How are Edexcel A-Levels taken?

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tehtarik
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When I check the schedule for Edexcel May/June 2016 papers, there are multiple papers for a single subject. For example, Chemistry has 4 "units" and 2 "papers". How does this work? My guess is that the "units" are for A-levels and the "papers" are for AS-level, but as a private candidate who is completely new to the UK system, I have no idea how this works. Must I take all of them? Or just the "units"?
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aamirac
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'Units' are like modules, from which you are taught. There can be more than one unit in a paper (exam paper that you sit). Meaning you can have unit 1 and unit 2 in one exam paper and unit 3&4 in another paper. Resulting in four units being tested in two exams, much like chemistry.
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gdunne42
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(Original post by tehtarik)
When I check the schedule for Edexcel May/June 2016 papers, there are multiple papers for a single subject. For example, Chemistry has 4 "units" and 2 "papers". How does this work? My guess is that the "units" are for A-levels and the "papers" are for AS-level, but as a private candidate who is completely new to the UK system, I have no idea how this works. Must I take all of them? Or just the "units"?
If you need to ask questions about A levels you need to be very specific in your question. This is because uk A levels are in a period of transition to new specifications and also separate A levels are available internationally. The U.K. timetable for 2016 includes scheduled exams for As/A2 under the old specification as well as AS exams for the new specification.
Are you hoping to complete a full A level this summer? Will you take exams in uk or internationally?
If you want to take a full A level in chemistry in the uk this summer you will need to take 4 exams and find a centre to take the AS and A2 practical units under the old specification. If you plan to complete your study over two years there is no need to take any exams this summer as only AS exams will be available for the new specification and the results don't count towards the final A level qualification.
If you plan to take any A level I recommend you read through the specification for the subject that you will find on the relevant examiners web site.


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Holmstock
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(Original post by tehtarik)
When I check the schedule for Edexcel May/June 2016 papers, there are multiple papers for a single subject. For example, Chemistry has 4 "units" and 2 "papers". How does this work? My guess is that the "units" are for A-levels and the "papers" are for AS-level, but as a private candidate who is completely new to the UK system, I have no idea how this works. Must I take all of them? Or just the "units"?
Units are the study modules. Typically a full A-level has four units, and the AS-level has two units.

Starting study from Sept 2015 (Edexcel's "Chemistry (2015)" ) , you can study for the full A-level, to be examined in two papers in June 2017; or you can study a stand-alone AS-level in June 2016 - the mark you get in this is irrelevant to your A-level grade.

Previously (Edexcel's "Chemistry (2008" ) , you would study two units in one year, examined by the AS level in three exams (two papers and one practical), followed by the other two units the following year (A2), again in three exams (two papers and one practical). The A-level grade would be calculated from your total mark in your six AS and A2 exams. Edit: This route is still available for those starting their studies before 2015.
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tehtarik
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(Original post by gdunne42)
If you need to ask questions about A levels you need to be very specific in your question. This is because uk A levels are in a period of transition to new specifications and also separate A levels are available internationally. The U.K. timetable for 2016 includes scheduled exams for As/A2 under the old specification as well as AS exams for the new specification.
Are you hoping to complete a full A level this summer? Will you take exams in uk or internationally?
If you want to take a full A level in chemistry in the uk this summer you will need to take 4 exams and find a centre to take the AS and A2 practical units under the old specification. If you plan to complete your study over two years there is no need to take any exams this summer as only AS exams will be available for the new specification and the results don't count towards the final A level qualification.
If you plan to take any A level I recommend you read through the specification for the subject that you will find on the relevant examiners web site.


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Thank you for replying. To clarify - I'm a Singaporean student, however due to circumstances I am unable to take the local exams, and have hence been advised to take the Edexcel A-levels, in May/June 2016 in Singapore, without taking the AS levels. I'm confused by the timetable on the Pearson website, attached below:

Name:  Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 5.55.54 PM.png
Views: 149
Size:  108.9 KB


While the dates of the first 2 units coincide with the dates of the 2 papers, the other 2 units are on entirely different dates, hence my confusion.
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gdunne42
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(Original post by tehtarik)
Thank you for replying. To clarify - I'm a Singaporean student, however due to circumstances I am unable to take the local exams, and have hence been advised to take the Edexcel A-levels, in May/June 2016 in Singapore, without taking the AS levels. I'm confused by the timetable on the Pearson website, attached below:

Name:  Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 5.55.54 PM.png
Views: 149
Size:  108.9 KB


While the dates of the first 2 units coincide with the dates of the 2 papers, the other 2 units are on entirely different dates, hence my confusion.
You need to clarify with your examination centre exactly what qualification you can be entered for.

International students have had the option in the past to be entered either for an A level following the UK specification but with alternative extra exam papers instead of practical assessments or for an Edexcel International A level that follows a slightly different specification. Either way you would sit all six exam papers. I thought that the option to take the uk version with exam papers for the practical content was no longer available to international candidates but I'm not an expert in international issues.

The timetable you are looking at lists 4 exams for the old specification as well as the two exams for the new AS specification. It does not show dates for the exam paper alternatives to practical assessments. I don't think you can follow either of these options and you need to look at the International A level timetable.

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