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    i wanna take the AEA in maths because its my best subject and i think it will help my uni application..etc. But i don't know anyone who has taken it, how hard is it compared to the normal A-level stuff? When do you take it? Is there any point if i then take the STEP paper?
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    Generally, people do it in their A2 year (even if they're doing further maths and would have done C1-C4 in AS). It would probably look good on your university application since it shows that you like a challenge and are stretching yourself academically. There's not a whole lot of point doing the AEA if you plan on STEP, unless you've got a university offer based on them, but AEA is a lot easier than STEP. A lot lot easier actually.

    Compared to A-level stuff, the AEA is like unbelievably harder. This will sound off putting but it's really not worth considering if you're not getting 70/75 in C1-C4 past papers. I mean obviously you can have an off day or something but your mistakes shouldn't be like "Oh, I didn't know that method existed". Every single topic must be well polished. To put it into context, I know someone who got 100% on C1-C4 and didn't get a distinction. I myself got 100% C1, 98% C2 (misread calculator and dropped 2 marks), 100% C3, 86% C4 (should have been 95%, but again misread calculator + one other silly error) and I didn't get even a merit. We both took it in our AS year though. The AEA just requires a different sort of thinking. You'll find that in every past paper there's 1 really evil question or something, the AEA is like 7 really evil questions, even harder than the one you thought was evil in a normal past paper.

    You should only consider sitting it once you've studied C1 - C3 and bits of C4. Start by going through some past papers and seeing if you can do it or not. If you can do even 2 questions when you start, you're well on your way to merit already. When I started, I found myself being able to do most of 3 questions but never quite full solutions.

    And STEP makes the AEA look like a joke.
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    http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/stcs/STEP.html

    That's a link with STEP papers
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    I would suggest doing both AEA and STEP, it can't hurt can it?
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    If you (or your school) has the money...then by all means you can.
    If you do F. Maths A-level in the one year after Maths A-level in Yr12 (as opposed to doing both ASs in Yr12 and both A2s in Yr13), I think that AEA in Yr12 and STEP in Yr13 is very very impressive, provided that you get a grade in it.
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    The AEA questions tend to be longer and you have to think for yourself a lot more which is why one annoying thing is that there are only seven (well, now there are eight) past papers, which isn't really enough.
    Most C1-C4 questions seem to be parts a) b) c) etc where there are 3-4 marks (maybe 8 at most) for each part and they need maybe four or five lines of working. The AEA usually takes more working-out per part-question, gives less feedback on whether you're right or not (as you're doing the question) and there are only 7 questions to be done in three hours, as opposed to the C1-4 "8-10 questions in an hour and a half". It's a non-calculator paper, so you need to be absolutely solid on all the boring basic stuff like surds, common values of trig functions and so on, as well as being able to recognise things like arithmetic and geometric series, in, say, a question that initially appears to be about trig. B

    asically there are more chances of charging off in completely the wrong direction on the AEA than there are in C1-4. And it's only seven questions to be done in three hours. It's a nice stretch from C1-4, and very doable at the end of Year 12 if you've done C1-4. (Guilty as charged)
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    AEA is relatively straight forward. STEP is not.
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    They look quite hard... I was offered it in Psychology but decided against it... there was a lot to learn in addition to my other exams!
 
 
 

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