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Which is the best A-Level Physics board? watch

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    Important that you only consider Physics. It seems who the best board is depends on which subject, and it's usually between AQA and Edexcel anyway.

    I haven't committed to one board yet, so worth asking. It's all about the textbooks or online material, since I'm self-studying.

    I've read a revision book on OCR GCSE Chemistry A (OCR-approved) and looked at the past paper for that year. There are a few questions which aren't even in the book, a complaint I've heard far too often about OCR. So OCR is a no, if I can help it.
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    Personally a fan of OCR - the questions in the exams aren't ambiguous
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    OCR are, in my opinion, the best board for any science It is considered harder but if you want to study physics at uni, hard is good
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    (Original post by Munrot07)
    OCR are, in my opinion, the best board for any science It is considered harder but if you want to study physics at uni, hard is good
    As long as it isn't a steep learning curve. Hard is fine as long as it's gradual, so that each new unit or equation or trick you're next learning isn't really 'hard', just 'more'.

    This sudden OCR love is making me consider them for Maths as well, since their textbooks are also plentiful. I had read plenty about them basically being dicks. You get that with every board, but the hate for OCR seems particularly strong.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    As long as it isn't a steep learning curve. Hard is fine as long as it's gradual, so that each new unit or equation or trick you're next learning isn't really 'hard', just 'more'.

    This sudden OCR love is making me consider them for Maths as well, since their textbooks are also plentiful. I had read plenty about them basically being dicks. You get that with every board, but the hate for OCR seems particularly strong.
    Ocr are very good, especially their OCR A course. Also, for maths and further maths go for MEI OCR, their support is amazing and they have by far the best books out of all the specs
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    As long as it isn't a steep learning curve. Hard is fine as long as it's gradual, so that each new unit or equation or trick you're next learning isn't really 'hard', just 'more'.

    This sudden OCR love is making me consider them for Maths as well, since their textbooks are also plentiful. I had read plenty about them basically being dicks. You get that with every board, but the hate for OCR seems particularly strong.
    For physics, the content isn't hard (at AS anyway) but the questions are hard. This is why people don't like them, they have hard questions which test what you have learnt, make you apply your knowledge and have very specific mark schemes, if you miss out a key word you lose a mark (and i think that is fair). But if you work hard, revise, know the material you will do well Personally edexcel is considered the best for maths I believe, I definitely like it Lots of books too (I have 4 for each of the Core units)
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    (Original post by ollz272)
    Ocr are very good, especially their OCR A course. Also, for maths and further maths go for MEI OCR, their support is amazing and they have by far the best books out of all the specs
    Only thing that puts me off is I hear OCR are sticklers for certain words and will not give marks for using a different route, while AQA in particular are more flexible. When I've done past papers and practice exams, I've found that nearly all the time I've answered the question in a different way to the marking scheme.

    (Original post by Munrot07)
    For physics, the content isn't hard (at AS anyway) but the questions are hard. This is why people don't like them, they have hard questions which test what you have learnt, make you apply your knowledge and have very specific mark schemes, if you miss out a key word you lose a mark (and i think that is fair).
    As above, that's what puts me off. I answer questions different to how they usually like. I think what's important in my board choice is that it's good enough to prepare me for physics at uni, so there's no gap, but also flexible or even 'easy' enough so that I can get the highest grades. (Though I wouldn't want to just choose the easiest course and then go to uni and find I can't do advanced physics.) So while OCR is harder, if I'm going to lose marks because of how my brain works things out, I'd be better off using another board. Could still read OCR textbooks, of course.
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    I did OCR Physics A and there were never any questions that were too difficult. For calculations you get full marks for a correct answer unless it's a "Show that..." question where you can use any valid method.

    They're not too bad about words, it's not very often you cannot get full marks without using specific words.
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    It is worth noting that AQA-A have two types of practical assessment, one of which is better suited for people self-studying, as the work would be externally marked rather than by a teacher. But I'm not sure what sort of arrangement you have OP, are you doing the practical with your old school?

    also, I'm not sure if edexcel offer the same choice in their practical assessment units
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    (Original post by Jack93o)
    It is worth noting that AQA-A have two types of practical assessment, one of which is better suited for people self-studying, as the work would be externally marked rather than by a teacher. But I'm not sure what sort of arrangement you have OP, are you doing the practical with your old school?

    also, I'm not sure if edexcel offer the same choice in their practical assessment units
    WIth practical assessments for any board (as far as I know), self-studiers have to find a college or school that accepts external candidates, pay up, then do the practical stuff there over the course of a week or so around Feb or March. It doesn't have to be the same place you've registered your exams through.

    The other option is indeed to just do it yourself and get it marked or whatever, but not many people have laboratories in their house.
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    I'm still thinking AQA. I'd rather an 'easy' course that grades me on ability/knowledge than one that grades me badly on keywords. I haven't heard of unis caring which board you took, so why take a harder/dodgier exam?
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    I was in the same situation a few weeks ago. I had a choice of going to one college or going to another, in which the Physics exam board was OCR A and AQA A. I chose the other college as it is closer and more convenient.

    I did OCR for my 3 sciences at GCSE, and I believe that it is the best exam board for any science at both GCSE and A Level. OCR A has a paper on mechanics solely at AS, whilst on AQA A it is incorporated into Unit 2. If you are confident with mechanics, then go ahead with OCR. OCR also tend to have lower grade boundaries compared to other boards at A Level, which is a bonus as it all really comes down to how much work you put in. As for the second unit, OCR and AQA A have identically the nearly the same content ( theres a few differences as you would expect ) but it depends on the way the exam questions are structured as that is major difference.

    I think that you should have a look on the specifications of each course and look at the past papers and compare to see which suits you best content wise and how you can handle the exam technique. If I was you, I'd go with OCR A, or the exam board that you was on for GCSE. I think OCR A are the most cogent and have many resources.
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    I've heard only terrible, terrible things about AQA physics..
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    I'm still thinking AQA. I'd rather an 'easy' course that grades me on ability/knowledge than one that grades me badly on keywords. I haven't heard of unis caring which board you took, so why take a harder/dodgier exam?
    OCR doesn't focus too much on keywords for Physics. You'll need to memorise some definitions but there's not much else.
    I like OCR for Physics, you can get an average/decent grade just by doing the basic calculations but for top marks you have to be able to apply your knowledge to abstract situations which is pretty neat. Obviously I don't know what the other exam boards are like though so I have nothing to compare to.
    I thought the OCR AS textbook was really helpful, it explained things well, can't say the same for the A2 one though. Some areas are dodgy, in particular the explanation of circular motion and centripetal acceleration. There are always other places to seek clarification though.
    Nice avatar btw.
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    (Original post by Fade)
    I think that you should have a look on the specifications of each course and look at the past papers and compare to see which suits you best content wise and how you can handle the exam technique. If I was you, I'd go with OCR A, or the exam board that you was on for GCSE. I think OCR A are the most cogent and have many resources.
    Ah, that's the problem. The specifications will be (and are) just gibberish as I haven't learnt them yet so don't know what they entail (like when I looked at Maths units, all I knew was 'mechanics = related to physics'). Past papers will be more gibberish as every question will be a brick wall of currently unknown technical terms. I'm pretty much going in blind into A Level Maths and Science and saying "come at me, bro" and hoping I'll get it by the time I have to do the practicals, whatever those practicals may entail.

    In a charity shop I found two OCR GCSE books, one for Physics A and one for Chemistry A. For £3 altogether I thought "why not?"
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Ah, that's the problem. The specifications will be (and are) just gibberish as I haven't learnt them yet so don't know what they entail (like when I looked at Maths units, all I knew was 'mechanics = related to physics'). Past papers will be more gibberish as every question will be a brick wall of currently unknown technical terms. I'm pretty much going in blind into A Level Maths and Science and saying "come at me, bro" and hoping I'll get it by the time I have to do the practicals, whatever those practicals may entail.

    In a charity shop I found two OCR GCSE books, one for Physics A and one for Chemistry A. For £3 altogether I thought "why not?"
    So have you opted for OCR then? I would go with what ever exam board you were on at GCSE, there will be a smoother transition to A Level and there wouldn't be that many gaps in your physics knowledge as moving from one exam board to another recalls information from GCSE which you may have not learnt.
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    (Original post by Fade)
    So have you opted for OCR then? I would go with what ever exam board you were on at GCSE, there will be a smoother transition to A Level and there wouldn't be that many gaps in your physics knowledge as moving from one exam board to another recalls information from GCSE which you may have not learnt.
    Haven't decided yet. I did Science GCSE a decade ago so I don't remember much.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Haven't decided yet. I did Science GCSE a decade ago so I don't remember much.
    Ahh, I see. Thats a problem because the specifications of courses have obviously changed since that time. I see no problem why you cannot adapt to any exam board. Have a read through the specification and online, as well as past papers and try to get textbooks. Other than that, pick the one which you like the most in terms of how easy it is to self teach depending on the amount of resource and overall the content. I see no problems with you adapting as it is a fresh start
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    Anything but Edexcel...
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Important that you only consider Physics. It seems who the best board is depends on which subject, and it's usually between AQA and Edexcel anyway.

    I haven't committed to one board yet, so worth asking. I'm self-studying and both AQA and Edexcel have a decent amount of textbooks. (I was going to do AQA Maths and Further Maths anyway until I found there's no textbooks, gonna do Edexcel instead)
    I would definitely recommend not doing edexcel physics as well! The exams were stupid, and the exam board decided to mark all our coursework down (you have to do a practical and then write up a report (analysis etc.) of your results. In AS, you also have to write up a report of a physics based visit in addition to this).

    From what i've seen, AQA seems like a good board. ISA's (or EMPA's) are definitely better than coursework, and in A2, I think you get a choice of modules for one of the exams so you can actually choose what you want to study.
 
 
 
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