Edexcel C4 Maths Hard Paper/Questions??

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ScrewTheExams
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Hi, does anyone have any idea which edexcel c4 past paper was the hardest, or which specific questions were very hard or confusing? The boundaries are roughly more or less the same for all of them and I looked at a few and they don't seem that hard, I'm worried that they'll give a hard one tomorrow as in my opinion last year's one was easy. :/

Preferably vector questions and integration (and/or rate of change differentiation etc) only related questions, but others will do too!

The last question on the January 2008 paper was quite confusing for me, but maybe because it was the first rate of change question I done after a while!
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by ScrewTheExams)
Hi, does anyone have any idea which edexcel c4 past paper was the hardest, or which specific questions were very hard or confusing? The boundaries are roughly more or less the same for all of them and I looked at a few and they don't seem that hard, I'm worried that they'll give a hard one tomorrow as in my opinion last year's one was easy. :/

Preferably vector questions and integration (and/or rate of change differentiation etc) only related questions, but others will do too!

The last question on the January 2008 paper was quite confusing for me, but maybe because it was the first rate of change question I done after a while!
I sat June 2014 C4 and the volume of integration question I did not attempt. The vectors one was tricky too.
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ScrewTheExams
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(Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
I sat June 2014 C4 and the volume of integration question I did not attempt. The vectors one was tricky too.
Thanks, I'll take a look!

I'm really bad with vectors so I'll probably not get that one then :/
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by ScrewTheExams)
Thanks, I'll take a look!

I'm really bad with vectors so I'll probably not get that one then :/
I was too - that was my approach to C4, be good at everything except the vectors - only know the basics and you'll only drop a few madks
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(Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
I sat June 2014 C4 and the volume of integration question I did not attempt. The vectors one was tricky too.
Somehow I got the integration one with volume right, even though I only done one like that before and a while back

Vectors on the other hand... :X
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ScrewTheExams
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(Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
I was too - that was my approach to C4, be good at everything except the vectors - only know the basics and you'll only drop a few madks
Well, the c4 exam didn't go my way, around 18-20 marks were on vectors, And I made several mistakes in the paper...😑
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Prasiortle
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(Original post by ScrewTheExams)
Well, the c4 exam didn't go my way, around 18-20 marks were on vectors, And I made several mistakes in the paper...😑
And this is why trying to 'question-guess' and skimp on certain topics is always a poor strategy...
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by ScrewTheExams)
Well, the c4 exam didn't go my way, around 18-20 marks were on vectors, And I made several mistakes in the paper...😑
Ouch, I know exams like that can be deflating.

So almost 25% of the paper was about vectors? That's cruel. But hopefully other people found it hard too, and that your overall (average) reflects how hard you work.
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Prasiortle
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(Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
Ouch, I know exams like that can be deflating.

So almost 25% of the paper was about vectors? That's cruel. But hopefully other people found it hard too, and that your overall (average) reflects how hard you work.
It's not "cruel". The limited amount of vector work you do at A-Level is not very difficult, and the only reason why you, like most students, find it difficult is because you haven't been properly taught to think geometrically. This is a consequence of changes in maths teaching in primary and secondary schools over the past 50 years that have de-emphasised geometry in favour of algebra.
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(Original post by Prasiortle)
It's not "cruel". The limited amount of vector work you do at A-Level is not very difficult, and the only reason why you, like most students, find it difficult is because you haven't been properly taught to think geometrically. This is a consequence of changes in maths teaching in primary and secondary schools over the past 50 years that have de-emphasised geometry in favour of algebra.
I have barely been taught it, our teacher just went through the whole of vectors in two lessons and never touched it again. Same with GCSE vectors 2-3 years ago, teacher only spent one lesson. So, I never fully understood them. I had to rely on examsolutions but I struggle with vectors as I have trouble drawing them to make the problem easier, So I dont have a clue what I'm doing, like with that 5 marker in today's paper. I was able to get some marks in the vector question but 18 marks is ridiculous, considering last year had 13 marks of VERY EASY vector questions(I found them very easy even though I hate vectors), this year they took out compeltely the trapezium rule question that always pops up and put 18 marks worth of vectors, usually they are only around 9-13 marks.
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Prasiortle
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(Original post by ScrewTheExams)
I have barely been taught it, our teacher just went through the whole of vectors in two lessons and never touched it again. Same with GCSE vectors 2-3 years ago, teacher only spent one lesson. So, I never fully understood them. I had to rely on examsolutions but I struggle with vectors as I have trouble drawing them to make the problem easier, So I dont have a clue what I'm doing, like with that 5 marker in today's paper. I was able to get some marks in the vector question but 18 marks is ridiculous, considering last year had 13 marks of VERY EASY vector questions(I found them very easy even though I hate vectors), this year they took out compeltely the trapezium rule question that always pops up and put 18 marks worth of vectors, usually they are only around 9-13 marks.
It's not ridiculous, because Edexcel don't have to adjust their questions to take account of inadequate/incompetent teaching. Objectively speaking, two lessons is way too little time to cover an entire chunk of the syllabus, so you should make a complaint to your headmaster/headmistress.
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by Prasiortle)
It's not "cruel". The limited amount of vector work you do at A-Level is not very difficult, and the only reason why you, like most students, find it difficult is because you haven't been properly taught to think geometrically. This is a consequence of changes in maths teaching in primary and secondary schools over the past 50 years that have de-emphasised geometry in favour of algebra.
That's fine and I take that point, but that's not something that is going to be fixed by a Year 13 maths course teacher in half a year of teaching time for C4.

It is cruel to have an unusual paper where a topic is disproportionately tested on in the exam, if the OP is right in saying that 18-20 marks were for vector questions (Vectors make up much less than 25% of C4).

I would also suggest being more considerate about what you say to someone who's feeling bad after a difficult exam - of course, you can gently give someone a useful piece of advice in the future, keeping in mind that it's of no use to them at the moment, but there's no need to come across more harshly than that.


(Original post by Prasiortle)
And this is why trying to 'question-guess' and skimp on certain topics is always a poor strategy...
It's a necessary strategy if you have limited time.
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Prasiortle
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(Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
That's fine and I take that point, but that's not something that is going to be fixed by a Year 13 maths course teacher in half a year of teaching time for C4.

It is cruel to have an unusual paper where a topic is disproportionately tested on in the exam, if the OP is right in saying that 18-20 marks were for vector questions (Vectors make up much less than 25% of C4).

I would also suggest being more considerate about what you say to someone who's feeling bad after a difficult exam - of course, you can gently give someone a useful piece of advice in the future, keeping in mind that it's of no use to them at the moment, but there's no need to come across more harshly than that.




It's a necessary strategy if you have limited time.
One of the reasons we're so far down the PISA rankings is that many mathematics teachers and mathematics exam papers use mainly predictable, formulaic questions. In my view, the more non-standard the problems (while still remaining within the syllabus content), the better, since this really tests understanding as opposed to memorisation.
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