Alevel Maths Exam Board

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AMR217
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#1
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#1
Hi,

I am thinking to study Alevel Maths next year as a private candidate. I'm not sure which exam board to choose.

Which is recommended? And what optional units are easy to do?
I haven't done AS maths, so is it possible to study both AS and A2 in a year?

Thank you
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HapaxOromenon3
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#2
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#2
(Original post by AMR217)
Hi,

I am thinking to study Alevel Maths next year as a private candidate. I'm not sure which exam board to choose.

Which is recommended? And what optional units are easy to do?
I haven't done AS maths, so is it possible to study both AS and A2 in a year?

Thank you
It is possible to do both AS and A2 in one year, as long as you have sufficient time to learn all six modules.

Regarding exam boards, by far the most rigorous and interesting is OCR MEI (see www.mei.org.uk); if you want something less challenging, do OCR non-MEI or AQA. The easiest is Edexcel, as their questions tend to be rather formulaic, and this is why most schools use them.

There are three strands of applied module: mechanics, statistics, and decision maths. You have to do 2 applied modules to get your A-Level (which could be from different strands). Mechanics relates to problems involving forces and motion in physical contexts, so if you know some physics already, doing Mechanics 1, and potentially Mechanics 2, which extends it further, would seem logical. Statistics, fairly obviously, relates to working out probabilities and, depending on which board you choose, there may also be statistical diagrams such as histograms, box plots, etc. Statistics is quite easy to learn, but in order to get full marks, you have to ensure that you don't make silly mistakes. (Again, there is the introductory module Statistics 1 and the extension module Statistics 2. You could choose, for example, to do S1 and M1, but if you want to do S2, you have to do S1 as well. Similarly you can't do M2 without M1.) Finally, decision mathematics involves concepts that you probably won't have met before, such as algorithms, graph theory, etc. There is quite a lot to learn but it is interesting and potentially useful if you're going to study computer science in the future.
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AMR217
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#3
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#3
(Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
It is possible to do both AS and A2 in one year, as long as you have sufficient time to learn all six modules.

Regarding exam boards, by far the most rigorous and interesting is OCR MEI (see www.mei.org.uk); if you want something less challenging, do OCR non-MEI or AQA. The easiest is Edexcel, as their questions tend to be rather formulaic, and this is why most schools use them.

There are three strands of applied module: mechanics, statistics, and decision maths. You have to do 2 applied modules to get your A-Level (which could be from different strands). Mechanics relates to problems involving forces and motion in physical contexts, so if you know some physics already, doing Mechanics 1, and potentially Mechanics 2, which extends it further, would seem logical. Statistics, fairly obviously, relates to working out probabilities and, depending on which board you choose, there may also be statistical diagrams such as histograms, box plots, etc. Statistics is quite easy to learn, but in order to get full marks, you have to ensure that you don't make silly mistakes. (Again, there is the introductory module Statistics 1 and the extension module Statistics 2. You could choose, for example, to do S1 and M1, but if you want to do S2, you have to do S1 as well. Similarly you can't do M2 without M1.) Finally, decision mathematics involves concepts that you probably won't have met before, such as algorithms, graph theory, etc. There is quite a lot to learn but it is interesting and potentially useful if you're going to study computer science in the future.
Thank you so much for replying. I'll choose Edexcel as it is the easiest option.
I think I'll probably do S1 and S2 as I am not good at physics (so not doing M1 or M2) and I think I'm going to find decision maths hard.

Do you think it's fine if I just do AS Maths? I'm doing the new exam system (AS and A2 exam at the end of year 13, therefore AS exam in year 12 does not count anymore) for the sciences but the new system applies to maths only from next year.
So I guess AS still counts for Maths?
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HapaxOromenon3
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#4
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#4
(Original post by AMR217)
Thank you so much for replying. I'll choose Edexcel as it is the easiest option.
I think I'll probably do S1 and S2 as I am not good at physics (so not doing M1 or M2) and I think I'm going to find decision maths hard.

Do you think it's fine if I just do AS Maths? I'm doing the new exam system (AS and A2 exam at the end of year 13, therefore AS exam in year 12 does not count anymore) for the sciences but the new system applies to maths only from next year.
So I guess AS still counts for Maths?
AS Maths is still a valid qualification, but you would only do 1 applied module, so you would have to do C1, C2, and either S1, M1, or D1.
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Midgeymoo17
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#5
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#5
(Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
AS Maths is still a valid qualification, but you would only do 1 applied module, so you would have to do C1, C2, and either S1, M1, or D1.
I am pretty sure this is rubbish as in the Edexcel specimen paper for the new spec M1 and S1 are in one unit/ one exam. This information is true of he old spec though. The specimen papers and draft specification were only released today so it very possible that you had not seen it and that this might change.
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Midgeymoo17
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#6
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#6
(Original post by AMR217)
Thank you so much for replying. I'll choose Edexcel as it is the easiest option.
I think I'll probably do S1 and S2 as I am not good at physics (so not doing M1 or M2) and I think I'm going to find decision maths hard.

Do you think it's fine if I just do AS Maths? I'm doing the new exam system (AS and A2 exam at the end of year 13, therefore AS exam in year 12 does not count anymore) for the sciences but the new system applies to maths only from next year.
So I guess AS still counts for Maths?
I suggest you read my post above about the Edexcel spec changes meaning you must do mechanics.
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AMR217
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#7
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#7
(Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
AS Maths is still a valid qualification, but you would only do 1 applied module, so you would have to do C1, C2, and either S1, M1, or D1.
Okay, thank you
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AMR217
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Midgeymoo17)
I suggest you read my post above about the Edexcel spec changes meaning you must do mechanics.
Will do Thank you
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AMR217
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Midgeymoo17)
I am pretty sure this is rubbish as in the Edexcel specimen paper for the new spec M1 and S1 are in one unit/ one exam. This information is true of he old spec though. The specimen papers and draft specification were only released today so it very possible that you had not seen it and that this might change.
Is this for the new specification, which starts teaching from next year?

Could you please send me the link?
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Midgeymoo17
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#10
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#10
(Original post by AMR217)
Is this for the new specification, which starts teaching from next year?

Could you please send me the link?
I wish I could. My teacher teaches and examines Edexcel and they appeared in his secure materials today during our lesson, which is why I was looking at them. But I now cannot find them now so I have a nasty feeling they are still under controlled access but I can assure you there were major changes (new as further maths is more like current A2 ?????) and I am pretty sure you have sit both Stats and mechanics in the same paper but are required cover less of each than doing them individually. New exams are now 2hrs long instead of 1.5 as well. Sorry.
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HapaxOromenon3
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#11
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#11
(Original post by AMR217)
Is this for the new specification, which starts teaching from next year?

Could you please send me the link?
(Original post by Midgeymoo17)
I wish I could. My teacher teaches and examines Edexcel and they appeared in his secure materials today during our lesson, which is why I was looking at them. But I now cannot find them now so I have a nasty feeling they are still under controlled access but I can assure you there were major changes (new as further maths is more like current A2 ?????) and I am pretty sure you have sit both Stats and mechanics in the same paper but are required cover less of each than doing them individually. New exams are now 2hrs long instead of 1.5 as well. Sorry.
If you do your maths exams in June 2017 (which you presumably will be doing), then you will be doing the old spec; if you do start the course in 2017 and do the exams in June 2018 or later, you will do the new spec. If you do the exams in June 2017 and then need to resit in 2018, you will still be able to do the old spec. Information about the new spec, including sample papers (marked as 'sample assessement material' or 'SAMs') is available on the Edexcel website at https://qualifications.pearson.com/e...le-assessments
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AMR217
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#12
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#12
(Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
If you do your maths exams in June 2017 (which you presumably will be doing), then you will be doing the old spec; if you do start the course in 2017 and do the exams in June 2018 or later, you will do the new spec. If you do the exams in June 2017 and then need to resit in 2018, you will still be able to do the old spec. Information about the new spec, including sample papers (marked as 'sample assessement material' or 'SAMs' is available on the Edexcel website at https://qualifications.pearson.com/e...le-assessments
Ah ok. That's good then.
Thank you
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AMR217
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Midgeymoo17)
I wish I could. My teacher teaches and examines Edexcel and they appeared in his secure materials today during our lesson, which is why I was looking at them. But I now cannot find them now so I have a nasty feeling they are still under controlled access but I can assure you there were major changes (new as further maths is more like current A2 ?????) and I am pretty sure you have sit both Stats and mechanics in the same paper but are required cover less of each than doing them individually. New exams are now 2hrs long instead of 1.5 as well. Sorry.
Never mind. Thanks for letting me know
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Midgeymoo17
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#14
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#14
(Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
If you do your maths exams in June 2017 (which you presumably will be doing), then you will be doing the old spec; if you do start the course in 2017 and do the exams in June 2018 or later, you will do the new spec. If you do the exams in June 2017 and then need to resit in 2018, you will still be able to do the old spec. Information about the new spec, including sample papers (marked as 'sample assessement material' or 'SAMs' is available on the Edexcel website at https://qualifications.pearson.com/e...le-assessments
thanks. I knew I had seen the new spec today and confirmed my memory that stats and mechanics fall in the same paper. I also forgot OP take of doing it a year after saying they were doing new sec which of course would be old spec.
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skeptical_john
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#15
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#15
(Original post by AMR217)
Hi,

I am thinking to study Alevel Maths next year as a private candidate. I'm not sure which exam board to choose.

Which is recommended? And what optional units are easy to do?
I haven't done AS maths, so is it possible to study both AS and A2 in a year?

Thank you
I've done it this year (with edexcel) it can be done but you will need to put in a lot of hours. I did D1 and S1 as they suited my previous experience. If you have any questions let me know.
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Midgeymoo17
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#16
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#16
(Original post by AMR217)
Is this for the new specification, which starts teaching from next year?

Could you please send me the link?
New spec does start teaching from this September therefore whether you sit New Spec or Old Spec will depend on the time frame as follows:

Whole A level in One Year: This has got to be Old Spec.
AS Level- Old Spec or New spec your choice. (If you choose old spec you will not then be able to change to the full A level as there are no further exams after June 2017 for anyone who has not had at least one attempt at the paper before)
Two years: New Spec for either AS or A2.

I think your best bet maybe to sit old spec in one year because even if you flunk you A2 units as long as you have attempted them you will be able to have a second Chance a year later.
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AMR217
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#17
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#17
(Original post by skeptical_john)
I've done it this year (with edexcel) it can be done but you will need to put in a lot of hours. I did D1 and S1 as they suited my previous experience. If you have any questions let me know.
Okay, thank you and will do

I am ready to put in the hours, as long as I can get a good grade for the Alevel.
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AMR217
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Midgeymoo17)
New spec does start teaching from this September therefore whether you sit New Spec or Old Spec will depend on the time frame as follows:

Whole A level in One Year: This has got to be Old Spec.
AS Level- Old Spec or New spec your choice. (If you choose old spec you will not then be able to change to the full A level as there are no further exams after June 2017 for anyone who has not had at least one attempt at the paper before)
Two years: New Spec for either AS or A2.

I think your best bet maybe to sit old spec in one year because even if you flunk you A2 units as long as you have attempted them you will be able to have a second Chance a year later.
Ok, I am going to do the old spec then.
Thank you
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