antelope11
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What's the difference between AQA, Edexcel and the Cambridge boards? Do universities have preferred exam boards? Which board is better for Maths A2?

Oh, and how many units must we take? I'm rather confused by the units thing

thanks for your help!!!
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SH0405
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(Original post by antelope11)
What's the difference between AQA, Edexcel and the Cambridge boards? Do universities have preferred exam boards? Which board is better for Maths A2?

Oh, and how many units must we take? I'm rather confused by the units thing

thanks for your help!!!
The general consensus for the order in difficulty is OCR MEI, OCR, AQA and then Edexcel, although a Maths A-Level is Maths A-Level.

You must take 6 units for the entire A-Level (3 for the A2 part).
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gdunne42
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(Original post by antelope11)
What's the difference between AQA, Edexcel and the Cambridge boards?
Not much. They all examine very similar maths at A level.
Edexcel have the most widely taken A level syllabus. They are available in UK and offer an international A level (with a different unit structure) for students outside of UK.
AQA, OCR, OCR-MEI only offer exams in UK
CIE A levels are taken internationally, they are not available to UK state school candidates but some private fee paying schools and some private candidates choose to take them.
Some people claim CIE are harder, I've seen no objective proof of that.
(Original post by antelope11)
Do universities have preferred exam boards?
No, not in UK anyway. They know that 99+% of candidates have no choice in their examiner and treat them all equally. I have no idea internationally.
(Original post by antelope11)
Which board is better for Maths A2?
Depends on who and where you are, in school or private candidate, support available, exam centre availability.....
(Original post by antelope11)
Oh, and how many units must we take? I'm rather confused by the units thing
Depends which you take - it's all explained in the specifications you'll find on the examiner web sites. For AQA, OCR and Edexcel UK A levels it's 6 units.

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Muttley79
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(Original post by SH0405)
The general consensus for the order in difficulty is OCR MEI, OCR, AQA and then Edexcel, although a Maths A-Level is Maths A-Level.

You must take 6 units for the entire A-Level (3 for the A2 part).
What 'general consensus'? All boards have to be of equal difficulty as they are regulated ...

Some papers may seem easier but this is balanced by grade boundaries etc
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SH0405
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(Original post by Muttley79)
What 'general consensus'? All boards have to be of equal difficulty as they are regulated ...

Some papers may seem easier but this is balanced by grade boundaries etc
Ok, I think that they are in that order of difficulty.
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alow
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(Original post by Muttley79)
What 'general consensus'? All boards have to be of equal difficulty as they are regulated ...

Some papers may seem easier but this is balanced by grade boundaries etc
Have you seen MEI (or OCR for that matter) FP/M modules? Edexcel doesn't even compare. Yes, the grade boundaries are adjusted but the papers are MUCH harder.
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SH0405
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(Original post by Muttley79)
What 'general consensus'? All boards have to be of equal difficulty as they are regulated ...

Some papers may seem easier but this is balanced by grade boundaries etc
(Original post by alow)
Have you seen MEI (or OCR for that matter) FP/M modules? Edexcel doesn't even compare. Yes, the grade boundaries are adjusted but the papers are MUCH harder.
There we go.
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Skill Twix
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CIE is the hardest tbh(The Pure mathematics part is actually interesting and easy but Mechanics it destroys your brain cells)
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alow
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(Original post by Skill Twix)
CIE is the hardest tbh(The Pure mathematics part is actually interesting and easy but Mechanics it destroys your brain cells)
Lol no.

No Markov Chains, no abstract algebra, no relative motion, no vector calculus...
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gdunne42
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(Original post by SH0405)
The general consensus for the order in difficulty is OCR MEI, OCR, AQA and then Edexcel, although a Maths A-Level is Maths A-Level.

You must take 6 units for the entire A-Level (3 for the A2 part).
If the general consensus is that one brand of A level maths is much easier than another, why do Heads of Maths and teachers whose careers are judged on the results of their students not choose the easiest option?

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Muttley79
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(Original post by alow)
Have you seen MEI (or OCR for that matter) FP/M modules? Edexcel doesn't even compare. Yes, the grade boundaries are adjusted but the papers are MUCH harder.
Yes I have seen MEI papers - I'm a teacher - the questions are not harder, just different.

I was helping a neighbour's daughter this year - they are FAR more predictable.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by SH0405)
There we go.
Students ALWAYS think the board they are doing is the hardest.
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gdunne42
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Students ALWAYS think the board they are doing is the hardest.
And the paper they just took is much harder than any past paper


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SH0405
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(Original post by gdunne42)
If the general consensus is that one brand of A level maths is much easier than another, why do Heads of Maths and teachers whose careers are judged on the results of their students not choose the easiest option?

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Because success at a harder level is more highly regarded than that at an easier one.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by gdunne42)
If the general consensus is that one brand of A level maths is much easier than another, why do Heads of Maths and teachers whose careers are judged on the results of their students not choose the easiest option?

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Exactly! I'm judged on the results of my whole team so of course if thought one board was 'easier' then we'd be mad not to take it.
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CleverGirl383
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I did AQA A Level Maths and ended up with an A which I was really happy with since maths isn't my strong point. The AQA board is quite easy overall, it's easy to get an A by doing past papers because they're starting to run out of ways to make original questions, but A2 papers always have "stretch and challenge" questions for A* students which you can never predict. Here is my opinion on the overall module difficulty:

C1: Very easy module since it's just a recap of GCSE with a few new topics which are quite simple e.g differentiation, integration, circles
C2: Slightly tougher module. Some GCSE recap topics (trigonometry) but things get tougher with trig identities and solving trig equations. Logarithms seem tough at first but keep doing past papers until you're confident - they can't test you on anything new with them. Other topics like sequences, series, differentiation and integration are simple.
C3: Hardest module IMO. I got A*'s in mock tests and ended up with a C, god knows how. Packed with difficult differentiation and integration which takes a little longer to take in and understand (particularly integration by substitution) - again, with past papers it's not such a big deal. More trig graphs + trig identities but nothing you haven't seen before. Modulus graphs can be done with graphing calculators. Functions can be confusing, exponentials and logarithms is easier than C2 logs i feel.
C4: Harder than C2 but not as hard as C3. Lots of new topics which rely on C3 differentiation and integration techniques but these are easy, apart from cartesian equations which can be tricky (just do past papers q's). Partial fractions and binomial expansions easy.. Vectors are very tricky, easy to pick up a couple of marks but you need to thoroughly understand them to get high marks which requires you to be logical and able to draw diagrams etc. Exponential growth/decay is just C3 logs/exponentials applied in context but these questions can get tough if you aren't masterful in logs. Lots of new trig identities and formulas to learn, trig proofs can be tricky. Differential equations are not hard but you need to be good at algebraic manipulation and integration.
D1: Very easy module to get a high grade in since you're applying the same algorithms over and over. Difficult topics include linear programming (graph drawing) and graph theory.
S1: Another very easy module, you just need to remember prelearnt answers and know how to use a graphical calculator to answer every different style of question, which becomes simple when you've done the past papers.
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gdunne42
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(Original post by SH0405)
Because success at a harder level is more highly regarded than that at an easier one.
How I wish that was true
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alow
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Yes I have seen MEI papers - I'm a teacher - the questions are not harder, just different.

I was helping a neighbour's daughter this year - they are FAR more predictable.
The differences appear in FP3, the higher Ms, etc. Did you teach her those?

(Original post by Muttley79)
Students ALWAYS think the board they are doing is the hardest.
Considering I didn't do MEI, obviously not. Also I don't find anything in A Level Maths/FM difficult so I can look at it pretty objectively.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by alow)
The differences appear in FP3, the higher Ms, etc. Did you teach her those?
No but I did look (and work through) at a lot of papers, including those, because I was trying to find where some things were - for example, MEI S1 doesn't have normal distribution, edexcel does.

I've taught many different syllabuses over the years and all the current modules. The mark schemes are also different and give credit in different ways.

Unless you are a qualified teacher with at least fifteen years of experience ie before modular exams, your knowledge base is shallow.
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lai812matthew
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Students ALWAYS think the board they are doing is the hardest.
not the edexcel ones cause edexcel is super easy.
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