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    Today I sat paper 1 of the mock papers from the new specification of AQA's physics A-level and it was shockingly bad.

    I've done countless practice questions from the previous specification (which has almost exactly the same content, just rearranged into a different order) and I get good grades (based on 80% of marks being an A, seeing as I don't do actual papers). I know the content inside out and back to front. I know the equations and I am proficient enough in mathematics to use them. I revise effectively - this is the point I am trying to make, I'm not trying to big myself up here.

    However, that paper I sat today was absolutely NOTHING like the questions I have practiced. It really took 'applying the ideas' to a whole new level and there were probably only about 5 marks on the whole paper that were 'recall' (as in remembering facts or definitions) and so there wasn't much point in revision. It was the most challenging bunch of questions I've seen.

    Here's the issue: the spec may not have changed considerably but the questions are certainly harder. I'm not here to complain about that because, obviously, I want to get better at physics and the way to do that is to do challenging questions that actually make me think. However, now that I've done both sets of specimen papers (the ones online and the mock ones) I have nothing else to practice with. Practicing old spec questions is (mostly) a waste of time because the questions are so different and I already know all the content - so what else can I do to improve? I'm stuck here because if I get like a D on this mock (whilst I'm targeted an A) then I feel like I'm resigned to getting a D in the real thing (with the D grade being based on % again, as there are no actual grade boundaries).

    Is anyone else in a similar situation? What can I do to improve?
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    Today I sat paper 1 of the mock papers from the new specification of AQA's physics A-level and it was shockingly bad.

    I've done countless practice questions from the previous specification (which has almost exactly the same content, just rearranged into a different order) and I get good grades (based on 80% of marks being an A, seeing as I don't do actual papers). I know the content inside out and back to front. I know the equations and I am proficient enough in mathematics to use them. I revise effectively - this is the point I am trying to make, I'm not trying to big myself up here.

    However, that paper I sat today was absolutely NOTHING like the questions I have practiced. It really took 'applying the ideas' to a whole new level and there were probably only about 5 marks on the whole paper that were 'recall' (as in remembering facts or definitions) and so there wasn't much point in revision. It was the most challenging bunch of questions I've seen.

    Here's the issue: the spec may not have changed considerably but the questions are certainly harder. I'm not here to complain about that because, obviously, I want to get better at physics and the way to do that is to do challenging questions that actually make me think. However, now that I've done both sets of specimen papers (the ones online and the mock ones) I have nothing else to practice with. Practicing old spec questions is (mostly) a waste of time because the questions are so different and I already know all the content - so what else can I do to improve? I'm stuck here because if I get like a D on this mock (whilst I'm targeted an A) then I feel like I'm resigned to getting a D in the real thing (with the D grade being based on % again, as there are no actual grade boundaries).

    Is anyone else in a similar situation? What can I do to improve?
    Do you have a link to the paper so that i can have a quick look through it? I took as last year and taking a2 this year so I'd be curious to have a look and hopefully I'll be able to help a bit
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    I did the same paper and I agree, AQA were cruel!
    They were on a totally different format to anything before it for sure! I thought I was going mad in that exam.
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    (Original post by samb1234)
    Do you have a link to the paper so that i can have a quick look through it? I took as last year and taking a2 this year so I'd be curious to have a look and hopefully I'll be able to help a bit
    Not yet sorry, I just sat it today and only the teachers have access at the moment. After I get my grade back I'll ask my teacher to send it with the mark scheme, I'd really be interested in your opinion! I'll PM it to you when I get it.

    Here's the other specimen papers on the website. These are a lot easier than the mock paper in my opinion, some challenging questions but everything is totally doable (I wish we sat this paper instead )

    http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-74071-SQP.PDF
    http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-74072-SQP.PDF
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    Not yet sorry, I just sat it today and only the teachers have access at the moment. After I get my grade back I'll ask my teacher to send it with the mark scheme, I'd really be interested in your opinion! I'll PM it to you when I get it.

    Here's the other specimen papers on the website. These are a lot easier than the mock paper in my opinion, some challenging questions but everything is totally doable (I wish we sat this paper instead )

    http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-74071-SQP.PDF
    http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-74072-SQP.PDF
    Yeah i found that one earlier but wasn't sure if that was the one you meant. There are several things i would say. Firstly even on the hardest possible paper, they 100% will not ask you questions requiring knowledge not on the spec. Therefore, if you come across a question that is not obvious, you need to basically go through all the stuff you do know and eliminate all the ones that it blatantly can't be, and most likely you will be left with the correct one which you can then apply. Without seeing the paper I can't make more specific comments, but if you have any questions let me know (got a very high A last year)
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    (Original post by aamirac)
    I did the same paper and I agree, AQA were cruel!
    They were on a totally different format to anything before it for sure! I thought I was going mad in that exam.
    Omg glad you feel the same! We hadn't even finished the particles and radiation stuff so those first pages and the 6 mark question urghhhh

    Then the water going through the turbine jeeez I'm so screwed, I'm going to have to do biology at uni instead :argh:

    What grade did you get? And how did your class do on average? I'm so worried that I'm doomed to fail now but if we're both thinking that the paper was hard then hopefully everyone else does too
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    Omg glad you feel the same! We hadn't even finished the particles and radiation stuff so those first pages and the 6 mark question urghhhh

    Then the water going through the turbine jeeez I'm so screwed, I'm going to have to do biology at uni instead :argh:

    What grade did you get? And how did your class do on average? I'm so worried that I'm doomed to fail now but if we're both thinking that the paper was hard then hopefully everyone else does too
    I like that 6 marker actually! It was a nice 6 marker.

    Well I got a U, did it again and managed to get a C, if that's any consideration. Terrible I know, but I'm working on it!
    If I manage to find more questions that are more on our spec level I'll send them to you! (If I can find them :rofl:)
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    (Original post by samb1234)
    Yeah i found that one earlier but wasn't sure if that was the one you meant. There are several things i would say. Firstly even on the hardest possible paper, they 100% will not ask you questions requiring knowledge not on the spec. Therefore, if you come across a question that is not obvious, you need to basically go through all the stuff you do know and eliminate all the ones that it blatantly can't be, and most likely you will be left with the correct one which you can then apply. Without seeing the paper I can't make more specific comments, but if you have any questions let me know (got a very high A last year)
    I know yeah I had an idea of what formula to use and stuff but it's just the way the information was presented that left me clueless. I feel like there was stuff that was seriously off-topic of the specification though, but maybe I forgot some stuff. It's hard to give examples when I can't really remember the questions haha - thanks for the advice though! I really want an A this year, any other tips that secured you the grade? I've been getting Bs and As in topic tests but after this I think I need to do a lot more work
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    (Original post by aamirac)
    I like that 6 marker actually! It was a nice 6 marker.

    Well I got a U, did it again and managed to get a C, if that's any consideration. Terrible I know, but I'm working on it!
    If I manage to find more questions that are more on our spec level I'll send them to you! (If I can find them :rofl:)
    I'm sure it would be better if I had actually learnt the stuff, I just BSed the whole thing so maybe I'll get a mark or two haha

    I think I'll get the same grade so don't feel bad! What's your target grade? And how did you do in tests with the old AQA spec stuff? Sorry for being so nosy, but I just wanted to get an idea of where you're at because I don't think that paper is representative of anyone's abilities, darn AQA :dry:

    I'm sitting paper 2 tomorrow and I'm dreading it eek - do you think there's any point in me revising or are the questions in this paper just as awful? :rolleyes:

    That would be brilliant thanks, I'll send some to you too if I find any (I have tried looking a bit today but nothing yet sadly).
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    I know yeah I had an idea of what formula to use and stuff but it's just the way the information was presented that left me clueless. I feel like there was stuff that was seriously off-topic of the specification though, but maybe I forgot some stuff. It's hard to give examples when I can't really remember the questions haha - thanks for the advice though! I really want an A this year, any other tips that secured you the grade? I've been getting Bs and As in topic tests but after this I think I need to do a lot more work
    Hmm without seeing the paper I can't really comment on the questions themselves but i'll take your word for it. As far as physics exams go i would say the following:

    1. understand the maths you are using. Unfortunately at a level a lot of the maths has been removed from the syllabus and you are just expected to memorise/read off a number of results, but if you have an understanding of where they come from and why they work than it is much easier to see how to apply them to strange situations than if you just read them off the formula sheet each time.

    2. it is worth learning a few things to help you check answers. It can be helpful to have a rough idea of what wavelengths parts of the EM spectrum are (e.g. if they asked you to find wavelength of some UV photon, if you knew roughly where UV is you can check you are roughly right). Also for the counting squares question you can check with trapezium rule to make sure you haven't made any major errors.

    3. Know all the definition question answers well so that you can reproduce, I would advise that where possible you define with an equation, ensuring you state what all the symbols represent and their units.

    4. For 6 mark questions make sure you have a structure of some kind. For the ones where you have to describe an event, such as formation of standing waves or terminal velocity, it helps to go chronologically and mention all of the key points, and where possible use equations to help you. For the more wordy ones, such as the different types of particle interactions, just do separate paras for each one you are talking about.

    5. Lastly, remember that the UMS for physics is often quite kind (i got full in both exams and definitely dropped marks in both papers), and will most likely be especially kind this year as it's the first of a new spec, so try not to worry if you find the papers difficult - chances are most people will too and the ums will reflect that
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    I'm sure it would be better if I had actually learnt the stuff, I just BSed the whole thing so maybe I'll get a mark or two haha

    I think I'll get the same grade so don't feel bad! What's your target grade? And how did you do in tests with the old AQA spec stuff? Sorry for being so nosy, but I just wanted to get an idea of where you're at because I don't think that paper is representative of anyone's abilities, darn AQA :dry:

    I'm sitting paper 2 tomorrow and I'm dreading it eek - do you think there's any point in me revising or are the questions in this paper just as awful? :rolleyes:

    That would be brilliant thanks, I'll send some to you too if I find any (I have tried looking a bit today but nothing yet sadly).
    I actually don't know my target grade! Should check up on that! In the old papers I got A's and B's.

    But then again, it never really is :rofl:

    Defiantly revise for Paper 2! If you think you failed the first one due to lack of knowledge then do revise and understand it!
    Good Luck!

    I've been looking for a while too and found nothing
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    (Original post by aamirac)
    I actually don't know my target grade! Should check up on that! In the old papers I got A's and B's.

    But then again, it never really is :rofl:

    Defiantly revise for Paper 2! If you think you failed the first one due to lack of knowledge then do revise and understand it!
    Good Luck!

    I've been looking for a while too and found nothing
    Anything on particles and radiation stuff, aside from like hadrons, mesons etc? Because I might have to teach it to myself now :lol:

    Ah now I won't feel as bad if I get a U, if an A/B grade student can get that grade as well! Thank you! I'm going to need all the luck I can get
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    (Original post by samb1234)
    Hmm without seeing the paper I can't really comment on the questions themselves but i'll take your word for it. As far as physics exams go i would say the following:

    1. understand the maths you are using. Unfortunately at a level a lot of the maths has been removed from the syllabus and you are just expected to memorise/read off a number of results, but if you have an understanding of where they come from and why they work than it is much easier to see how to apply them to strange situations than if you just read them off the formula sheet each time.

    2. it is worth learning a few things to help you check answers. It can be helpful to have a rough idea of what wavelengths parts of the EM spectrum are (e.g. if they asked you to find wavelength of some UV photon, if you knew roughly where UV is you can check you are roughly right). Also for the counting squares question you can check with trapezium rule to make sure you haven't made any major errors.

    3. Know all the definition question answers well so that you can reproduce, I would advise that where possible you define with an equation, ensuring you state what all the symbols represent and their units.

    4. For 6 mark questions make sure you have a structure of some kind. For the ones where you have to describe an event, such as formation of standing waves or terminal velocity, it helps to go chronologically and mention all of the key points, and where possible use equations to help you. For the more wordy ones, such as the different types of particle interactions, just do separate paras for each one you are talking about.

    5. Lastly, remember that the UMS for physics is often quite kind (i got full in both exams and definitely dropped marks in both papers), and will most likely be especially kind this year as it's the first of a new spec, so try not to worry if you find the papers difficult - chances are most people will too and the ums will reflect that
    Thanks for the tips! I think I've got the definitions okay but today showed me that I don't know the maths as well as I should do perhaps. I really hope the raw mark grade boundaries are low this year, though I don't think the new AS levels show UMS on exam slips and certificates so it doesn't matter if I just scrape that A haha

    Good luck with A2 also
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    Anything on particles and radiation stuff, aside from like hadrons, mesons etc? Because I might have to teach it to myself now :lol:

    Ah now I won't feel as bad if I get a U, if an A/B grade student can get that grade as well! Thank you! I'm going to need all the luck I can get
    Just revise everything you can :lol:
    (For the next units you learn, try and keep consistant revision as your teacher is going through it so you don't have a mad rush at the end)

    You're welcome!
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    Hey, can u send the link of your mock paper so I can revise.. I already did the specimen paper and past year papers from AQA. i need help desperately
    (Original post by samb1234)
    Do you have a link to the paper so that i can have a quick look through it? I took as last year and taking a2 this year so I'd be curious to have a look and hopefully I'll be able to help a bit
    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    Today I sat paper 1 of the mock papers from the new specification of AQA's physics A-level and it was shockingly bad.

    I've done countless practice questions from the previous specification (which has almost exactly the same content, just rearranged into a different order) and I get good grades (based on 80% of marks being an A, seeing as I don't do actual papers). I know the content inside out and back to front. I know the equations and I am proficient enough in mathematics to use them. I revise effectively - this is the point I am trying to make, I'm not trying to big myself up here.

    However, that paper I sat today was absolutely NOTHING like the questions I have practiced. It really took 'applying the ideas' to a whole new level and there were probably only about 5 marks on the whole paper that were 'recall' (as in remembering facts or definitions) and so there wasn't much point in revision. It was the most challenging bunch of questions I've seen.

    Here's the issue: the spec may not have changed considerably but the questions are certainly harder. I'm not here to complain about that because, obviously, I want to get better at physics and the way to do that is to do challenging questions that actually make me think. However, now that I've done both sets of specimen papers (the ones online and the mock ones) I have nothing else to practice with. Practicing old spec questions is (mostly) a waste of time because the questions are so different and I already know all the content - so what else can I do to improve? I'm stuck here because if I get like a D on this mock (whilst I'm targeted an A) then I feel like I'm resigned to getting a D in the real thing (with the D grade being based on % again, as there are no actual grade boundaries).

    Is anyone else in a similar situation? What can I do to improve?
 
 
 
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