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Why are CIE AS/A level maths past papers do damn hard? Watch

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    Hey everyone,
    I'm feeling extremely frustrated. So I had asked help from a teacher, he looked at the P1, P3, S1 and M1 past papers then had said basically said to me, completely avoid doing maths with this exam board, that it's insanely hard. He told me to do Edexcel which I was originally doing but now it's too late because I missed the final entry date. He told me, just do 2 AS levels then and take Edexcel AS maths next year. WTF I didn't know it was that bad.
    And he has 30 years of experience, even writes exams as an examiner.
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    (Original post by Cherry82)
    Hey everyone,
    I'm feeling extremely frustrated. So I had asked help from a teacher, he looked at the P1, P3, S1 and M1 past papers then had said basically said to me, completely avoid doing maths with this exam board, that it's insanely hard. He told me to do Edexcel which I was originally doing but now it's too late because I missed the final entry date. He told me, just do 2 AS levels then and take Edexcel AS maths next year. WTF I didn't know it was that bad.
    And he has 30 years of experience, even writes exams as an examiner.
    Ridiculous comment by your teacher. If he thinks those are insanely hard he has no business being a teacher for A level mathematics. Yes Edexcel has a reputation of being easier but it is only a difference of being very easy compared to easy.

    There is absolutely nothing in the CIE A level that is difficult since it is the same material as the other exam boards. I have used CIE papers for revision purposes and was hard put to find much of a difference with AQA questions.
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    (Original post by etjayne)
    Ridiculous comment by your teacher. If he thinks those are insanely hard he has no business being a teacher for A level mathematics. Yes Edexcel has a reputation of being easier but it is only a difference of being very easy compared to easy.

    There is absolutely nothing in the CIE A level that is difficult since it is the same material as the other exam boards. I have used CIE papers for revision purposes and was hard put to find much of a difference with AQA questions.
    Really? Are you sure?
    He emphasises that he has 30 years of experience and because of this, he said he knows what he is talking about. I told him I thought it wouldn't be significantly harder than other exam boards as it wouldn't be allowed, it's registered appropriate for student's our age- it's not uni content. But he then explained because it's an international exam board, they could do whatever they wanted in terms of difficulty. I'm super confused.
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    (Original post by Cherry82)
    Really? Are you sure?
    He emphasises that he has 30 years of experience and because of this, he said he knows what he is talking about. I told him I thought it wouldn't be significantly harder than other exam boards as it wouldn't be allowed, it's registered appropriate for student's our age- it's not uni content. But he then explained because it's an international exam board, they could do whatever they wanted in terms of difficulty. I'm super confused.
    Look at the questions. Look at the specification for the exam. Near as much the same.
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    (Original post by etjayne)
    Look at the questions. Look at the specification for the exam. Near as much the same.
    Lol. I did look at the questions and they do seem more difficult than Edexcel's own past paper questions. Maybe it's because with CIE everything is condensed unlike Edexcel and AQA. Edexcel's and AQA's C1 and C2 is squeezed into P1 which only has 10 questions for both modules in the exam so it being all squeezed together does make the past paper questions seem more challenging. Unlike Edexcel where C1 has 10/11 questions and so does C2, being separate papers. Then for the applied ones, S1 and M1 especially, they seem pretty much the same.
    I think also because I'm virtually self teaching too maybe he said this considering that factor along with the others.
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    (Original post by Cherry82)
    Lol. I did look at the questions and they do seem more difficult than Edexcel's own past paper questions. Maybe it's because with CIE everything is condensed unlike Edexcel and AQA. Edexcel's and AQA's C1 and C2 is squeezed into P1 which only has 10 questions for both modules in the exam so it being all squeezed together does make the past paper questions seem more challenging. Unlike Edexcel where C1 has 10/11 questions and so does C2, being separate papers. Then for the applied ones, S1 and M1 especially, they seem pretty much the same.
    I think also because I'm virtually self teaching too maybe he said this considering that factor along with the others.
    Not saying they aren't slightly harder but there isn't that much difference. As I said, same material examined to pretty much the same level.

    If you know the material then it shouldn't be a problem. It isn't like the questions have been fiendishly designed to trip people up with obscure tricks.
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    In my school they used to do Edexcel and some years ago they changed to CIE. It is harder, and the content is not the same, in P3 there is stuff from Edexcel FP1, and the papers are much harder. My maths teacher says it is much harder and only the best can get an A. I don't think getting the A is hard if you are good at maths and you revise, however the A* in CIE maths is something that my school has never seen in its history, since you usually need 92-94% of the total raw marks to get the A*. Just revise and do loads of papers!
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    (Original post by PLM98)
    In my school they used to do Edexcel and some years ago they changed to CIE. It is harder, and the content is not the same, in P3 there is stuff from Edexcel FP1, and the papers are much harder. My maths teacher says it is much harder and only the best can get an A. I don't think getting the A is hard if you are good at maths and you revise, however the A* in CIE maths is something that my school has never seen in its history, since you usually need 92-94% of the total raw marks to get the A*. Just revise and do loads of papers!
    Well the past papers are easy.
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    This is my exact same problem !! :emo:
    First CIE ****ed me over with IGSCE maths now AS maths as well
    P1 is basically C1,2 and 3 in one paper. I've compared exam boards and the questions in the CIE ones are definitely more technical. You need to practice really hard to get at least 90%
    Should have registered with Edexcel instead :emo:
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    I did CIE Maths... definitely more challenging than other boards I looked at
    I also did CIE GCSE Additional Maths... much harder than other Further/Additional Maths GCSE options from other boards... covered most of AS Maths

    I don't do CIE A-level maths, but, having looked at the past papers, it doesn't seem 'insanely hard' to me... I used some of the papers for revision, I saw little difference in difficulty between CIE and Edexcel
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    (Original post by etjayne)
    Well the past papers are easy.
    Yeah like if you are good at maths every board will be okay really, and once you get the hang of some of the weird questions the papers are easy. However for someone who is not naturally good at maths, or just okay at maths, the difference between CIE and Edexcel can be seriosuly reflected in the grades.
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    (Original post by PLM98)
    Yeah like if you are good at maths every board will be okay really, and once you get the hang of some of the weird questions the papers are easy. However for someone who is not naturally good at maths, or just okay at maths, the difference between CIE and Edexcel can be seriosuly reflected in the grades.
    I can see an affect though I wouldn't think it would be that much. I am very good at maths though so I am looking at this through rose tinted glasses. They all seem easy.
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    (Original post by etjayne)
    I can see an affect though I wouldn't think it would be that much. I am very good at maths though so I am looking at this through rose tinted glasses. They all seem easy.
    Yeah im just trying to be unbiased. Last year in AS i scored full marks in my S1 and a high A in P1, but I know it is hard for a lot of people because last year we were 23 people in maths at the beginning and right now in A2 we are 4 hahaha But I do feel the difference with edexcel papers, they ask for much more straighrforward stuff than the guys at CIE
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    (Original post by PLM98)
    In my school they used to do Edexcel and some years ago they changed to CIE. It is harder, and the content is not the same, in P3 there is stuff from Edexcel FP1, and the papers are much harder. My maths teacher says it is much harder and only the best can get an A. I don't think getting the A is hard if you are good at maths and you revise, however the A* in CIE maths is something that my school has never seen in its history, since you usually need 92-94% of the total raw marks to get the A*. Just revise and do loads of papers!
    Yea, with P3 especialy- the content is slightly different. Apparently though the stuff from FP1 are very basic concepts. I don't know lol I agree, those past papers seem intense. The bit in bold, really??? Wow so my teacher must be right. But the 92-94% isn't this what you need combined? It's not like Edexcel were you need 80% in AS and 90% in A2 to get an A* so I thought it would have been kind of easier...or no?
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    This is my exact same problem !! :emo:
    First CIE ****ed me over with IGSCE maths now AS maths as well
    P1 is basically C1,2 and 3 in one paper. I've compared exam boards and the questions in the CIE ones are definitely more technical. You need to practice really hard to get at least 90%
    Should have registered with Edexcel instead :emo:
    Wait what. The bit in bold...really? I'm now offically confused lol. I thought P1 was C1 and C2 then P3- C3 and C4 with some stuff from FP1. So is P1 C1, C2 and C3 then P3 C4 and FP1??? The only thing I feel comfortable doing is M1 and S1 at this point. These pure modules are confusing me.
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    (Original post by Cherry82)
    Yea, with P3 especialy- the content is slightly different. Apparently though the stuff from FP1 are very basic concepts. I don't know lol I agree, those past papers seem intense. The bit in bold, really??? Wow so my teacher must be right. But the 92-94% isn't this what you need combined? It's not like Edexcel were you need 80% in AS and 90% in A2 to get an A* so I thought it would have been kind of easier...or no?
    A 92-94% overall, so you need to get 90%+ in both AS or A2 or get an 80 something % in AS and then a high 90 something % in A2. And yeah the bit in bold sounds scary hahahahaha
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    I did CIE Maths... definitely more challenging than other boards I looked at
    I also did CIE GCSE Additional Maths... much harder than other Further/Additional Maths GCSE options from other boards... covered most of AS Maths

    I don't do CIE A-level maths, but, having looked at the past papers, it doesn't seem 'insanely hard' to me... I used some of the papers for revision, I saw little difference in difficulty between CIE and Edexcel
    Lol wow.
    Oh cool, would you mind explaining the little difference in difficulty you had noticed because I don't know why but I really can't see it. I'm comparing Edexcel's past paper questions to CIE's p1 past paper questions at the moment to see what my teacher is talking about in terms of difficulty.
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    (Original post by Cherry82)
    Wait what. The bit in bold...really? I'm now offically confused lol. I thought P1 was C1 and C2 then P3- C3 and C4 with some stuff from FP1. So is P1 C1, C2 and C3 then P3 C4 and FP1??? The only thing I feel comfortable doing is M1 and S1 at this point. These pure modules are confusing me.
    On examsolutions.net in the P1 video tutorials section there are practice questions from Edexcel and OCR C3 papers. :dontknow:
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    On examsolutions.net in the P1 video tutorials section there are practice questions from Edexcel and OCR C3 papers. :dontknow:

    would you mind stating the C3 stuff that is in P1 that you saw? I'm thinking maybe this was a big mistake lol
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    (Original post by Cherry82)
    would you mind stating the C3 stuff that is in P1 that you saw? I'm thinking maybe this was a big mistake lol
    I'm going to have to go back and look for the questions haha.
    I haven't compared the syllabuses yet but there were some C3 practice questions on the site. When I find the link I'll send it
 
 
 
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