]
    Timing wasn't a problem, we have 1hr 30 for c1, i finished in 30. And yes, as massive improvement, i went from 50 in c1 to 90+ consistently. My C2 went from 20s to 60s.
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    (Original post by lw8)
    Timing wasn't a problem, we have 1hr 30 for c1, i finished in 30. And yes, as massive improvement, i went from 50 in c1 to 90+ consistently. My C2 went from 20s to 60s.
    Not really a substantial improvement though is it? Over 20 papers you improved by 40 marks, that's 2 marks per paper. It should be more like 4 or 5 marks, meaning you can find your plateau level. Unless you standardise them, (NOTE: not percentages) you cannot compare them either, a percentage is usually slightly higher than the UMS. Timing was clearly an issue if you are used to finishing in 30 mins but ran out in the real thing. Also, if you're getting 90 (hoping for your sake that this is UMS) in half an hour then you are marking inaccurately.
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    (Original post by JustJusty)
    It's a bit of a complicated story. I shall write it as bullet points (without the bullet part).

    I originally took Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Art.
    I dropped Art at the start of October to pick up maths.
    My Art teacher didn't let me drop it because I was 'guaranteed an A'.
    I did Art in my own time and took up Maths.
    At this point I was taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths, with Art as an extra thing.
    It turned out I was good at Maths and my teacher really wanted me to do Further Maths (as did I).
    I got my results and picked up AS Further Maths on results day.
    I am now doing Bio, Chem, Physics, Maths and FM, but I've dropped art.

    My results:
    Biology: A, predicted A*.
    Chemistry: B, predicted A.
    Physics: B (3 marks off an A!!), predicted A.
    Maths: A, predicted A (but I will retake my AS exams to hopefully get an A*).
    AS Art: A.
    FM: no predicted grade yet, but finding it easy so far.
    Oh my :eek: well congrats for doing so well ! I did the same as you I just dropped art but my teacher really wants me to do it so it's interesting to hear what you did
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    (Original post by GEEKSruletheworld!)
    Because all of the exam boards tell you to revise one thing and then when it comes to the actual exam they COMPLETELY change the whole style of the question and screw everyone. If you don't believe me, look at the MPC3 June 2016 paper ) that was a real dream killer *has flashbacks of that disgusting paper* *cringes*
    What was wrong with the paper?
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    (Original post by GEEKSruletheworld!)
    Because all of the exam boards tell you to revise one thing and then when it comes to the actual exam they COMPLETELY change the whole style of the question and screw everyone. If you don't believe me, look at the MPC3 June 2016 paper ) that was a real dream killer *has flashbacks of that disgusting paper* *cringes*
    Got 100 UMS in C3 AQA this year, can't complain.

    All that paper was just algebraic manipulation mostly, and anyone who is taking C3 should be smooth with this. I don't remember anything bad about the paper except the last question which I was the only one I wasn't able to complete fully. I knew how to do the last 2 parts of it, just didn't get the first one so I wasn't able to proceed much.

    Other than that is was a pretty standard C3 paper with a few odd functions here and there, but nothing impossible.
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    lol this thread is typical tsr cancer
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    lol this thread is typical tsr cancer
    How so?
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    (Original post by B_9710)
    How so?
    4 pages of teenagers arguing over something that comes down to "it's subjective" with the occasional humble brag thrown in for good effect.
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    (Original post by lw8)
    AS levels are insultingly easy if its not maths (and some sciences, like chem/physics/computer science).
    Do not approach A2s with that attitude. You will have to slave over the subjects. Maths requires you to practise everything inside out, all the practise papers, a good chunk of text book questions to ensure that you don;t get screwed over by the exam boards.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    4 pages of teenagers arguing over something that comes down to "it's subjective" with the occasional humble brag thrown in for good effect.
    waz ur m3?
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I think my problem is the lack of fundamental skills and knowledge in maths, the calculations and numbers are easy, but for me its knowing when to do and apply certain things.

    Just for example, i don't know what the bit in bold means and probably won't ever learn it, i might come out with a B/C but it'll be because i rote learnt how to do everything rather than knowing what any of it actually means. I still don't understand why we do anything in maths(I get Statistics, but thats about it), i just know i have to do it to get into university
    The thing is, A-Level maths should be stupidly easy for everyone in theory.

    The problem is that maths is a very cumulative subject much more so than any others. This means that the small proportion of people who worked hard in all their maths lessons from day one (I'm talking basically start of school) and made sure they understood everything they were taught, will have virtually no gaps in their understanding of school maths and consequently will find A-Level maths boringly easy, since A-Level maths has to be made at a difficulty accessible to the majority of students, which includes that majority who either didn't try hard enough in their maths lessons over the years, or they didn't make sure they understood everything they were taught, or they didn't retain everything (which is not really possible if you understand what you were taught). When I say 'everything' I mean at least the more important concepts.

    So most people go into A-Levels with large gaps in their fundamental skills (as you said) and struggle because it's very hard to lay new material on top of weak foundations. In the worst cases the best solution would probably be to go back and relearn all the (most important) basic skills/concepts that the student didn't understand from previous years.
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    I think maths and further maths should be combined to make a single A-level, and GCSE should reflect AS content.

    Then further maths a-level should become what STEP basically is.
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    Because a lot of teenagers are not used to working hard at anything in their lives
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    Ugh im failing c1 already fml
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    (Original post by RDKGames)
    Got 100 UMS in C3 AQA this year, can't complain.

    All that paper was just algebraic manipulation mostly, and anyone who is taking C3 should be smooth with this. I don't remember anything bad about the paper except the last question which I was the only one I wasn't able to complete fully. I knew how to do the last 2 parts of it, just didn't get the first one so I wasn't able to proceed much.

    Other than that is was a pretty standard C3 paper with a few odd functions here and there, but nothing impossible.
    For maths a level did you ever start from the bottom? Were you getting Ds Es and Us at the start of year 12?
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Not really a substantial improvement though is it? Over 20 papers you improved by 40 marks, that's 2 marks per paper. It should be more like 4 or 5 marks, meaning you can find your plateau level. Unless you standardise them, (NOTE: not percentages) you cannot compare them either, a percentage is usually slightly higher than the UMS. Timing was clearly an issue if you are used to finishing in 30 mins but ran out in the real thing. Also, if you're getting 90 (hoping for your sake that this is UMS) in half an hour then you are marking inaccurately.
    1) i know people that can get 100% in less than half an hour, c1 edexcel is not hard at all, easier than gcse IMO.
    2) It is a substantial improvement, i went from 8% in the christmas mock to over 58% over 3 papers.
    3) UMS is almost always 1 or 2 marks different to % at most
    4) The c1 paper we got was ridiculously hard and nothing like past papers, everyone agrees on that that took it, my friend who got an A at further maths only got 88%. Go figure.
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    (Original post by Rajive)
    For maths a level did you ever start from the bottom? Were you getting Ds Es and Us at the start of year 12?
    Yep, I was getting D's for the first half of Y12.
 
 
 
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