Have C3/C4 papers become increasingly difficult over the years?

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bobbricks
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#1
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#1
I'm asking because I recently did some of the earlier C3 papers (e.g.2005/2006) and just did the June 2013 paper and thought it was much more difficult compared to the previous papers. Now, this could be because I haven't done enough papers so don't have enough experience but just want to know, would you say the Edexcel C3/C4 papers have increased in difficulty or changed in exam style over the years?
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Mike_123
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#2
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#2
(Original post by bobbricks)
I'm asking because I recently did some of the earlier C3 papers (e.g.2005/2006) and just did the June 2013 paper and thought it was much more difficult compared to the previous papers. Now, this could be because I haven't done enough papers so don't have enough experience but just want to know, would you say the Edexcel C3/C4 papers have increased in difficulty or changed in exam style over the years?
June 2013 was notably difficult, just check the grade boundaries
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Tomothy
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#3
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#3
My college uses AQA for Maths A Level; but yes, they've become an incredible amount harder recently. I personally wouldn't bother doing 2005/2006/2007 past papers, recent ones are so completely different it's almost unbelievable.


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Noble.
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#4
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#4
(Edexcel)

Raw mark /75 required to get an A

C3:

Jun 07 - 59
Jan 08 - 64
Jun 08 - 64
Jan 09 - 60
Jun 09 - 67
Jan 10 - 59
Jun 10 - 62
Jan 11 - 61
Jun 11 - 65
Jan 12 - 65
Jun 12 - 64
Jun 13 - 50


C4:

Jun 07 - 58
Jan 08 - 55
Jun 08 - 57
Jan 09 - 59
Jun 09 - 58
Jan 10 - 61
Jun 10 - 60
Jan 11 - 69
Jun 11 - 61
Jan 12 - 65
Jun 12 - 63
Jun 13 - 61

So no, papers have not become increasingly difficult.
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newblood
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#5
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#5
Lol no pure alevel papers are still easy as ever

Though it does seem like theyve tried to make the mechanics papers harder on mei recently, atleast for the lower modules;i havent had a look at the m3/m4 papers personally
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Tomothy
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Noble.)
(Edexcel)

Raw mark /75 required to get an A

C3:

Jun 07 - 59
Jan 08 - 64
Jun 08 - 64
Jan 09 - 60
Jun 09 - 67
Jan 10 - 59
Jun 10 - 62
Jan 11 - 61
Jun 11 - 65
Jan 12 - 65
Jun 12 - 64
Jun 13 - 50


C4:

Jun 07 - 58
Jan 08 - 55
Jun 08 - 57
Jan 09 - 59
Jun 09 - 58
Jan 10 - 61
Jun 10 - 60
Jan 11 - 69
Jun 11 - 61
Jan 12 - 65
Jun 12 - 63
Jun 13 - 61

So no, papers have not become increasingly difficult.
I'm not entirely sure that alone can be used to answer the OP question..
The only thing that proves is that you now need less marks to get an A; which could be because the papers are more difficult now, and hence it's more difficult to pick up marks.


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Noble.
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Tomothy)
I'm not entirely sure that alone can be used to answer the OP question..
The only thing that proves is that you now need less marks to get an A; which could be because the papers are more difficult now, and hence it's more difficult to pick up marks.


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How on earth do you get any kind of correlation from that data? If you exclude the last C3 boundary (which you should as it's an anomoly) there's no correlation at all. With C4, if anything, papers have got easier. Out of the first six boundaries, five out of six were in the 50s, with the last six boundaries none of them were in the 50s.
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PGtips
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#8
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#8
June 13 C3 was just a killer, but tbh we don't know what Edexcel have in plan for the future...

But in general, I think A-level papers are getting harder. I've noticed that across my other subjects, the more recent papers have more emphasis on higher level questioning and application.
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TenOfThem
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#9
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#9
(Original post by PGtips)
June 13 C3 was just a killer
No it wasn't

It did not ask anything that is not covered by the syllabus

What you mean is - the questions broke free - they did not look EXACTLY like every paper before had done

Let's hope that is what Edexcel have in mind for the future
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Liamnut
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#10
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#10
(Original post by TenOfThem)
No it wasn't

It did not ask anything that is not covered by the syllabus

What you mean is - the questions broke free - they did not look EXACTLY like every paper before had done

Let's hope that is what Edexcel have in mind for the future
For our movk we done a recent international paper and it was a little easier than the last c3, but the questions were not that similar to past papers. I wish I sat the June c3 paper, it was like 59 for 100UMS. You could get away with not being able to do a whole question and make a few mistakes.
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TenOfThem
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Liamnut)
For our movk we done a recent international paper and it was a little easier than the last c3, but the questions were not that similar to past papers. I wish I sat the June c3 paper, it was like 59 for 100UMS. You could get away with not being able to do a whole question and make a few mistakes.
Yes, it was a shame that the boundaries were so low - it says a lot about the lack of understanding in current students - as did the uproar after the paper was sat

Comments on here and in national newspapers talking about the paper showed that many students did not understand the material they were being tested on - a sad comment on the quality of A Level teaching IMO
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Kvothe the Arcane
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#12
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#12
(Original post by TenOfThem)
Yes, it was a shame that the boundaries were so low - it says a lot about the lack of understanding in current students - as did the uproar after the paper was sat

Comments on here and in national newspapers talking about the paper showed that many students did not understand the material they were being tested on - a sad comment on the quality of A Level teaching IMO
I was such a terrible student last year. I deserved the poor c3/c4 grades I got. I didn't prepare.

My sympathies are with others though. I can appreciate their panic and anxiety stunted performance
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TenOfThem
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#13
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#13
(Original post by keromedic)
My sympathies are with others though. I can appreciate their panic and anxiety stunted performance
Why - what was on the paper that they had not been taught?

Look at what Poppie and Miriam said

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...d-blunder.html

Both expected to be grade A students and both thought there material on the test that was not in the syllabus - both were wrong
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newblood
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#14
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#14
(Original post by TenOfThem)
Why - what was on the paper that they had not been taught?
I think thats exactly how questions shoukd be set. Not the same year on year

And when they did set it like that the low grade boundaries just nullified it so it might as well have just been a paper lookik just like the previous ones with no boundaries

My only issue with edexcel doing that is that for the years before they kept on setting similar papers, as with all the other boards, excluding mei which actually do change in style a fair bit, so it is unfair that in prevous years you could get a better mark with as little understanding as someone who sat it that year.

Now that they have set a non standard paper, which really wasnt that hard tbh, hopefully they will continue to change it a little bit and actually test students' knowledge as now the kids might have realised that they actually need to have a good grasp of the material to do well.

The only unfair thing with that paper was that it was unexpected, though they compensated for it with ridiculous boundaries so the whole thing was pointless
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TenOfThem
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#15
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#15
(Original post by newblood)
I think thats exactly how questions shoukd be set. Not the same year on year

And when they did set it like that the low grade boundaries just nullified it so it might as well have just been a paper lookik just like the previous ones with no boundaries

My only issue with edexcel doing that is that for the years before they kept on setting similar papers, as with all the other boards, excluding mei which actually do change in style a fair bit, so it is unfair that in prevous years you could get a better mark with as little understanding as someone who sat it that year.

Now that they have set a non standard paper, which really wasnt that hard tbh, hopefully they will continue to change it a little bit and actually test students' knowledge as now the kids might have realised that they actually need to have a good grasp of the material to do well.

The only unfair thing with that paper was that it was unexpected, though they compensated for it with ridiculous boundaries so the whole thing was pointless
I agree

The sad reality at this point is that newly-qualified teachers have been taught under this "if you can do the Past Papers you can do the exam" mentality and are now unable to teach the underlying skills
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m4ths/maths247
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#16
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#16
(Original post by TenOfThem)
No it wasn't

It did not ask anything that is not covered by the syllabus

What you mean is - the questions broke free - they did not look EXACTLY like every paper before had done

Let's hope that is what Edexcel have in mind for the future
Agree.
All the more reason for my belief that 'past paper culture' is not the best way to revise (and dare I say it, learn).
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bobbricks
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#17
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#17
Interesting how all the teachers seem to be agreeing on the new, different style of exam..:P
So how would you all suggest in getting a deeper understanding of the different topics in C3/C4, especially if you haven't been taught the theory/ideas behind them and instead just jumped to the methods themselves?

Also, one of the questions in the June 2013 paper required the use of sinx=cos(90-x) which I, along with others in the class, honestly did not know about, and was never taught it at GCSE or A level and isn't in the specification (I don't think)...However, I do understand the formula now and why it's true but are there any other formulae I should be aware of?
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Old_Simon
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#18
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#18
(Original post by bobbricks)
Interesting how all the teachers seem to be agreeing on the new, different style of exam..:P
So how would you all suggest in getting a deeper understanding of the different topics in C3/C4, especially if you haven't been taught the theory/ideas behind them and instead just jumped to the methods themselves?

Also, one of the questions in the June 2013 paper required the use of sinx=cos(90-x) which I, along with others in the class, honestly did not know about, and was never taught it at GCSE or A level and isn't in the specification (I don't think)...However, I do understand the formula now and why it's true but are there any other formulae I should be aware of?
I find this hard to believe. Sin x = Cos (90 - x) is in Lesson 1 in Trig.
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Robbie242
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#19
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#19
No, I am getting 100% on both of them and I'm not even revising that hard, if people are really going to complain that the A2 a-level maths exams are hard then they should take a look at the alternatives... C3 & C4 just requires practice & understanding
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Robbie242
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#20
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#20
(Original post by bobbricks)
Interesting how all the teachers seem to be agreeing on the new, different style of exam..:P
So how would you all suggest in getting a deeper understanding of the different topics in C3/C4, especially if you haven't been taught the theory/ideas behind them and instead just jumped to the methods themselves?

Also, one of the questions in the June 2013 paper required the use of sinx=cos(90-x) which I, along with others in the class, honestly did not know about, and was never taught it at GCSE or A level and isn't in the specification (I don't think)...However, I do understand the formula now and why it's true but are there any other formulae I should be aware of?
You were taught this in C2. When you looked at the sin and cos graphs.
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